06 May 1923 – Dorothy Dalton Has Her Troubles

It’s tough luck to be a motion picture actress and to have a “public”  “Hello, glad to see you again. Let’s have a little talk over in this nice dark corner”. It was at the Famous Players Studio in Long Island.  The girl who greeted me was dressed in a short and rather shabby blue serge skirt and blouse.  On her head was a saucy little black tam.  Tortoise rimmed spectacles shaded her eyes against the Klieg lights.  I looked at her searchingly. Had I ever seen her before?  Then gasped, “Good Heavens, its Dorothy Dalton”  In real life, Dorothy Dalton is the most gorgeous person you can imagine, the sort of girl who buys all the beautiful clothes the rest of us only look at through the store windows.  When a mere man sees Dorothy in her home or at parties he calls for a pair of blinders to protect himself against her charms.  But in the studio one generally sees another Dorothy. “The tragedy of clothes” she sighted, as she drew up a studio chair and light a cigarette and adjusted her anti0kleig spectacles.  I adore clothes always have. The lovelier and more feminine they are the better I like them.  My idea of a perfect picture is one in which I can show off all the new clothes in the shops and do plenty of acting, too.  But will the public stand for it? Hardly, they want to see me in ‘rough and readies’ garbed as a man and being a real roughneck. I decide after every new picture the next one will be just the kind I want.  I lie awake nights planning what I will wear.  And then I begin to read scenarios. Invariably the ones with the punch, the stories from which real box office success can be made, cast me as a gypsy or an apache or a girl masquerading as a man.  Now, while I love clothes, I will forego them to really act.  And I have to take out my love for pretty things in my few social hours”.  Do you have to read many scenarios I asked Miss Dalton? “I do, and it wouldn’t be so bad if all my friends didn’t write so many scenarios and expect me to get them accepted.  I have a cousin, who recently wrote an interesting and really good scenario that is, it would have been, if we were still doing one-reelers”.  There is something refreshing about this lady she is unique and in one respect is willing to admit once upon a time, her popularity was on the wane.  It was about two years ago, and then she did something which, up to now, no other motion picture star accomplished she “came back” in the face of a public that was losing interest.  “Yes, I suppose no other actress has done it” said Miss Dalton, “some actresses have left the screen and returned to find themselves more popular than ever.  I happened to have several bad stories. That is the reason, I’m so careful now to make sure I have the right story before I begin work.  Miss Dalton works like a Trojan, and this in spite the fact she had a naturally lazy temperament before she became an actress.  She comes of a fine Chicago family; was the spoiled young daughter of a well-to-do and prosperous real estate dealer.  No one ever expected the willful Dorothy to work for her living.  Her father was only too happy to gratify her every whim “as long as I didn’t ask for pearls and diamonds”. Dorothy’s mother was of the old-school and believe a woman’s place was in the home, and that she shouldn’t know too much about business life because it unfitted the girl for matrimony. May be it was just because Dorothy’s mother knew so little about business and was so helpless when it came to knowing about stocks and bonds and other investments that her father determined she was going to become a lawyer.  “He wanted me to be able to look after the legal side of his business” said Miss Dalton “he thought if anything happened to him I would be able to look over his affairs and keep people from cheating mother”  “My early ambition was to become a surgeon. I adored cutting things up.  But finally, I decided I wanted to act. I would act, whether my family would let me or not.  Nothing was going to stop me and it didn’t as you can see.

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