Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dorothy Jordan, Kathleen Lockhart, Dorris Bowdon

Who was born on this date:

Actress Dorothy Jordan was born on August 9, 1906 in Clarksville, Tennessee. She made her screen debut in the 1929 film The taming of the Shrew and went on to make twenty-two more films in the next four years, including Min and Bill (1930) and The Cabin in the Cotton (1932). In 1933, Jordan left films and married filmmaker and screenwriter Merian C. Cooper, who co-wrote, produced and directed the 1933 film King Kong.  

Cooper was a good friend and frequent collaborator with Western director John Ford, forming Argosy Productions in 1947. It was for Argosy's 1953 film, The Sun Shines Bright, directed by Ford, which Jordan came out of retirement for a small role. She then appeared in a small role as the sister-in-law of John Wayne’s character in the epic 1956 Argosy film, The Searchers. Jordan’s final screen appearance was in John Ford’s, The Wings of Eagles (1957). Jordan died from congestive heart failure on December 7, 1988 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Her body was cremated and her ashes are interred at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles.

Actress Kathleen Lockhart was born on August 9, 1894 in Southsea, Hampshire, England. She got her start on the stage in England and then immigrated to the United States in 1924, upon her marriage to Canadian-born actor Gene Lockhart. She continued to appear on stage and in films for almost forty years. Kathleen and her husband, Gene, occasionally starred opposite each other, most notably as Mr. and Mrs. Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol (1938). After her husband died in 1957, she retired from acting and made no more film appearances, except for a small role in The Purple Gang (1960). She was the mother of actress June Lockhart and grandmother of actress Anne Lockhart. Kathleen died on February 18, 1978 in Los Angeles, California following a long (undisclosed) illness. She is buried next to her husband at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Who died on this date:

On August 9, 2005, actress Dorris Bowdon died. She was born on December 27, 1914 in Coldwater, Mississippi. She is best known for her role as Rosasharn in The Grapes of Wrath (1940), starring Henry Fonda. Other film credits include, Down on the Farm (1938), Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) and Young Mr. Lincoln (1939). She married Nunnally Johnson in 1939 and retired from show business. She is the grandmother of actor Jack Johnson. She died in Los Angeles on August 9, 2005 from a stroke and heart failure. She was cremated and a portion of her ashes were scattered at sea and another portion interred with her husband at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

www.michaelthomasbarry.com, author of Fade to Black: Graveside Memories of Hollywood Greats, 1927-1950

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