June 1926 photograph
|Died||March 1, 1979 75) (aged|
Fallbrook, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)|| John Barrymore |
(m. 1928–1934; divorced)
Dr. John Vruwink
(m. 1939–1950; divorced)
|Children||2, including John|
|Parent(s)|| Maurice Costello |
|Relatives||Helene Costello (sister)|
Dolores Costello (September 17, 1903– March 1, 1979) was an American film actress who achieved her greatest success during the era of silent movies. She was nicknamed "The Goddess of the Silent Screen". She was stepmother of John Barrymore's daughter Diana, by his second wife Blanche Oelrichs, the mother of John Drew Barrymore and Dolores (Dee Dee) Barrymore, and the grandmother of John Barrymore III, Blyth Dolores Barrymore, Brahma Blyth (Jessica) Barrymore, and Drew Barrymore.
A film, also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, or photoplay, is a series of still images that, when shown on a screen, create the illusion of moving images. This optical illusion causes the audience to perceive continuous motion between separate objects viewed in rapid succession. The process of filmmaking is both an art and an industry. A film is created by photographing actual scenes with a motion-picture camera, by photographing drawings or miniature models using traditional animation techniques, by means of CGI and computer animation, or by a combination of some or all of these techniques, and other visual effects.
John Sidney Barrymore was an American actor on stage, screen and radio. A member of the Drew and Barrymore theatrical families, he initially tried to avoid the stage, and briefly attempted a career as an artist, but appeared on stage together with his father Maurice in 1900, and then his sister Ethel the following year. He began his career in 1903 and first gained attention as a stage actor in light comedy, then high drama, culminating in productions of Justice (1916), Richard III (1920) and Hamlet (1922); his portrayal of Hamlet led to him being called the "greatest living American tragedian".
Diana Blanche Barrymore Blythe, known professionally as Diana Barrymore, was an American film and stage actress.
Dolores Costello was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the daughter of actors Maurice Costelloand Mae Costello (née Altschuk). She was of Irish and German descent. She had a younger sister, Helene, and the two made their first film appearances in the years 1909–1915 as child actresses for the Vitagraph Film Company. They played supporting roles in several films starring their father, who was a popular matinee idol at the time. Dolores Costello's earliest listed credit on the IMDb is in the role of a fairy in a 1909 adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream .
Pittsburgh is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States, and is the county seat of Allegheny County. As of 2017, a population of 305,704 lives within the city limits, making it the 63rd-largest city in the U.S. The metropolitan population of 2,353,045 is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia, the second-largest in Pennsylvania, and the 26th-largest in the U.S.
Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.
Maurice George Costello was a prominent American vaudeville actor of the late 1890s and early 1900s, who later played a principal role in early American films, as leading man, supporting player and director.
The two sisters appeared on Broadway together as chorines and their success resulted in contracts with Warner Brothers Studios. In 1926, following small parts in feature films, she was selected by John Barrymore to star opposite him in The Sea Beast ,a loose adaptation of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick . Warner Bros. soon began starring her in her own vehicles. Meanwhile, she and Barrymore became romantically involved and married in 1928.
Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
The Sea Beast is a 1926 American silent drama film directed by Millard Webb, starring John Barrymore, Dolores Costello and George O'Hara. The film was a major commercial success and one of the biggest pictures of 1926 becoming Warner Brothers' highest grossing film. The Sea Beast is the first adaptation of the novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, a story about a monomaniacal hunt for a great white whale. However, the film alters the novel's plotline by establishing prequel and sequel elements that are not in the original story—such as the romancing of Esther and Ahab's safe return, respectively—and substitutes a happy ending for Melville's original tragic one. Some of the characters in the film do not appear in Melville's original novel.
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period. Among his best known works include Typee (1846), a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian life, and his whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851).
Within a few years of achieving stardom, the delicately beautiful blonde-haired actress had become a successful and highly regarded film personality in her own right. As a young adult her career developed to the degree that in 1926, she was named a WAMPAS Baby Star, and had acquired the nickname "The Goddess of the Silver Screen".
The WAMPAS Baby Stars was a promotional campaign sponsored by the United States Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers, which honored 13 young actresses each year whom they believed to be on the threshold of movie stardom. The campaign intermittently ran from 1922 to 1934.
Warners alternated Costello between films with contemporary settings and elaborate costume dramas. In 1927, she was re-teamed with John Barrymore in When a Man Loves , an adaptation of Manon Lescaut . In 1928, she co-starred with George O'Brien in Noah's Ark , a part-talkie epic directed by Michael Curtiz.
When a Man Loves is a 1927 American silent historical drama film directed by Alan Crosland and produced and distributed by Warner Bros.. The picture stars John Barrymore and features Dolores Costello in the frequently filmed story of Abbe Prevost's 1731 novel Manon Lescaut. The UK release title was His Lady.
