Virginia Davis

Foto: Albert Witzel (1879-1929)

1918 - 2009

The child actress Virgina Davis was taken to auditions by her mother when she was only 2 years old. Beside it she also got dancing lessons.
Soon Virginia Davis was engaged for first commercials which were shown in cinema between the feature movies. It followed acting lessons at the Georgie Brown's Dramatic School in Kansas City.

In 1923 she was spotted by none other than Wals Disney who engaged the young Virgina Davis for his short movies. These movies mixed real actors with animation. Her first movie was "Alice's Wonderland" (23) - in this movie even Walt Disney had a little appearance.

When Walt Disney went to Hollywood Virgina Davis and her mother followed him soon not least because of health reasons of Virgina Davis which required a warmer and dry climate.
Because of her former collaboration with Disney he contracted Virignia Davis and they shot some more movies of that kind in the next years. At the beginning the movies were shot in the garage of an uncle of Walt Disney. Roy O. Disney was behind the camera and the dog of the family took part in the short movies as well.

They realised a dozen movies till 1925 in which Virginia Davis impersonated the role of Alice. To these productions belong "Alice's Day at Sea" (24), "Alice's Wild West Show" (24), "Alice the Peacemaker" (24), "Alice and the Three Bears" (24), "Alice Cans the Cannibals" (25) and "Alice in the Jungle" (25).

Ater the collaboration with Walt Disney ended Virginia Davis acted in some feature movies to like "The Dark Angel" (25) directed by George Fitzmaurice with Ronald Colman, Vilma Banky, Wyndham Standing and Helen Jerome Eddy, playing the role of Cissy Falloner in the Western "The Man from Red Gulch" (25) with Harry Carey, Mark Hamilton and Harriet Hammond as well as "The Greater Glory/The Viennese Medley" (26) with Conway Tearle, Anna Q. Nilsson, May Allison and Jean Hersholt.

She continued her film career in the next years but did not manage a breakthrough from a child star to an adult actress.
In the next years she played smaller roles in the productions "Three on a Match" (32), "Flying Down to Rio" (33), "Murder at the Vanities" (34), "Vivacious Lady" (38), "You'll Never Get Rich" (41), "My Gal Sal" (42) and "The Harvey Girls" (46). Beside it she also appeared in plays time and again.
Moreover she also used the pseudonym Mary Daily and took part in movies like "College Rhythm" (34), "Hands Across the Rockies" (41) and "Escort Girl" (41).

She retired from the film business at the age of 38 and she made an education as an interior decorator. Later she worked as an editor for the magazine "Living for Young Homemakers" and as an agent for several real estate companies.

The early works of Walt Disney were rediscovered in the 90s and with it the young Virginia Davis. She experienced an unexpected late popularity at an old age. It followed invitations to silent movie festivals and she enjoyed the contact with the audience.

Other movies with Virginia Davis:
Alice's Spooky Adventgure (24) Alice's Fishy Story (24) Alice and the Dog Catcher (24) Alice Gets in Dutch (24) Alice Hunting in Africa (24) Alice the Piper (24) Alice the Toreador (25) Alice Gets Stung (25) Street Scene (31) College Holiday (36) Week-End in Havana (41) Song of the Islands (42) Footlight Serenade (42) Iceland (42)