Justine Johnstone ~ Showgirl & Scientist

Justine Johnstone

Justine Johnstone was a showgirl and actress who became an accomplished scientist

She was born Gustina Olive Johnstone on January 31, 1895 in Englewood, New Jersey. Her family was poor and as a child she dreamed of performing on the stage. Justine started modeling when she was a teenager. At the age of sixteen she made her Broadway debut in The Blue Bird. Then she danced in the chorus of New York's Folies-Bergère. After the show closed she attended the Emma Willard school to finish her education. She was invited to join the Ziegfeld Follies in 1915. Producer Lee Shubert was such a fan that he created the 1917 musical revue Over The Top for her to star in. The alluring blonde was called the "most beautiful girl in America". Justine told reporters "As soon as a girl is called a beauty it is assumed that she has no brains." In 1919 she married film producer Walter Wanger. The following year she starred opposite William Boyd in the movie Blackbird. She also appeared in the films Sheltered Daughters, Moonlight and Honeysuckle, and A Heart To Let. Justine returned to the stage in 1926 to star in the drama Hush Money.

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Unhappy with the types of parts she was being offered she quit show business. When her husband became ill she decided to enroll in science classes at Columbia University. She became a research assistant and co-authored several medical papers including one on the modern I.V. drip. Justine and Walter moved to Los Angeles in the early 1930s. During this time she began studying cancer and helped to develop the discipline in endocrinology. She also became an expert on treating syphilis. Her marriage to Walter ended in 1938. There were rumors he was unfaithful and she claimed he didn't pay attention to her. In 1940 she adopted two infant boys and raised them on her own. Justine continued to work in the medical field and enjoyed a long term romance with producer Leonard Goldstein. On September 3, 1982 she died from congestive heart failure at the age of eighty-seven. She was cremated and her ashes were buried at the Chapel of the Pines crematory in Los Angeles, California.

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Justine Johnstone Divorce