Dove, Billie (1900–1997)

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Dove, Billie (1900–1997)

American actress who was a star of silents and early talkies Born Lillian Bohny (also seen as Bohney) in New York City on May 14, 1900; died on December 31, 1997, at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement community in Los Angeles; married Irving Willat (a director), in 1923 (divorced 1929); married Robert Kenaston (a rancher), in 1933 (died 1973); married John Miller (an architect), around 1974 (divorced); children: son, Robert; (adopted) daughter, Gail Adelson .

Selected films:

Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford (1921); At the Stage Door (1921); Beyond the Rainbow (1922); Polly of the Follies (1922); The Wanderer of the Wasteland (1924); The Black Pirate (1926); The Stolen Bride (1926); Kid Boots (1926); American Beauty (1927); The Sensation Seekers (1927); One Night at Susie's (1928); Painted Angel (1930); Blondie of the Follies (1932); (bit part) Diamond Head (1962).

Considered one of the most beautiful stars of the silent era, Billie Dove was an artist's model and Ziegfeld "showgirl" before entering films. After some bit parts at Cosmopolitan Studios in New York, she left for Hollywood, where she landed a featured role in Polly of the Follies (1922), with Constance Talmadge . In 1926, she co-starred with Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., in one of the early color productions, The Black Pirate.

Although Dove starred in many silents and early sound films before retiring in 1932, she is noted as much for her brief romance with Howard Hughes as for her work. After the end of her marriage to director Irving Willat, Dove met Hughes at a Hollywood party. Hughes courted her with flowers and expensive gifts, but she later said he was much too erratic to take seriously. Dove left Hollywood to marry Robert Kenaston, a wealthy rancher, returning to the screen only briefly in 1962 for a bit part in the film Diamond Head.