Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bathing Beauties VIII

Lillian Biron (or Byron) was born September 2, 1898 in Kansas. Not much is known about her, at least that I could dig up. I know her career began in 1917 and lasted until 1928 with 50 films and shorts. She passed away on December 23, 1957 in Los Angeles. 


Yvonne Howell was born Julia Rose Shevlin on July 31, 1905 in Chicago, Illinois. She was the only child born to vaudeville and silent comedy star, Alice Howell and her husband Richard Howell (Also used the name Richard Smith...gets a bit confusing). 
I have seen Yvonne listed as both a Sennett Bathing Beauty and as a Century Follies Girl, which...I don't think the latter really caught on. According to a 1924 magazine article, Yvonne deemed herself as the youngest and most beautiful of the Follies girls. Not self conscious at all, is she?
Yvonne first entered pictures in 1924 and appeared in roughly 11 films until she retired in 1931. After she retired, she worked as a nurse's aide during WWII and later as a tutor. 
She met her future husband, director George Stevens on the set of a film when Stevens rescued Yvonne and another actress from a runaway horse and carriage. How story book! The couple married in 1930 and she gave birth to their son, George Jr. in 1932. Unfortunately, the couple ended up divorcing in 1947.
Yvonne passed away on May 27, 2010 in Hollywood. She is buried between her mother and her ex husband at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills.


Muriel Montrose was born Muriel Virginia Montrose on May 27, 1906 in Denver, Colorado. She was the oldest child born to James Montrose, a grocer, and his wife, Alice Anders. Her brother, James Jr., was born four years after her. He also reportedly worked briefly in Hollywood in the sound department, but I can't find any record of that. He died in 1949 from MS.
The Montrose family moved to Hollywood in the 1920's and Muriel began attending Hollywood High School. It was while attending school that she also began working at Sennett Studios as a Bathing Beauty, a stand-in for Clara Bow, and as one of the studio's first stunt women. Her credited film career was not long at all, only four films between 1925 and 1927. 
She married John Stephens Dow in 1928. The couple had two sons, Dion in 1931 and Tony in 1945. Tony Dow would later become famous as Wally Cleaver in the television show, Leave it to Beaver. Muriel worked as her son's personal manager. She also worked creating ornamental wreaths and arrangements for Bloomingdale's. Muriel and Dow remained married until his death in 1987. After her husband's death, Muriel became a local celebrity in her neighborhood. She was nicknamed, "The Cookie Lady" because she handed out cookies to the local children every day (EVERY. DAY.) She also enjoyed reading, gardening, listening to music and reportedly always dressed in white. Sounds like she turned into a mixture of Emily Dickinson and Mrs. Claus. I approve.
Muriel passed away on April 30, 2001 in Canoga Park, California. I believe her ashes were scattered at sea near Catalina. 


Myrtle Reeves was born Myrtle Lee Reeves on January 15, 1897 in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the second child born to William and Maggie Reeves. Her sister, Mary was two years older. She lived with her sister for awhile in California during the 1920's according to census records. 
Myrtle made her film debut in 1915, appearing in around 16 films and shorts until she retired in 1920. What Myrtle is most remembered for, even now, is that she was married to comedian Oliver Hardy from 1921 until 1937. Reportedly, the marriage was rocky from almost the beginning. I have heard different reasons as to why their union was so unhappy, from Myrtle's reported alcoholism, to Hardy's infidelity. The reports of her alcoholism makes the fact that her nickname was "Happy" a little bit, well, sad. She never remarried after the divorce.
Myrtle passed away on January 18, 1983 in Garden Grove, California. I read that she could be buried in Good Shepherd Cemetery in Huntington Beach, California.

1 comment:

  1. If someone gave me a bathing suit like the last gal is wearing, I would pass on it and slap that person in the face:) Fashion moments I guess:) Muriel sounds like such a sweetie