Wanda Hawley

Active - 1918 - 1932  |   Born - Jul 30, 1895   |   Died - Mar 18, 1963   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Western, Adventure

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Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

A discovery, it was claimed at the time, of Cecil B. De Mille, typical flapper Wanda Hawley loved diamonds more than stolid Wallace Reid in The Affairs of Anatol (1921), the best of the three films she made for the flamboyant director. Actually, Hawley had begun her screen career years before meeting De Mille, and had appeared under the moniker of Wanda Petit opposite both Tom Mix and William S. Hart. From Scranton, PA, the future screen star had entered the theatrical profession with an amateur group in Seattle, WA, and, at least according to her official bio, later toured the U.S. and Canada as a singer. She entered films in 1917 but her best years were in the early '20s when under contract to Paramount, she starred or co-starred opposite the likes of Milton Sills, Jack Holt, and Wallace Reid. Like so many of her contemporaries, Hawley's career waned in the latter part of the 1920s and her only sound films were a couple of Grade-Z Westerns opposite Buffalo Bill Jr. (aka Jay Wilsey), released in 1931. She reportedly later became a call girl in San Francisco.

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