Billie Dove

Foto: Fred Hartsook (1876-1930)

1903 - 1998

The actress Billie Dove was born as Lilian Bohny, daughter of a Swiss immigrant, in New York.

She began her career as a Follies girl in 1917 but she early directed her attention to the film business. In 1921 she got her first small role in the movie "Get-rich-quick Wallingford".
When she played at Lon Chaney's side in the movie "All the Brothers Were Valiant" (23) she got married with director Irvin Willat at the same year. Subsequently she played other leading roles in movies of her husband, so in "The Wanderer of the Wasteland" (24), "The Air Mail" (25) and "The Ancient Highway" (25).

When Douglas Fairbanks sr. offered her the role in his movie "The Black Pirate" (26) it marked the breakthrough for Billie Dove. She became an international star over night who got about 35'000 letters a month from fans all around the world.

In the next years she played successful in the silent movies "The Marriage Clause" (26), "Sensation Seekers" (27) - both directed by Lois Weber - "The Stolen Bride" (27), "American Beauty" (27), "Night Watch" (28) and "Adoration" (28).

In 1927 she met the young and eccentric Howard Hughes. He became obsessed by her and offered her husband $325'000 for a divorce. After that he bought her contract at First National and signed her on for his own company  "Caddo Pictures". But the movies "The Age of Love" (31) and "Cock of the Air" (32) failed.

Although Billie Dove took part in successful talkies like "Her Private Life" (29), "The Painted Angel" (29), "A Notorious Affair" (30) and "The Lady Who Dared" (31) beside these failures she decided after the movie "Blondie of the Follies" (32) to finish her impressive career and retired from the film business. She got married with Bob Kenaston in 1933 with whom she had two children.

It remained the memories to a splendid time of the 20's where she ranked together with Colleen Moore, Clara Bow, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo among the most popular actresses.

Other movies with Billie Dove:
At the Stage Door (21) Polly of the Follies (22) Beyond the Rainbow (22) Youth to Youth (22) Madness of Youth (23) Soft Boiled (23) The Lone Star Ranger (23) The Thrill Chaser (23) On Time (24) Try and Get It (24) Yankee Madness (24) The Roughneck (24) The Light of Western Stars (25) Wild Horse Mesa (25) The Lucky Horseshoe (25) The Fighting Heart (25) Folly of Vanity (25) Kid Boots (26) The Lone Wolf Returns (26) An Affair of the Follies (27) The Tender Hour (27) The Love Mart (27) The Heart of a Follies Girl (28) Yellow Lily (28) Careers (29) The Man and the Moment (29) The Other Tomorrow (30) Sweethearts and Wives (30) One Night at Susie's (30)