- Bessie Love
bgcolour = #CCCCCC
name = Bessie Love
caption = c. 1916
birthname = Juanita Horton
birthdate = birth date|1898|9|10|mf=y
location = Midland,
deathdate = death date and age|1986|4|26|1898|9|10|mf=y
spouse = William Hawks
Bessie Love (
September 10, 1898- April 26, 1986) was an American motion pictureactress who achieved fame largely in the silent films and early talkieera. Petite and very pretty, she played innocent young girls, flappers, and wholesome leading ladies. Besides being an actress, she wrote the 1919 movie "A Yankee Princess".
Bessie Love was born Juanita Horton on
September 10, 1898in Midland, Texas. She attended school in Midland until she was in the eighth grade, when her chiropractor father moved his family to Hollywood. Bessie graduated from Los Angeles High School and then received from her parents (as a graduation present) of a trip around the United States. After six months of traveling, she finally returned home to Los Angeles.
The Silent Era
To help with the family's financial situation, Love's mother sent her to Biograph Studios, where she met pioneering film director
D.W. Griffith. Griffith, who introduced Bessie to films, also gave the actress her screen moniker. He gave her small roles in his films " The Birth of a Nation" (1915) and in "Intolerance" (1916). She also appeared opposite William S. Hartin "The Aryan" and with Douglas Fairbanksin "The Good Bad Man, Reggie Mixes In", and "The Mystery of the Leaping Fish" (all 1916).
In 1922 Love was selected one of the
WAMPAS Baby Stars. [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0522281/bio Bessie Love - Biography ] ] [http://www.goldensilents.com/stars/bessielove.html © Bessie Love - Silent and Sound Film Actress - goldensilents.com ] ] As her roles got larger, so did her popularity. She performed the Charleston in the movie "The King on Main Street" in 1925. Also that same year she starred in "The Lost World", a science fiction adventure based on the novel of the same name by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Three years later she starred in "The Matinee Idol", a romantic comedy directed by a young Frank Capra.
The Sound Era
Love was able to successfully transition to
talkies, and in 1929 she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actressfor " The Broadway Melody". She also appeared in several other early musicalsincluding " The Hollywood Revue of 1929" (1929), "Chasing Rainbows" (1930), "Good News" (1930), and "They Learned About Women" (1930).
However, by 1932 her American film career was declining. She moved to England in 1935 and did stage work and occasional films there. As war came in Europe she returned to the US for a while, worked for the
Red Cross, and entertained the troops. After the war she moved back to Britain where she kept her main residence, and continued to play small film roles for film companies in both the US and Britain. She appeared in films like " The Barefoot Contessa" (1954) with Humphrey Bogart, and as an American tourist in " The Greengage Summer" (1961) starring Kenneth More. She also played a small role as an American tourist in the James Bondthriller " On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969).
Her career came to a quick halt soon after that however, and she moved to the
United Kingdom, where she had roles in several films. She made a comeback in the 1980s with roles in "Ragtime" (1981), Warren Beatty's "Reds" (1981), and (her final film) " The Hunger" (1983) starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon. In her lifetime, Love starred in 131 films and TV episodes.
Love was married once, from 1929 to 1935, to film producer William Hawks (the brother of film director
Howard Hawks), and she had a daughter from that marriage. She died in London, Englandfrom natural causes on April 26, 1986.
She has a star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fameat 6777 Hollywood Blvd.
* [http://silentladies.com/PLove1.html Silent Ladies and Gents] features pictures of Bessie Love
* [http://www.stanford.edu/~gdegroat/love.htm Article] about Bessie Love.
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