Moran, Lois (1907–1990)

views updated

Moran, Lois (1907–1990)

American actress. Name variations: Lois Moran Young. Born Lois Darlington Dowling on March 1, 1907 (some sources cite 1908), in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; died on July 13, 1990, in Sedona, Arizona, of cancer; daughter of Roger Dowling and Gladys (Evans) Dowling; educated in Greensburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Lycée de Tours, France; married Clarence M. Young (assistant secretary of commerce and later Pan Am executive), in 1935; children: one son.

Selected filmography:

La Galerie des Monstres (Fr., 1924); Feu Mathias Pascal (The Late Mathias Pascal or The Living Dead Man, Fr., 1925); Stella Dallas (1925); Just Suppose (1926); The Reckless Lady (1926); The Road to Mandalay (1926); Padlocked (1926); The Prince of Tempters (1926); God Gave Me Twenty Cents (1926); The Music Master (1927); The Whirlwind of Youth (1927); The Irresistible Lover (1927); Publicity Madness (1937); Sharp Shooters (1928); Love Hungry (1928); Don't Marry (1928); The River Pirate (1928); Blindfold (1928); True Heaven (1929); Making the Grade (1929); Joy Street (1929); Behind That Curtain (1929); Words and Music (1929); A Song of Kentucky (1929); Mammy (1930); Not Damaged (1930); The Dancers (1930); Under Suspicion (1931); Transatlantic (1931); The Spider (1931); Men in Her Life (1931); West of Broadway (1931).

Born in Pittsburgh in 1907, but raised in France by her widowed mother, actress Lois Moran was trained as a dancer and performed with the Paris National Opera for two years (1922–24); she also appeared in two French films. Her American debut in Samuel Goldwyn's Stella Dallas (1925), starring Mrs. Leslie Carter , was auspicious. Moran's subsequent efforts, however, were mediocre by comparison, and she retired from the screen in 1931 to return to the stage. She scored some success in stage musicals, notably on Broadway in Of Thee I Sing (1931), then abandoned her career to marry Clarence M. Young, an assistant secretary of commerce and later an executive at Pan Am. During the 1950s, Moran taught drama and dance at Stanford University and appeared on the television series "Waterfront" (1953–56), co-starring Preston Foster.

Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald took a shine to Moran during her early days in Hollywood and reportedly based the character of Rosemary in his novel Tender Is the Night on her. Silent star Eleanor Boardman , who was friendly with the Fitzgeralds, recalled that Zelda Fitzgerald was so concerned about her husband's fixation on Moran that she herself became obsessed with the idea of becoming a ballet dancer.


Drew, William M. Speaking of Silents: First Ladies of the Screen. Vestal, NY: Vestal Press, 1989.

Katz, Ephraim. The Film Encyclopedia. NY: Harper-Collins, 1994.

More From