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Colleen Moore Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (2)  | Spouse (4)  | Trivia (17)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Port Huron, Michigan, USA
Died in Paso Robles, California, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameKathleen Morrison
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Colleen Moore was born Kathleen Morrison in Port Huron, Michigan. Her father was an irrigation engineer and his job was good enough to provide the family a middle-class environment. She was educated in parochial schools and studied at the famed Detroit Conservatory. Colleen's family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and later to Tampa, Florida, where she spent some of her happiest years. She described her childhood as a happy one where her parents were very much in love. In fact, she claims she never heard her parents argue with each other, although she admitted they had their differences. As a child she was fascinated with films and the queens of the day such as Marguerite Clark and Mary Pickford and kept a scrapbook of those actresses; she even kept a blank space for the day when she would be a famous star and could put her picture there. When a neighbor down the street from her had a piano delivered, Colleen talked the deliverymen into taking the wooden packing crate to her house, and she set it up as a stage. It was the beginning of her career, as she and her friend performed plays for the other neighborhood children. By 1917 she would be on her way to becoming a star. Colleen's uncle, Walter C. Howey, was the editor of the "Chicago Tribune" and had helped D.W. Griffith make his films The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) more presentable to the censors. Knowing of his niece's acting aspirations, Hovey asked Griffith to help her get a start in the motion picture industry. No sooner had she arrived in Hollywood than she found herself playing in five films that year, The Savage (1917) being her first. Her first starring role was as Annie in Little Orphant Annie (1918). Colleen was on her way. She also starred in a number of westerns opposite Tom Mix, but the movie that defined her as a "flapper" was the classic Flaming Youth (1923), in which she played Patricia Fentriss. By 1927 she was the top box-office draw in the US, pulling in the phenomenal sum of $12,500 a week (unlike many other young, highly-paid actresses, however, Colleen did not spend her money frivolously. Instead, she put it into the stock market, making very shrewd investments). She successfully made the transition into the "talkie" era of sound films. Her final film role was as Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter (1934). She did make one final appearance in the TV mini-series Hollywood (1980), but it was her silver screen appearances that mattered most. After she retired she wrote two books on investing and went so far as to marry two stockbrokers. On January 25, 1988, Colleen died of an undisclosed ailment in Paso Robles, California. She was 88.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Her father was an irrigation engineer. She was convent-educated and studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory. D.W. Griffith brought her to Hollywood in 1917, returning a favor to her uncle, 'Walter C. Howey , the Chicago Examiner editor who helped him clear The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) through the censors. She played leads in B pictures and Westerns, several opposite Tom Mix. The movie which defined her as the inventor of the "flapper" look was Flaming Youth (1923). The year that came out she married the first of her four husbands, Frank McCormick, production head of First National Pictures, later part of Warner Brothers. By 1927 she was the top box-office attraction in America and making $12,500 a week, much of which she invested in the stock market. She wrote a book on investing and married two stockbrokers. After she retired she traveled widely, frequently to China. At 83 she married her fourth husband. At the time of her death she was writing a novel, a Hollywood murder mystery centered around a Mae West type.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Spouse (4)

Paul Magenot (1983 - 25 January 1988) ( her death)
Homer P. Hargrave (1937 - 1964) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Albert P. Scott (1932 - 1934) ( divorced)
John McCormick (1923 - 1930)

Trivia (17)

Older sister of actor Cleve Moore.
She had one blue eye and one brown eye.
Cousin of Jack Stone.
Donated a copy of her now lost film, Flaming Youth (1923), to a museum in the early Nineteen-sixties. Due to a lack of interest in Silent Era motion pictures, the museum neither preserved nor restored the film and the print deteriorated. In his essay "Echoes of the Jazz Age," author F. Scott Fitzgerald cites Flaming Youth (1923) as the only film that truly captured the sexual revolution of the Roaring Twenties.
In the 1960s she formed a film production company, Vid-More Productions, with director King Vidor, after she met him for the first time in 40 years. Though they had kept in touch in the intervening years, they had resolved never to see each other again after they had a secret affair during the 1920s.
WAMPAS Baby Star of 1922. This was a promotional campaign sponsored by the United States Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers (WAMPAS) which honored young actresses each year whom they believed to be on the threshold of stardom.
Some sources credit the year of her birth as 1902.
At the height of her popularity she earned a million dollars a year from films. Unlike many of her peers, she was exceptionally savvy with her money, investing it carefully. As a result, she converted her film salaries into an even greater fortune after her retirement from acting.
As a hobby, she decided to build the grandest doll house ever, "The Enchanted Castle." She designed it, and working with hundreds of craftsmen over the course of a decade, completed it at the cost of some $500,000. Among its many one-of-a-kind features is a library that comes complete with miniature versions of many great works of literature, including a tiny version of "Tarzan of the Apes" signed by Tarzan's creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Enchanted Castle is now on public display at Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry.
She starred in three silent film versions of hit Broadway musicals: Sally (1925), Irene (1926) and Oh Kay! (1928).
Interviewed in "Talking to the Piano Player: Silent Film Stars, Writers and Directors Remember" by Stuart Oderman (BearManor Media).
Loretta Young's daughter Judy Lewis wrote that, although Mervyn LeRoy would later claim that he discovered Loretta Young, it was in truth Colleen Moore. Colleen even suggested that her name be changed from Gretchen Young to Loretta Young. The name came from Colleen's favorite childhood doll, Laurita.
Moore was a staunch Republican. In October 1932, alongside Buster Keaton and Bebe Daniels, she appeared at a Republican Party fundraiser in support of incumbent President Herbert Hoover against Democratic Party candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Governor of New York.
Profiled in "Speaking of Silents: First Ladies of the Screen" by William Drew, 1997.
Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once described her screen persona: ''Colleen Moore represents the young collegiate. The carefree, lovable child who rules bewildered but adoring parents with an iron hand, beats her brothers and beaus on the tennis courts, dances like a professional and has infallible methods for getting her own way. All deliriously celluloid, but why not? The public notoriously prefer glamour to realism. Pictures like Miss Moore's flapper epics present a glamorous dream of youth and gaiety and swift, tapping feet. Youth -- actual youth -- is essentially crude, but her movies idealize it, even as George Gershwin idealizes jazz in Rhapsody in Blue.''.
Godmother of Patti Reagan, the daughter of Ronald Reagan and his second wife Nancy Reagan. Later, Moore was a special guest at Patti Reagan's 1984 wedding to Paul Grilley. In earlier years, Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan had vacationed with the politically astute Moore and her husband in Arizona.
Moore claimed that she owed her career to Walter Howey, her uncle. Film producer D.W. Griffith owed a debt to Howey as he had helped The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) pass the Chicago censorship board. As the managing editor of The Chicago Examiner, he was a key figure in the publishing empire of William Randolph Hearst. Howey was the inspiration for Walter Burns, the fictional Chicago newspaper editor in the play "The Front Page," which was adapted on the screen as The Front Page (1931) and His Girl Friday (1940).

Personal Quotes (2)

[on fellow "flapper" Clara Bow] I liked Clara. A very warm, sweet, generous girl. What great potential! But she wasn't a finisher. Her mind was like a sponge, but she didn't have the concentration or ability to see it through. She was quite ingenuous. People would go into shock over her salty language.
[1926 interview] Don't worry, girls. No edict of fashion arbiters will ever swathe you in long and cumbersome skirts. The American girl will see to this. She is independent, a thinker will not follow slavishly the ordinances of those who in the past have decreed this or that for her to wear.

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