Moran was born Lois Darlington Dowling in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Roger Dowling and Gladys Evans Dowling. When Moran was one year old, her father died in an automobile accident. A few years later, her mother married Dr. Timothy Moran. She suffered a second loss at age 9, when her stepfather (whom she later described as "my dearest person in the world next to mother") died from influenza.
She attended Seton Hill Academy in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. In 1921, when Lois was 12, she and her mother moved to Paris, France, with funding provided by Lois's great-aunt.:8-9
Moran's stage activities included singing and dancing at the Paris National Opera when she was 13 years old.
Her Broadway credits include Of Thee I Sing (1931) and This Is New York (1930).
Moran's film career began when she made her first film in Paris at age 14. She is probably best known for her role as Laurel Dallas, daughter of the title character, in the 1925 film Stella Dallas, which was her Hollywood film debut.
She appeared in early sound movies such as Behind That Curtain (1929), and some musical movies, such as A Song of Kentucky (1929), Words and Music (1929), and Mammy (1930). She then moved to Broadway, where she appeared in the straight play, This is New York (1930), and the musicals, Of Thee I Sing (1933) and Let 'Em Eat Cake (1934).
Moran also had a co-starring role in the short-lived TV series Waterfront (1954–1955). It starred Preston Foster as Capt. John Herrick, and Moran as his wife May Herrick.
In 1935, she married Clarence M. Young, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, temporarily retiring from her acting career. They had one son, Timothy.
Moran died at a nursing home in Sedona, Arizona after suffering from cancer. She was cremated, and her ashes were scattered in the Red Rock country in Arizona. She was survived by her son, Timothy.Stella Dallas (1925)
Feu Mathias Pascal (1925)
The Road to Mandalay (1926)
Prince of Tempters (1926)
God Gave Me Twenty Cents (1926)
The Music Master (1927)
Don't Marry (1928)
Joy Street (1929)
True Heaven (1929)
The Dancers (1930)
Under Suspicion (1930)
Men in Her Life (1931)
The Spider (1931)