Stage actress Dorothy Peterson made her screen debut in 1930's Mothers Cry, a lachrymose domestic drama that required the 29-year-old actress to age nearly three decades in the course of the film. Mothers Cry instantly typecast Peterson in careworn maternal roles, which she continued to essay for the rest of her career. Most of her subsequent film assignments were supporting roles like Mrs. Hawkins in Treasure Island (1934); often as not she received no screen credit, not even for her touching cameo in 1943's Air Force. In 1942, she briefly replaced Olive Blakeney as Mrs. Aldrich in the comedy series entry Henry Aldrich for President. Her last screen appearance was as Shirley Temple's mother in That Hagen Girl (1947). Dorothy Peterson remained active on the New York TV and theatrical scene until the early '60s.