Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Billie Dove

Billie Dove

From Wikipedia:

Billie Dove

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Billie Dove

Billie Dove, early 1920s
BornBertha Bohny
May 14, 1903(1903-05-14)[1]
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedDecember 31, 1997(1997-12-31) (aged 94)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Other namesLillian Bohny
Years active1918–1932 (brief reappearance in 1962)
SpouseIrvin Willat (1923–1929; divorced)
Robert Kenaston (1933–1970; his death); 2 children
John Miller (1973–19??)
Billie Dove (May 14, 1903[2][3] – December 31, 1997) was an American actress.

Early life and career

She was born as Bertha Bohny in New York City to Charles and Bertha (née Kagl) Bohny, Swiss immigrants. As a teen, she worked as a model to help support her family and was hired as a teenager by Florenz Ziegfeld to appear in his Ziegfeld Follies Revue. She legally changed her name to Lillian Bohny in the early 1920s. and migrated to Hollywood, where she began appearing in silent films. She soon became one of the most popular actresses of the 1920s, appearing in Douglas Fairbanks' smash hit Technicolor film The Black Pirate (1926), as Rodeo West in The Painted Angel (1929), and was dubbed The American Beauty (1927), the title of one of her films.
She married the director of her seventh film, Irvin Willat, in 1923. The two divorced in 1929. Dove had a huge legion of male fans, one of her most persistent being Howard Hughes. She shared a three-year romance with Hughes and was engaged to marry him, but she ended the relationship without ever giving cause. Hughes cast her as a comedian in his film Cock of the Air (1932). She also appeared in his movie The Age for Love (1931).


She was also a pilot, poet, and painter.[4]

Early retirement

Following her last film, Blondie of the Follies (1932), Dove retired from the screen to be with her family, although she was at the time still popular. She next married oil executive Robert Kenaston in 1933, a marriage that lasted for 37 years until his death in 1973; they had a son and an adopted daughter. She later had a brief third marriage to an architect, John Miller, which ended in divorce in the 1970s.

Last years/death

Aside from a brief cameo in Diamond Head (1962), Dove never returned to the movies. She spent her retirement years in Rancho Mirage before moving into the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California where she died of pneumonia in 1997.


Dove has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6351 Hollywood Blvd.


  1. ^ Other sources including the California registry of births and deaths cite 1900 or 1901 as her year of birth, although the 1910 census supports 1903 as her year of birth.
  2. ^ Drew, William M. "Billie Dove - Silent Star of May 1997." The Lady in the Main Title: On the Twenties and Thirties. Vestal Press. 1997.
  3. ^ Wagner, Bruce. "Annals of Hollywood". "Moving Pictures", The New Yorker. July 20, 1998, p. 54
  4. ^ Obituary, New York Times, January 6, 1998.


Hide HideActress (50 titles)
1963Diamond Head
Bit Part (uncredited)
1932Cock of the Air
Lilli de Rosseau
1931The Age for Love
Jean Hurd
1931The Lady Who Dared
Margaret Townsend
1930Sweethearts and Wives
Femme de Chambre
1930A Notorious Affair
Lady Patricia Hanley Gherardi
1930The Other Tomorrow
Edith Larrison
1929Her Private Life
Lady Helen Haden
Hélène Gromaire
1928Night Watch
Yvonne Corlaix
1928Yellow Lily
Judith Peredy
1928The Heart of a Follies Girl
Teddy O'Day
1927The Love Mart
Antoinette Frobelle
1927The Stolen Bride
Sari, Countess Thurzo
1927The Tender Hour
Marcia Kane
1927Sensation Seekers
'Egypt' Hagen
1926Kid Boots
Eleanore Belmore
1926The Marriage Clause
Sylvia Jordan
1926The Lone Wolf Returns
Marcia Mayfair
1925The Ancient Highway
Antoinette St. Ives
1925The Fighting Heart
Doris Anderson
1925The Lucky Horseshoe
Eleanor Hunt
1925Wild Horse Mesa
Sue Melberne
1925The Air Mail
Alice Rendon
1924Folly of Vanity
Alice (modern sequence)
1924The Roughneck
Felicity Arden
1924Wanderer of the Wasteland
Ruth Virey
1924Yankee Madness
1924Try and Get It
Rhoda Perrin
1924On Time
Helen Hendon
1923The Thrill Chaser
Olala Ussan
1923Soft Boiled
The Girl
1923Madness of Youth
Nanette Banning
1922One Week of Love
Bathing Party Guest (uncredited)
1922Youth to Youth
Eve Allinson
1922Beyond the Rainbow
Marion Taylor (as Lillian 'Billie' Dove)
1922Polly of the Follies
Alysia Potter
1921At the Stage Door
Mary Mathews
1921Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford
Dorothy Wells
Show ShowSelf (6 titles)
1985Night of 100 Stars II (TV movie)
1932Hollywood on Parade No. A-3 (documentary short)
1932/IScreen Snapshots (documentary short)
1930Screen Snapshots Series 9, No. 22 (short)
1926Screen Snapshots (documentary short)
1922Screen Snapshots, Series 3, No. 11 (documentary short)
Show ShowArchive Footage (3 titles)
2000Howard Hughes: His Women and His Movies (TV documentary)
1998The 70th Annual Academy Awards (TV special)
Herself (Memorial Tribute)
1961The DuPont Show of the Week (TV series)

Personal Details

Other Works:

(1921) Stage: Appeared (as "Chorus Girl") in "Sally" on Broadway. Produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr..

Publicity Listings:

2 Magazine Cover Photos |See more »

Alternate Names:

Lillian Bohny | Lillian 'Billie' Dove


5' 6" (1.68 m)   

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

When you're up there on that film, you are that person completely all the time. You think the way that person thinks, you do what that person does and you're not acting. You're actually living it.See more »


Silent film actress.


The American Beauty


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Billie Dove was in THE BLACK PIRATE, a famous movie which is still considered a classic today. That's mostly what I remember her from.

Billie Dove had her own fan club, Lee Heidorn was president and published a fanzine called 'Dove Tales"

Letters from Billie Dove and Lee Heidorn appeared in each issue.

Read more about Lee and her adventures at:

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