Manon Lescaut is a novel by French author Antoine François Prévost. Published in 1731, it is the seventh and final volume of Mémoires et aventures d'un homme de qualité. It was controversial in its time and was banned in France upon publication. Despite this, it became very popular and pirated editions were widely distributed. In a subsequent 1753 edition, the Abbé Prévost toned down some scandalous details and injected more moralizing disclaimers.
George O'Brien was an American actor, popular during the silent film era and into the talkie era of the 1930s, best known today as the lead actor in F. W. Murnau's 1927 film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.
Costello spoke with a lisp (something that her granddaughter, Drew Barrymore, seemingly inherited), and found it difficult to make the transition to talking pictures, but after two years of voice coaching she was comfortable speaking before a microphone. One of her early sound film appearances was with her sister Helene in Warner Bros.'s all-star extravaganza, The Show of Shows (1929).
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., commonly referred to as Warner Bros. and abbreviated as WB, is an American entertainment company headquartered in Burbank, California and a subsidiary of AT&T's WarnerMedia. Founded in 1923, it has operations in film, television and video games and is one of the "Big Five" major American film studios, as well as a member of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
The Show of Shows is a 1929 American pre-Code musical revue film directed by John G. Adolfi and distributed by Warner Bros. The all talking Vitaphone production cost $850,000 and was shot almost entirely in Technicolor.
Her acting career became less a priority for her following the birth of her first child, Dolores Ethel Mae "DeeDee" Barrymore, on April 8, 1930, and she retired from the screen in 1931 to devote time to her family. Her second child, John Drew Barrymore, was born on June 4, 1932, but the marriage proved difficult due to her husband's increasing alcoholism, and they divorced in 1935.
She resumed her career a year later and achieved some successes, most notably in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936), and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). She retired permanently from acting following her appearance in This is the Army (1943), again under the direction of Michael Curtiz.
Making a rare radio appearance, Costello appeared as the Danish Countess Elsa on the radio program Suspense with an air date of August 28, 1943. The title of the episode is The King's Birthday written by Corporal Leonard Pellitier US Army.
In 1939, she married Dr. John Vruwink, an obstetrician who was her physician during her pregnancies, but they divorced in 1950. Costello spent the remaining years of her life in semi-seclusion, managing an avocado farm. Her film career was largely ruined by the destructive effects of early film makeup, which ravaged her complexion too severely to camouflage.Her final film was This Is the Army (1943). In the 1970s her house was inundated in a flash flood which destroyed a lot of her property and memorabilia from her movie career and life with John Barrymore.
Shortly before her death, she was interviewed for the documentary series Hollywood (1980) discussing her film career. She died from emphysema in Fallbrook, California, in 1979, and is interred in Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles.
Dolores Costello has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to Motion Pictures, at 1645 Vine Street.
Dolores Costello appeared as a child actress in many films made between 1909 and 1915 . Among them are:
|1909||A Midsummer Night's Dream|
|1911||Consuming Love, or St. Valentine's Day in Greenaway Land A Geranium|
|1911||The Child Crusoes|
|1911||His Sister's Children|
|1911||A Reformed Santa Claus|
|1911||Some Good in All|
|1912||Captain Jenks' Dilemma|
|1912||The Meeting of the Ways|
|1912||For the Honor of the Family|
|1912||She Never Knew; Lulu's Doctor|
|1912||The Troublesome Step-Daughters|
|1912||The Money Kings|
|1912||A Juvenile Love Affair|
|1912||Wanted ... a Grandmother|
|1912||Vultures and Doves|
|1912||Captain Barnacle's Legacy|
|1912||The Irony of Fate|
|1913||A Birthday Gift|
|1913||The Hindoo Charm|
|1913||In the Shadow|
|1914||Some Steamer Scooping|
|1914||Etta of the Footlights|
|1914||Too Much Burglar|
|1915||The Evil Men Do|
She restarted her motion picture career in 1923 after spending several years modeling in New York.
