Phyllis Haver

Active - 1919 - 1949  |   Born - Jan 6, 1899   |   Died - Nov 19, 1960   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Fresh out of Los Angeles Polytechnic High, Phyllis Haver paid a visit to the Mack Sennett studios, hoping to get a job as an actress. According to Haver, her "audition" consisted of having the attractiveness of her knees assessed by a bored Mack Sennett. Slightly more talented than most of the Sennett bathing beauties, Haver quickly worked her way up to leading roles, then left 2-reelers for a substantial career in silent features. Among her best roles were accused murderess Roxy Hart in the first film version of Chicago (1927) and the no-better-than-she-ought-to-be Shanghai Mabel in What Price Glory? (1927). Sensing that her career would end when talkies began, Haver retired in 1929 to marry a New York millionaire (According to one story, she invoked the "act of God" clause in her contract, cracking "if marrying a millionaire ain't an act of God, I don't know what is"). Divorced in 1945, Haver continued to live in wealthy retirement, appearing before the cameras one last time during a 1954 TV testimonial to her old boss Mack Sennett. In 1960, Phyllis Haver died of an overdose of barbiturates.

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