Reine Davies (Irene Douras, 1883-1938) was the older sister of Marion Davies, and inevitably the person who inspired her to go into show business herself. It was Reine who first adapted the stage name “Davies”, suggested by an advertising sign in their native Brooklyn. Reine started out in vaudeville as a singer, based out of Chicago for many years. By 1901 she was on Broadway in The Ladies Paradise. Then came five more Broadway shows, all comedies: Sally in Our Alley (1902); The Jewel of Asia (1903); The Blonde in Black (1903); The Jersey Lily (1903); The Southerners (1904).
In 1907 she married Broadway producer and director George Lederer. Their son Charles Lederer would go on to become a top Hollywood screenwriter; their daughter “Pepi”, an aspiring actress predeceased her mother in a sad suicide. Both children were raised by Marion Davies at Hearst Castle after Reine and George Lederer divorced.
Meantime, Reine had continued to be popular in vaudeville, and was associated with many songs of the day, such as “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland” (1910), and “The Reine Waltz” (1910).
By the middle of the decade, Reine was in Hollywood. She starred in two silent films: Sunday (1915) and The Sin Woman (1917). She returned to Broadway also in 1917 for one last show, Canary Cottage. In later years Davies edited a gossip column in the Los Angeles Examiner and was married to movie actor George Regas.
For more on vaudeville and stars like Reine Davies, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous
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