Estelle Taylor

Active - 1920 - 1945  |   Born - in Wilmington, DE  |   Died - Apr 15, 1958 in Los Angeles, CA  |   Genres - Drama, Crime

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From typist to movie star: that was the dream of many a female office worker of the early 20th century, and that dream came true for breathtaking brunette Estelle Taylor. It helped, of course, that she was possessed with boundless ambition and a keen business sense. Marrying into wealth at age 14, she divorced her husband at 18 when her modelling career began to flourish. She enjoyed the attentions of many a Stage Door Johnny while working as a Broadway chorus dancer, and caught the eye of not a few well-heeled producers when she decided upon a film career in 1920. Exotically beautiful, Taylor essayed such film roles as Miriam in DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1923), Mary Queen of Scots in the Mary Pickford vehicle Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (1925), and Lucrezia Borgia (a delightfully wry performance) in John Barrymore's Don Juan. In 1925, Taylor married world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, but the marriage ended in a well-publicized divorce in 1931. Making the switchover to sound with ease, Taylor continued to play good roles in such talkies as Cimarron (1931) and Call Her Savage (1932, as Clara Bow's mother) until she retired in the early 1930s. Taylor made a few short subjects in the late 1930s; her last appearance was in Jean Renoir's 1945 feature The Southerner. In the 1988 TV-movie biopic Dempsey, Estelle Taylor was portrayed by Victoria Tennant.

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