Lina Basquette

Active - 1922 - 1996  |   Born - Apr 19, 1907   |   Died - Sep 30, 1994   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Crime, Western, Mystery

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American actress and dancer Lina Basquette began performing as a child when she was featured as a ballerina in the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair. This led her to appear in a series of short films, Lena Basquette Featurettes for Universal pictures. This in turn led to her playing juvenile leads in feature films. As a teen, she abandoned films in favor of dancing and by 1923, the 16-year-old Basquette had become the leading dancer for the Ziegfeld Follies. In 1925, she married Sam Warner, one of the patriarches of Warner Brothers. The following year, Basquette returned to the screen, but this time under the name Lina Basquette. In 1927 Warner died, and she was embroiled in an enormous court battle with the rest of the Warners over her husband's estate and the custody of their child. Later she went on to marry five more times. As an actress, she is best remembered for playing the lead in Cecil B. De Mille's The Godless Girl (1929). During the 1930s, she occasionally played minor parts in films. A favorite actress of German dictator Adolph Hitler, she was invited over to Germany to meet him. She retired in the early '40s, but again made headlines in 1943 after she was raped by a GI. The soldier was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his crime. Basquette spent the last few years of her life living in Pennsylvania and breeding show-quality Great Danes.

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