A Graduate of New York's Sargent School of Acting, brunette Olive Tell appeared in stock in such plays as The Intruder and Under Pressure prior to making her screen bow with the Mutual company in 1917. She became a star later that year in The Unforseen, a hoary old melodrama in which she eloped with a bounder who later commits suicide. Stardom proved fleeting, however, and by 1920 she was playing the "Other Woman." A busy bit player in the sound era as well, Tell is probably best remembered for playing Princess Johanna, Marlene Dietrich's mother in Joseph Von Sternberg's The Scarlet Empress (1934). Her younger sister, Alma, was also in films.