Born Kathleen Morrison in Port Huron, MI, the daughter of an irrigation engineer, actress Colleen Moore was a favorite star of both silent and early sound films in Hollywood. Following her education in a convent, Moore studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory. It was her uncle, Walter Howey, who helped her break into films. It was he, an editor of the Chicago Examiner, who helped D.W. Griffith get his epic films, The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance, past the censors; to pay Howey back for his invaluable help, Griffith hired Moore as an actress in 1917 (Hollywood legend has it that she came in 1916, and actually appeared in Intolerance as an extra, but it's not true). At first Moore played leads in second features and Westerns, frequently opposite cowboy star Tom Mix, but in the 1920s, she bobbed her hair and created the character of a vivacious flapper. The ploy made her an immediate success and Moore went on to play modern heroines in numerous films for First National. She became one of Hollywood's top-grossing stars. Fortunately, in addition to being a popular actress, she was also an astute business woman who learned much from her second and third husbands, both stockbrokers, and invested her money wisely. Later she authored three disparate books: her autobiography, a book about her collection of miniatures, and a book on investments, How Women Can Make Money in the Stock Market.
by Sandra Brennan biography