Jay Belasco

Active - 1916 - 1936  |   Born - Jan 11, 1888   |   Died - May 1, 1949   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

The nephew of legendary playwright/producer David Belasco, American silent-screen leading man Jay Belasco starred in the 1917 two-reel series The Perils of the Secret Service and opposite comedienne Dorothy Devore in Christie comedies. Sadly, a drug habit derailed what might have become an important career. Along with starlet Mildred Moore, Belasco was arrested and later convicted of drug possession in 1920. That and an easily identifiable mention in a scurrilous tell-all book, The Sins of Hollywood (1922), did much to quell any hopes of true stardom. Dorothy Devore gave her old co-star a bit part in the comedy Hold Your Breath (1924), but Belasco found himself essentially blacklisted. Former colleagues continued to come to his aid well into the '30s, and Belasco can be glimpsed as an officer in the Laurel & Hardy farce Bonnie Scotland (1935) and as "man in car" in Harold Lloyd's The Milky Way (1936).

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