|1923||The Glimpses of the Moon||Bit part||lost|
|Lawful Larceny||Nora the maid||lost; six minutes survive|
|1925||Greater Than a Crown||Isabel Frances / Princess of Lividia||?|
|Bobbed Hair||Bit part||extant ; foreign archive Spain|
|1926||Mannequin||Joan Herrick||extant ; Library of Congress|
|The Sea Beast||Esther Harper||extant (George Eastman House)|
|Bride of the Storm||Faith Fitzhugh||lost film|
|The Little Irish Girl||Dot Walker||lost film|
|The Third Degree||Annie Daly||extant (Library of Congress)|
|1927||When a Man Loves||Manon Lescaut||extant (Turner/Warner Bros.)|
|A Million Bid||Dorothy Gordon||incomplete (Library of Congress- Italian title cards)|
|Old San Francisco||Dolores Vasquez||extant (Turner/Warner Bros.)|
|The Heart of Maryland||Maryland Calvert||extant (incomplete; Library of Congress)|
|The College Widow||Jane Witherspoon||lost film|
|1928||Tenderloin||Rose Shannon||lost film|
|Glorious Betsy||Betsy Patterson||extant (silent only, Vitaphone talking, music and sound effects missing)|
|Noah's Ark||Mary/Miriam||extant (Turner and/or UCLA Film & Television Archives)|
|1929||The Redeeming Sin||Joan Billaire||lost film|
|Glad Rag Doll||Annabel Lee||lost film (trailer survives)|
|Madonna of Avenue A||Maria Morton||lost film|
|Hearts in Exile||Vera Zuanova||lost film|
|The Show of Shows||Meet My Sister number||extant (Turner/Warner Bros.)|
|1930||Second Choice||Vallery Grove||lost film|
|1931||Expensive Women||Constance "Connie" Newton||extant (Library of Congress)|
|1936||Little Lord Fauntleroy||"Dearest" Erroll|
|Yours for the Asking||Lucille Sutton|
|1938||The Beloved Brat||Helen Cosgrove|
|Breaking the Ice||Martha Martin|
|1939||King of the Turf||Eve Barnes|
|Whispering Enemies||Laura Crandall|
|Outside These Walls||Margaret Bronson|
|1942||The Magnificent Ambersons||Isabel|
|1943||This Is the Army||Mrs. Davidson|
|1980||Hollywood (documentary)||Herself||her scenes broadcast posthumously|
Drew Blythe Barrymore is an American actress, producer, director, author, model and entrepreneur. She is a member of the Barrymore family of actors, and the granddaughter of John Barrymore. She achieved fame as a child actress with her role in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). She is the recipient of several accolades, including a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a BAFTA nomination.
Joan Crawford was an American actress. She began her career as a dancer in traveling theatrical companies before debuting as a chorus girl on Broadway. Crawford then signed a motion picture contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1925; her career would span decades, studios and controversies.
Michael Curtiz was a Hungarian-born American film director, recognized as one of the most prolific directors in history. He directed classic films from the silent era and numerous others during Hollywood's Golden Age, when the studio system was prevalent.
The Barrymore family is an American acting family of British origin.
Ethel Barrymore was an American actress and a member of the Barrymore family of actors. Barrymore was a stage actress regarded as "The First Lady of the American Theatre" whose career spanned six decades.
Mae Murray was an American actress, dancer, film producer, and screenwriter. Murray rose to fame during the silent film era and was known as "The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips" and "The Gardenia of the Screen".
Mary Astor was an American actress. She is best remembered for her role as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941).
John Drew Barrymore was an American film actor and member of the Barrymore family of actors, which included his father, John Barrymore, and his father's siblings, Lionel and Ethel. He was the father of four children, including actor John Blyth Barrymore and actress Drew Barrymore. Diana Barrymore was his half-sister from his father's second marriage.
Ann Marie Blyth is an American actress and singer, often cast in Hollywood musicals, but also successful in dramatic roles. For her performance as Veda Pierce in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce, Blyth was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Helene Costello was an American stage and film actress, most notably of the silent era.
Cara Williams is an American film and television actress. She is best known for her role as Billy's Mother in The Defiant Ones (1958), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and for her role as Gladys Porter on the 1960-1962 CBS television series Pete and Gladys, for which she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy.
John Blyth Barrymore III is an American film and television actor.
Lowell J. Sherman was an American actor and film director. In an unusual practice for the time, he served as both actor and director on several films in the early 1930s. He later turned exclusively to directing. Having scored huge successes directing the films She Done Him Wrong and Morning Glory, he was at the height of his career when he died after a brief illness.
Adamae Vaughn, also billed as Ada Mae Vaughn, was a movie actress born in Ashland, Kentucky. Her sister was film actress Alberta Vaughn. Adamae was at first Alberta's manager and chaperone. When the studio needed a brunette, Adamae, a blonde, sent her sister.
Dolores Moran was an American film actress and model.
Mae Costello was an American stage and film actress of the early twentieth-century.
Expensive Women is a 1931 American pre-Code talking film drama. It was produced by First National Pictures and distributed through their parent company Warner Bros.. The film was directed by silent film veteran Hobart Henley and stars Dolores Costello. It was Costello's final film as a leading lady and star for Warners, which she had been since 1925. She retired to be the wife of John Barrymore and to raise their family. Costello would return to films five years later after a long hiatus and the end of her marriage to Barrymore, but never regained the luster she enjoyed as a Warners star.
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