The 7 Year Career of Doris Davenport

Just a brief mention of a relatively minor cinematic figure, but one who actually did star in a couple of high profile films. Doris Davenport (1917-1980). Not to be confused with Dorothy Davenport, a.k.a. Mrs. Wallace Reid, and apparently no relation to all Dorothy’s famous thespian Davenport relations. Doris was a Hollywood local whom Sam Goldwyn took a liking to, giving her a supporting role in Kid Millions (1934) with Eddie Cantor at age 17. There followed a small role in the Charlie Murray short His Old Flame (1935) and chorus parts in George White’s 1935 Scandals; The Girl Friend (1935) with Ann Sothern and Jack Haley; Born to Dance (1936) with Eleanor Powell and Jimmy Stewart; and Thin Ice (1937) with Sonja Henie and Tyrone Power.

Davenport landed a proper speaking role in Sorority House (1939), and this led to her hottest period, when she was on the shortlist of auditioners for the part of Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) and landed a co-starring role in The Westerner (1940) with Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan. This led to just one more co-starring role, in Behind the News (1940) with Lloyd Nolan. In 1941 Davenport made her last appearance as a starlet in an all-star newsreel by Republic Pictures. Between film jobs she worked as a fashion model under the name “Doris Jordan”; presumably this work kept her afloat after she divorced her husband of four years, photographer Garland Weaver, and retired from movies in 1941.