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Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 12 September 1909London, England, UK
Date of Death 9 September 1999Marylebone, London, England, UK
Birth NameDorothy Irene Boucher
Nickname The Brunette Bombshell
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Glamorous, dark-eyed leading lady, touted as Britain's answer to Hollywood's Clara Bow, the 'It Girl'. She was also sometimes referred to as 'Britain's first female sex symbol', reflected by having her initially cast as vamps or flappers. Born Dorothy Irene Boucher, she started out as a typist and then joined her brother at Harrods department store, where she was employed as a fashion model. After being a finalist in a Daily Mirror beauty contest, she became a photographer's model, and, from there, segued into acting. Until 1934, she continued to be billed in some of her pictures as 'Dorothy Bouchier'. However, she had by then adopted her stage name 'Chili', derived from a novelty song, popularised by the Savoy Havana Band in 1923 ("I Love My Chili Bom Bom").

On screen from 1927, Chili was under contract to Herbert Wilcox at British & Dominions. She made a few modestly successful films at the studio, notably Venetian Nights (1931). However, her position as pre-eminent leading lady at the studio was eventually usurped by new discovery Anna Neagle (who was diligently mentored by Wilcox and later became his wife). Chili's film career thus went into decline. The situation was not helped by an unhappy interlude in Hollywood, which came about as a stipulation of her 1935 contract with Warner Brothers. Finding herself essentially unemployed, she returned to Britain, but was henceforth relegated to appearing in second features. She spent the war years entertaining troops as part of ENSA. Chili remained a busy performer on the London stage (into her eighties), interspersed with occasional character parts on screen until 1960.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (3)

Harry Milton (1929 - 1935) (divorced)
Peter de Greeff (? - ?)
Bluey Hill (? - 1986) (his death)

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