Already a veteran stage performer in her teens, Louise Fazenda entered films with Universal's Joker Comedy unit in 1913. Two years later she joined Mack Sennett's Keystone company, where she rose to stardom. In real life a most attractive young woman, Fazenda deliberately "dressed down" for her early film appearances, portraying a gawky, frizzy-haired, buck-toothed bumpkin, just ripe for being seduced and abandoned by any city slicker who happened along. Sennett admired Fazenda's comic gifts and her willingness to do anything for a laugh, and accordingly starred her in his 1920 feature film Down on the Farm. By the mid-1920s, Fazenda was an extremely popular character actress, contributing frolicsome comic characterizations to such films as The Bat (1925), The Babe Comes Home (1926), The Cradle Snatchers (1927) and Noah's Ark (1928). During this period, she often put her country-girl characterization on the back burner to portray elegant society dowagers, alternately browbeating their wealthy husbands or enjoying the high-priced attentions of oily gigolos. While under contract to Warner Bros/First National, Fazenda met and married producer Hal B. Wallis, several years her junior. Retiring from films in 1939, Louise Fazenda spent her final decades as one of Hollywood's most beloved social leaders, remaining active in charitable and humanitarian causes until her death at the reported age of 66.
by Hal Erickson biography