The Brazen, Billie Dove

The Brazen, Billie Dove

Billie Dove could neither sing nor dance, all that well. Impressed by the beautiful girl, Florenz Zeigfield hired her to star in his “follies” extravaganzas! She was given the part of a beautiful, window dressing and had many, solo entrances. An explosive affair with Ziegfield, prompted Ziggy’s wife (Billy Burke) to send the starlet out west, for work…and away from her husband. In 1926, Stardom came when Billie was swept off her feet by the swashbuckling, Douglas Fairbanks, in “The Black Pirate”. Dove was the FIRST actress to receive a color screen test. Howard Hughes became a great (& obsessed) admirer of Ms. Dove, which led to a three year, affair. Billie appeared in 2 of his movies, The Age for Love and the comedic, Cock of the Air during 1931 and 1932. Hughes tried to control Billie and her career. Under duress, she abruptly ended the affair. In 1932, she was supposed to be billed alongside Marion Davies, but due to Davies’ ace in the hole, William Randolph Hearst, Davies had top billing and Billie’s role was trimmed and “re shaped”, with a third billing. By 1933, Ms. Dove was tiring of favoritism and left the screen to raise a family with her new (filthy rich, oil investor) husband. Billie Dove died on her ranch, in 1997 at age 94. Although she was in just as many movies as rivals Mary Pickford and Clara Bow, she isn’t as well-remembered. But, we’ll remember you, darling Billie!

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