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Leatrice Joy

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Cause of death  Acute anemia
Name  Leatrice Joy
Nationality  American
Role  Actress
Other names  Beatrice Joy
Children  Leatrice Joy Gilbert
Occupation  Actress

Leatrice Joy Stars of Vaudeville 840 Leatrice Joy Travalanche
Full Name  Leatrice Johanna Zeidler
Born  November 7, 1893 (1893-11-07) New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Resting place  Saint Savior Episcopal Churchyard
Education  New Orleans Convent of the Sacred Heart
Died  May 13, 1985, Riverdale, New York City, New York, United States
Spouse  Arthur Westermark (m. 1945–1954), William S. Hook (m. 1931–1944), John Gilbert (m. 1922–1925)
Parents  Mary Joy Crimens Zeidler, Edward Joseph Zeidler
Movies  Eve's Leaves, Manslaughter, The Clinging Vine, The Ten Commandments, The Ace of Hearts
Similar People  John Gilbert, Marshall Neilan, Lois Weber, Ina Claire, Cecil B DeMille

Leatrice joy the modern woman

Leatrice Joy (November 7, 1893 – May 13, 1985) was an American actress most prolific during the silent film era.


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Leatrice joy

Early life

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Leatrice Johanna Zeidler was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to dentist Edward Joseph Zeidler, who was of Austrian and French descent, and Mary Joy Crimens Zeidler, who was of German and Irish descent. She had a brother, Billy, who later worked at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

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She attended New Orleans Convent of the Sacred Heart but left when her father was diagnosed with tuberculosis and forced to give up his dental practice. She tried out for the New Orleans-based Nola Film Company in 1915 and was hired as an actress. Her mother disapproved of her becoming an actress, but the family needed the money, so her mother accompanied her to California where she began working in plays and films.

Silent Films

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Joy began her acting career in stock theater companies and soon made her film debut; between April 1916 and November 1917 she was the star of about 20 one-reel Black Diamond Comedies produced by the United States Motion Picture Corporation in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and released nationally by Paramount Pictures. In many of these, she starred as "Susie," an irrepressibly enthusiastic, impulsive young woman who gets into humorous scrapes.

In late 1917 she relocated to the relatively young film colony in Hollywood, California and began appearing in comedy shorts opposite Billy West and Oliver Hardy. Signed under contract with Samuel Goldwyn Studios, her first role for the studio was in 1917's The Pride of the Clan opposite Mary Pickford. Her career quickly gained momentum, and by 1920 she had become a highly-popular actress with the filmgoing public and was given leading-lady status opposite such performers as Wallace Beery, Conrad Nagel, Nita Naldi, and Irene Rich.

Directors often cast Joy in the "strong-willed independent woman" role, and the liberated atmosphere of the Jazz Age Roaring Twenties solidified her public popularity, especially with female film goers. Her close-cropped hair and somewhat boyish persona (she was often cast as a woman mistaken for a young man) became fashionable during the era. With her increasing popularity, Joy was sought out by Cecil B. DeMille, who signed her to Paramount Pictures in 1922, immediately casting her in that year's successful high-society drama Saturday Night opposite Conrad Nagel. Joy starred in a number of successful releases for Paramount and was heavily promoted as one of DeMille's most prominent protégées.

In 1925, against the advice of studio executives, Joy parted ways with Paramount and followed DeMille to his new film company, Producers Distributing Corporation, for which she made a few moderately-successful films, including Lois Weber's last silent film The Angel of Broadway in 1927. A professional dispute ended the DeMille/Joy partnership in 1928 and she was signed with MGM. That year she headlined MGM's second part-talkie effort, The Bellamy Trial opposite Betty Bronson and Margaret Livingston.

Transition to sound

Joy's career began to falter with the advent of talkies, possibly because her heavy Southern accent was considered unfashionable in comparison with other actresses' refined "mid-Atlantic" diction. In 1929 she became a freelance actress without a long term contract. In order to improve her chances of regaining her film career, she undertook a vaudeville tour from 1929-1931, as a training ground for returning successfully to talkies. She was particularly interested in improving her voice and learning how to better handle dialogue.

Retirement and later years

By the early 1930s, Joy was semi-retired from the motion-picture industry, but she later made several guest appearances in a few modestly-successful films, such as 1951's Love Nest, which featured a young Marilyn Monroe.

In the 1960s, Joy retired to Greenwich, Connecticut, where she lived with her daughter and son-in-law.

Joy appeared as a subject on CBS TV's game show, To Tell the Truth July 1, 1963.

She was interviewed in the television documentary series Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film (1980).

Personal life

Joy was married three times and had one child. On March 22, 1922, she married actor John Gilbert. They had a daughter, Leatrice Joy Gilbert (later Fountain; September 1924 – 20 January 2015), who later acted in bit parts. Joy filed for divorce in August 1924, citing Gilbert's infidelity and alcoholism. Joy's second marriage was to businessman William Spencer Hook on October 22, 1931; they divorced in 1944. Joy's third and final marriage was to former actor and electrical engineer Arthur Kem Westermark. They married on March 5, 1945 in Mexico City and divorced in October 1954.

During her silent film career in the 1920s, she was Hollywood's best known Christian Scientist.


On May 13, 1985, Joy died from acute anemia at the High Ridge House Christian Science nursing home in Riverdale, Bronx, New York. She was interred at the Saint Savior Episcopal Churchyard in Old Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Leatrice Joy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6517 Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood, California.


Leatrice Joy Wikipedia