Dorothy Mackaill

Active - 1920 - 1937  |   Born - Mar 4, 1903   |   Died - Aug 12, 1990   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Crime, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

In defiance of her father's wishes, 11-year-old Dorothy Mackaill ran away from her British hometown and headed for London, hoping to launch a show business career. While still in her teens, she secured work as a chorus dancer in England and France, eventually appearing on Broadway in The Ziegfeld Follies. Making her film debut in 1920, she rapidly rose to stardom, often as not playing a vivacious flapper. When talkies came in, Mackaill managed to hold on to her star status well into the early 1930s, appearing in programmers with titles like Kept Husbands (1931) and Flirting Widows (1931). She also starred in Columbia's Love Affair (1932), wherein her young, clean-cut leading man was Humphrey Bogart. Mackaill's starring career faded as the 1930s wore on, ending altogether in 1937 when she left films to care for her ailing mother. She spent the next five decades living in semi-retirement in Honolulu, occasionally accepting small roles in TV's Hawaii 5-0. Married three times, Dorothy Mackaill's first husband was director Lothar Mendes.

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