Dolores Costello (1903-1979)

Dolores Costello, Silent Movie Star

Known as “The Goddess of the Silent Screen”, Dolores Costello was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on the 17th of September, 1903, to Mae and Maurice Costello, a famous theatrical and film pioneer family. Maurice Costello had been one of the first silent screen stars in the fledgling film industry, in the days when movies were still called “flickers” and shown in nickelodeons. Dolores’s sister Helene was also an actress. Maurice Costello began featuring his two beautiful daughters in his films beginning in 1909. Dolores Costello appeared on the stage in the “George White’s Scandals”, and then both Dolores and Helene entered feature films in 1925, with contracts from Warner Brothers studio. Dolores was a WAMPAS Baby Star award winner in 1926. That year Dolores made “The Sea Beast” with John Barrymore and the two fell in love. Dolores married John in 1928 and they had two children together, a daughter and a son, John Drew Barrymore  (the father of present day actress Drew Barrymore). Dolores and John divorced in 1935. Dolores spoke with a lisp until about 1930 and the advent of sound. At that time, still desiring to work in films as an actress, she began working with a speech pathologist for two years. She was successful in conquering her lisp and made a number of big budget talkie films during the 1930’s — until the makeup she was wearing for her screen roles began to ruin her once fair, beautiful complexion. After filming “This Is The Army” in 1943, Dolores retired from the silver screen, and lived in seclusion on a ranch in Southern California. She died from emphysema on March 1st, 1979. Her beauty will long be remembered by silent film fans. ~ Copyright © 2004

Dolores Costello’s Silent Films

College Widow, The (1927) …. Jane Witherspoon
Heart of Maryland, The (1927) …. Maryland Calvert
Old San Francisco (1927) …. Dolores Vasquez
Million Bid, A (1927) …. Dorothy Gordon
When a Man Loves (1927) …. Manon Lescaut
… aka His Lady (1927) (UK)
Third Degree, The (1926) …. Annie Daly

Dolores and Helene Costello, Silent Movie Stars

Dolores (left) and Helene (right) Costello, two devoted sisters, circa 1928

Little Irish Girl, The (1926) …. Dot Walker
Bride of the Storm (1926) …. Faith Fitzhugh
Sea Beast, The (1926) …. Esther Harper
Mannequin (1926) …. Joan Herrick
Bobbed Hair (1925) …. Bit Part
Greater Than a Crown (1925) …. Isabel Frances/Princess of Lividia
Lawful Larceny (1923) …. Nora the maid
Glimpses of the Moon, The (1923) …. Bit Part
Evil Men Do, The (1915)
Fellow Voyagers (1913)
Hindoo Charm, The (1913)
Ida’s Christmas (1912) …. The Little Smith Girl
Toymaker, The (1912)
Irony of Fate, The (1912) …. Fourth Child
Bobby’s Father (1912) …. Bobby
Captain Barnacle’s Legacy (1912)
Her Grandchild (1912) …. The Grandchild
Vultures and Doves (1912)
Wanted… a Grandmother (1912)
Juvenile Love Affair, A (1912) …. The Girl
Money Kings, The (1912)
Troublesome Step-Daughters, The (1912)
Lulu’s Doctor (1912) …. Lulu
She Never Knew (1912) …. The Old Man’s Granddaughter
For the Honor of the Family (1912)
Meeting of the Ways, The (1912) …. One of their Children
Captain Jenks’ Dilemma (1912)
Some Good in All (1911) …. A Little Girl
… aka Thief in the Night, A (1911) (USA)
Reformed Santa Claus, A (1911)
His Sister’s Children (1911) …. One of the Children
Child Crusoes, The (1911)
Geranium, A (1911)
Consuming Love; or, St. Valentine’s Day in Greenaway Land (1911)
Telephone, The (1910) …. The Child
Midsummer Night’s Dream, A (1909) …. Fairy

To learn more about Dolores Costello visit her profile on the Internet Movie Database


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