Sunday, June 9, 2013

Miss Dorothy Seastrom

Let us keep on going with the beautiful ladies of the silent screen. Who doesn't love looking at beautiful black and white pictures of them?

Miss Dorothy Seastrom was born on March 16, 1903 in Dallas, Texas. I am thinking the original spelling of her name may have been the more Swedish 'Sjostrom' and I have tried to look into census records under both names, but nada came up. 

When she was still a child, her family moved to Chicago where Dorothy won a beauty contest. The contest was trying to find the "perfect 1925 model" out of 14 girls. It was this experience that got her interested in acting. 

Dorothy made her screen debut in 1923 in The Call of the Canyon which featured a bunch of big names like Richard Dix, Lois Wilson, Noah Beery, and Marjorie Daw. This film was considered lost for many years until a print was found in 2010 in Russia. A copy of it now resides at the Library of Congress. There is hope to find more, yes!!

Unfortunately, her career only last from 1923 until 1925, and in that short amount of time she only appeared in nine films. Some of her illustrious costars included Mary Philbin, Norma Shearer, Zasu Pitts, Tom Moore, Lilyan Tashman, Colleen Moore, and Jean Hersholt. 

Her last film appearance was in It Must Be Love (1926).

Dorothy Seastrom passed away on January 31, 1930 in Dallas, Texas from tuberculosis. She was only 26 years old. She had gotten sick the previous year and spent some time in a sanatorium in California. Her recuperating was cut short when she was getting pressured by the studios to appear in another picture soon or else her career may just wash away. They eventually agreed to hold on to her contract until she got better, but she was soon losing parts. She came back to make one more picture, but her health kept deteriorating. 

She was buried in the Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas.

Dorothy was married once, to actor Francis Corby. The couple married in 1924 and remained married until her death.

Dorothy barely managed to escape the fate of another silent film actress, Martha Mansfield. While filming a scene for her 1925 film, We Moderns, Dorothy was burned from sparks that fell from a spotlight that had short circuited above her head. One of the men on set threw a table cloth over her head to help put out any fires or sparks that landed on her so she wasn't terrible scarred, but she did need to take some time off to recover. 

She supposedly had taffy colored hair, which...I don't know what color that implies...I think pink...which would have been awesome. So, because of this she was nicknamed the "Candy Kid" by her home studio, First National. I also read that because of her Norse/Swedish roots, she was nicknamed the "Venus of the Snows." Man, people sure got fancy with nicknames back then. 

She, like many other actress (and even actors) of the day had a "NO FAT" clause added to her contract. 

"Dorothy Seastrom's conflict with illness [is] over and she is now radiant and almost too plump. For eight months she has rested in a sanatorium  and at home." ~~ Los Angeles Time - May 2, 1925. What a nice sentiment! Oh, she is feeling better, but she is too fat!

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