When Caroline Carter is divorced by her wealthy husband, she also loses custody of her son Dudley in the proceedings. Down on the ground she decides to win her fortune and son back. She leaves Chicago for New York to become an actress and tries to get acquainted to the theatrical producer David Belasco.
Belasco just wants to get rid of Caroline and promises to write her a play to get her out of his office. He has no intention of giving her work, but when she doesn't get off his back for several months afterwards, he tries to get her a part in a show.
He succeeds, but the show is a failure, and instead Caroline decides to marry an actor living at the same boardinghouse, Lou Payne. Bealsco tries to stop her from domesticating too soon, and take a part in another show instead. This show is a success on Broadway and Caroline eventually gets an opportunity to return to Chicago to perform. However, her triumph is stained by the fact that she doesn't get to meet her son.
Caroline goes on to perform in both America and Europe and in lack of a family she is consumed by her career. After some time she decides to go back to Payne and marry him. Belasco gets jealous and punishes her by not letting her work with him anymore.
Caroline pursues a career on her own, but her ambitions are thwarted by a series of unsuccessful shows. Payne eventually convinces Belasco to start working with Caroline again, and the duo reconciles.