Colleen Moore overall framed size is 19″ x 15″ and the image size is 10″ x 8″.
Colleen Moore was born Kathleen Morrison in Port Huron, Michigan. Her father was an irrigation engineer and his job was good enough to provide the family a middle-class environment. She was educated in parochial schools and studied at the famed Detroit Conservatory. Colleen’s family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, and later to Tampa, Florida, where she spent some of her happiest years. She described her childhood as a happy one where her parents were very much in love. In fact, she claims she never heard her parents argue with each other, although she admitted they had their differences. As a child she was fascinated with films and the queens of the day such as Marguerite Clark and Mary Pickford and kept a scrapbook of those actresses; she even kept a blank space for the day when she would be a famous star and could put her picture there. When a neighbor down the street from her had a piano delivered, Colleen talked the deliverymen into taking the wooden packing crate to her house, and she set it up as a stage. It was the beginning of her career, as she and her friend performed plays for the other neighborhood children. By 1917 she would be on her way to becoming a star. Colleen’s uncle, Walter C. Howey, was the editor of the “Chicago Tribune” and had helped D.W. Griffith make his films The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) more presentable to the censors. Knowing of his niece’s acting aspirations, Hovey asked Griffith to help her get a start in the motion picture industry. No sooner had she arrived in Hollywood than she found herself playing in five films that year, The Savage (1917) being her first. Her first starring role was as Annie in Little Orphan Annie (1918). Colleen was on her way. She also starred in a number of westerns opposite Tom Mix, but the movie that defined her as a “flapper” was the classic Flaming Youth (1923), in which she played Patricia Fentriss. By 1927 she was the top box-office draw in the US, pulling in the phenomenal sum of $12,500 a week (unlike many other young, highly-paid actresses, however, Colleen did not spend her money frivolously. Instead, she put it into the stock market, making very shrewd investments). She successfully made the transition into the “talkie” era of sound films. Her final film role was as Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter (1934). She did make one final appearance in the TV mini-series Hollywood (1980), but it was her silver screen appearances that mattered most. After she retired she wrote two books on investing and went so far as to marry two stockbrokers. On January 25, 1988, Colleen died of an undisclosed ailment in Paso Robles, California. She was 88.
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