|Date of Birth||19 March 1897, Beaver, Utah, USA|
|Date of Death||18 April 1974, Glendale, California, USA (heart attack)|
|Birth Name||Eleanor Luicime Compson|
The Prettiest Girl in Pictures|
The Hetty Green of Hollywood
|Height||5' 2½" (1.59 m)|
Mini Bio (2)
A mining engineer's daughter, blond, blue-eyed Betty Compson began in show business playing violin in a Salt Lake City vaudeville establishment for $15 a week. Following that, she went on tour, accompanied by her mother, with an act called 'the Vagabond Violinist'. Aged eighteen, she appeared on Alexander Pantages Theatre Circuit, again doing her violin solo vaudeville routine, and was spotted there by comedy producer Al Christie. Christie quickly changed her stage name from Eleanor to Betty. For the next few years, she turned out a steady stream of one-reel and two-reel slapstick comedies, frequently paired with Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle.
In 1919, Betty was signed by writer/director George Loane Tucker to co-star opposite Lon Chaney as Rose in The Miracle Man (1919). The film was a huge critical and Financial success and established Betty Compson as a major star at Paramount (under contract from 1921 to 1925). One of the more highly paid performers of the silent screen, her weekly earnings exceeded $5000 a week at the peak of her career. She came to own a fleet of luxury limousines and was able to move from a bungalow in the hills overlooking Hollywood to an expensive mansion on Hollywood Boulevard. From 1921, Betty also owned her own production company. She went on to make several films in England between 1923 and 1924 for the director Graham Cutts.
During the late 1920's, Betty appeared in a variety of dramatic and comedic roles. She received good reviews acting opposite George Bancroft as a waterfront prostitute in The Docks of New York (1928), and was even nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of a carnival girl in The Barker (1928). She gave a touching performance in The Great Gabbo (1929), directed by her then-husband James Cruze, as the assistant of a demented ventriloquist (Erich von Stroheim), with whom she is unhappily in love. That same year, she appeared in RKO's first sound film, Street Girl (1929) and was briefly under contract to that studio, cast in so-called 'women's pictures', such as The Lady Refuses (1931) and Three Who Loved (1931).
The stature of her roles began to diminish from the mid-1930's, though she continued to act in character parts until 1948. Betty's personal fortunes also declined. This came about primarily as a result of her marital contract to the alcoholic Cruze, whom she had divorced in 1929 . For several years, Cruze had failed to pay his income tax and Betty (linked financially to Cruze) ended up being sued by the Federal Government to the tune of $150,000. This forced her to sell her Hollywood villa, her cars and her antiques. In later years, Betty Compson developed her own a cosmetics label and ran a business in California, producing personalised ashtrays for the hospitality industry.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis
Betty Compson was born Eleanor Luicime Compson on March 19, 1897, in Beaver, Utah. After her father's death she dropped out of school to help her family. She began her show business career as a violinist and toured with her mother in vaudeville. Betty was offered a contract with Al Christie in 1915. Over the next five years she appeared in more than forty short films. Her career really took off when she costarred with Lon Chaney in the 1919 drama The Miracle Man. She was called "The Prettiest Girl in Pictures"and became one of highest paid actresses in Hollywood. Betty was also one of the first women to run her own production company. In 1921 she starred in and produced the movie Prisoners Of Love. She married actor James Cruz in 1925 but they had a rocky relationship and separated several times. Unlike some other silent stars Betty was able to make the transition to talkies. She was nominated for an Academy award in 1928 for her performance in The Barker. Betty finally ended her marriage to James in 1930 and was left nearly bankrupt by their divorce. She was forced to sell her home and many of her possessions. Betty continued to make several movies a year and even started her own cosmetics line. She auditioned for the role of Belle in Gone With The Wind but did not get the part. Her second marriage, to producer Irving Weinberg, lasted just four years. At their divorce trial she testified that he left her home alone while he went out with other women. In 1944 she married professional boxer Silvius John Gall and decided to retire from Hollywood. Her final film was the comedy Here Comes Trouble. Betty and her husband went into business together and were happily married until his death in 1962. Betty died from a heart attack on April 18, 1974. She is buried at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Elizabeth Ann
|Silvius John Gall||(8 August 1944 - 16 April 1962) (his death)|
|Irving Weinberg||(14 December 1933 - 1937) (divorced)|
|James Cruze||(25 October 1925 - 20 May 1930) (divorced)|
Personal Quotes (2)
|Some Chaperone (1915)||$50 a week|
|The Miracle Man (1919)||$125 a week.|
|Woman to Woman (1923)||$3,500 /week|
|Woman to Woman (1923)||1000 pounds per week|
|Miami (1924)||$3,500 per week|
|The Prude's Fall (1925)||1000 pounds per week|