Sneha Girap (Editor)

Dorothy Davenport

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Years active  1910–1956
Name  Dorothy Davenport
Role  Actress

Dorothy Davenport Dorothy Davenport Reid Women Film Pioneers Project
Born  March 13, 1895 (1895-03-13) Boston, Massachusetts
Died  October 12, 1977, Los Angeles, California, United States
Spouse  Wallace Reid (m. 1913–1923)
Children  Wallace Reid Jr., Betty Mummert
Parents  Harry Davenport, Alice Davenport
Movies  Human Wreckage, The Red Kimono, Impact, The Road to Ruin, The Woman Condemned
Similar People  Wallace Reid, Harry Davenport, Edward Loomis Davenport, Fanny Davenport, Priscilla Bonner

Dorothy Davenport (March 13, 1895 – October 12, 1977) was an American actress, screenwriter, film director, and producer who appeared in silent film for Biograph Studios under the direction of D.W. Griffith.


Dorothy Davenport 6a00d83451cb7469e2019b0007dc45970c800wi

Early career

Dorothy Davenport image1findagravecomphotos250photos200925568

Dorothy Davenport's family was well known in the theater. Her grandparents were Edward Loomis Davenport and Fanny Vining Davenport who were 19th-century character actors; their daughter and Dorothy's aunt, Fanny Davenport, was considered one of the great actresses of the time. Her father, Harry Davenport, was a Broadway star. With her background on the stage, she was in her early teens when she started playing bit parts in the fledgling film industry.

Dorothy Davenport Dorothy Davenport Reid Women Film Pioneers Project

By the time she was 17, Davenport was a star at Universal. She was a horsewoman of distinction, and did many of her own stunts in films. While with Universal, she met a young actor named Wallace Reid; they married on October 13, 1913.

Dorothy Davenport FileDorothy Davenport 001jpg Wikimedia Commons

Davenport and Reid continued to work together as he directed and starred with her in two films per week for the next year. When Reid left Universal, Davenport also left films, only to return in 1916.

Later career

Dorothy Davenport Dorothy Davenport Celebrities lists

While filming on location in Oregon for The Valley of the Giants (1919), Wallace Reid was injured in a train wreck. As a remedy for the pain from this injury, studio doctors administered large doses of morphine to Reid to which he became addicted. Reid's health slowly grew worse over the next few years, and he died of the addiction in 1923. After Reid's death, Davenport and Thomas Ince co-produced the film Human Wreckage (1923) with James Kirkwood, Sr., Bessie Love and Lucille Ricksen, a film that dealt with the dangers of narcotics addiction.

Davenport took Human Wreckage on a roadshow engagement, followed up with another "social conscience" picture about excessive mother-love called Broken Laws in 1924, again billed as "Mrs. Wallace Reid" to capitalize on her husband's notorious death. She then produced The Red Kimona (1925) about white slavery. On screen she opens the film in 'silent' narration or prologue. The subject of the latter "true story" film were so obvious that Davenport was successfully sued by the woman it was based on.

She later directed Linda (1929), Sucker Money (1933), Road to Ruin (1934), and The Woman Condemned (1934), and worked as a producer, writer, and dialogue director. Among her last credits are co-author of the screenplay for Footsteps in the Fog (1955), and as dialogue director for The First Traveling Saleslady (1956) with Ginger Rogers.

Wallace Reid and she had two children. She was married to him until his death on January 18, 1923. She never remarried.

Dorothy Davenport died at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in 1977 in Woodland Hills, California. She is interred with her husband in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale.


Dorothy Davenport Wikipedia