Dark-eyed American actress Seena Owen was praised by virtually every cameraman of the silent era as being one of the greatest natural beauties, impossible to photograph badly. She started her film career at the old Kalem Studios, then moved to D.W. Griffith's company, where she appeared as the Princess Beloved in Griffith's multipart "film fugue" Intolerance (1916). It was on the set of this picture that Ms. Owen met her future husband, actor George Walsh, with Griffith himself allegedly playing cupid with the cuddly couple. Twelve years later she played another monarch, the insane Queen Regina, in Von Stroheim's Queen Kelly; the highlight of this performance was the scene in which, dressed only in a filmy nightgown, Owen flogged Gloria Swanson throughout the marbled halls of her palace. When talkies revealed a flat and listless voice, Seena Owen quit acting to become a prolific screenwriter; while working at Paramount, she cowrote two of Dorothy Lamour's biggest hits, Aloma of the South Seas (1941) and Rainbow Island (1941).
by Hal Erickson biography