Today is the birthday of Dolores Costello (1903-1979). The daughter of stage and screen star Maurice Costello, she began acting in films as a child at age six along with her sister Helene. By 1926 she had dozens of performances under her belt, was elected one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars, and appeared in The Sea Beast opposite John Barrymore, whom she was to marry in 1928. (She is thus the grandmother of Drew Barrymore). Costello retired from films shortly after the advent of sound, then returned following her divorce from Barrymore in 1935.
Today, the acting role she is best known for is that of Isabelle in Orson Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). She retired for good in 1943.
Here she is in a clip from 1928’s The Glorious Betsy:
To learn more about early film history please check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
For more on the history of show business consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.