Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bathing Beauties III

Dorothy Dorr was born Dorothy Evelyn Wilkinson on October 4, 1897 in St. Louis, Missouri. I don't know anything about her family history or her personal life during and after her Hollywood days. I do know that she started off in shows on Broadway before she went to Hollywood. Her film career last from 1921 until 1925 with 14 movie credits to her name. Dorothy passed away on September 5, 1987 in St. Louis. I do not know where she is buried. 


Cecile/Cecille/Cecilia Evans was born May 7, 1902 in Oxford, Kansas. All I know about her family history is that her mother's maiden name was Furnas and that Cecile had a younger sister named Aletha who she lived with after her film career. 
When she was 15 years old, she came to Hollywood with her Uncle Bill and on a dare entered a bathing beauty contest being sponsored by Sid Grauman (yes, THAT Sid Grauman). Cecile ended up winning first place and her prizes included $100 and a two-week contract with Mack Sennett. She would end up becoming one of the first girls to be named a Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty. Her career lasted way beyond two weeks, spanning from 1915 until 1928 and having around 28 films under her belt. I did read somewhere that it wasn't just Mack that helped her in her career but that she also had a lot of help from Paul Bern! Paul certainly used his Hollywood clout on many a silent film starlet. Later in her career it was Cecile who was helping out other actresses. She was partly responsible for getting famed fan dancer Sally Rand her first big break into films.

Mack noticed right off that Ceci (her nickname among friends) had the best set of legs among his bevy of beauties and often used her legs in close ups for other girls! She eventually got her best assets insured and earned the nickname, "The Girl with the $100,000 Legs." By doing this, Ceci became the first Hollywood actor to insure a body part...sorry, Betty Grable! After insuring her gams, whenever she was out in public she wore a platinum and diamond anklet to briefly 'blind' anyone who may be checking her out. This outgoing flapper attitude got the best of her on at least one occasion when she was arrested for speeding and spent two days in jail. Apparently, a number of Hollywood studio heads tried to get her bailed out, but Ceci didn't seem to mind! She thought the experience was great for a memoir she planned to write.
Ceci eventually left Hollywood to concentrate more on her personal life. During an interview she did with the Daily Independent Journal in 1960 she said, "I was never too serious about an acting career." Around the same time she retired she married manufacturer, William Pierce Graham, brother of cosmetics maven, Eve Arden. I am not sure of the marriage dates, but I believe they did remain married until Graham's death. The couple moved to Marin, California, a place that she had always wanted to live, and that is where years later she would pass away on November 11, 1960. 
"As I walked into the Sennett Studios all I could think of was that I might meet Mabel Normand. Of course I did meet her, she took every new girl under her wing, especially if the girl was a little shy which I was in those days. She taught me how you had to kid right back with Ben Turpin or any of them, and when I went to play a part with Douglas Fairbanks Sr in 'The Thief of Baghdad' she saw me through that, too. She was the guiding genius of every girl who worked for Sennett." -- Cecille Evans (Milwaukee Sentinel - December 12, 1948)


Mildred June was born on December 23, 1903 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was the only child born to Maurice June, a salesman, and Martha June Knight Foster. When she was still a child, the family moved to California where on top of her regular schooling, Mildred took dancing lessons and frequently appeared in school plays. 
Mildred's film career lasted from 1919 until 1927 and consisted of a little over 50 film credits. Most of her film roles were bit parts and Bathing Beauty roles, but she does have the distinction of having written and starred in her own short, 1927's Crazy to Act, which also featured Oliver Hardy. 
She was reportedly to have been married twice, first to a dentist named Herbert Edward Capps  from 1922 until 1927. Her second husband was a man named Bud Sheehan who she married in 1930 and it seems that he died a few years later.
Mildred June passed away on June 19, 1940 due to cirrhosis of the liver after a history of alcoholism. She was interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in the same niche as her mother. There is another name attached to the niche, Arthur Foster who was only a few years older than Mildred and died the same year she did. I couldn't find any info on her having a brother, so I would be interested to know who he is exactly. 


Mary Mayberry was born on March 29, 1909 in New York City, New York. 
What I know about Mary is that her career lasted from 1926 until 1930 with around 30 film roles. I can't seem to find a death date for her, so it could be that she is still alive, but I'm doubting this. I believe it is more likely that she just disappeared from the limelight and lived a quiet life off the radar. 


  1. I wonder about their children and grandchildren(if they had any) if they knew about their mom's or Grandmom's fame back in the day. I bet that Arthur was her brother....

    1. Every once in awhile I get an e-mail or comment from a relative of a silent film star that I covered, so hopefully we will hear from one of them!!

  2. Regarding Dorothy Dorr, I don't believe this Dorothy Dorr was ever on Broadway, there is a Dorothy Dorr, born 1864 that was married to Henry Jackson W Dam, that was on Broadway from 1902 to 1915. (Dorothy Dorr, who married Henry, is listed as Daisey Darr on the marriage record in 1892, London, England)