Patterson Dial ~ The Tragic Writer

Patterson Dial

Patterson Dial was a silent screen actress and author who died from an overdose.

She was born Elizabeth Patterson Dial on May 19, 1902 in Madison, Florisda. Her father, William Dial, was a hardware merchant. At the age of fourteen she made her film debut in Gloria's Romance. Patterson studied dancing and moved to New York City to pursue a stage career. In 192 she appeared in the comedy Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford. The lovely redhead had roles in more than a dozen films including The Silent Partner, Reno, and A Lady Of Quality. She started having an affair with married novelist Rupert Hughes who was thirty years older than her. When his wife found out about the affair she committed suicide.

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Patterson married Rupert on December 31, 1924. Then she quit acting and embarked on a new career as a writer. During the 1930s she wrote numerous short stories for magazines like Liberty and Cosmopolitan. She also assisted her husband with his writing. The couple, who had no children, were well-respected in literary circles. Sadly Patterson struggled with severe bouts of depression. On March 23, 1945 she took an overdose of secanol in her Hollywood Hills home. She died shortly after arriving at the hopsital. Patterson was only forty-two years old. Her husband insisted that it was an accidental overdose but there were rumors she had committed suicide. She was cremated and buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

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Dial and her husband Rupert Hughes

Patterson Dial Death