Dorothy Burgess ~ The Lovely Brunette

Dorothy Burgess

Dorothy Burgess was a popular 1930s actress who left Hollywood behind

She was born on March 4, 1905 (some sources say 1903) in Los Angeles, California. Her father, H.A. Burgess, was a a pioneer air-transport executive. Dorothy was educated at Mrs. Dow's School in Briarcliff Manor, New York. With the help of her aunt, actress Fay Bainter, she got her first stage role at age seventeen. Then she joined George Cukor's stock company in Rochester, New York. The pretty brunette appeared in the Broadway shows The Adorable Liar and Bye Bye Bonnie. She made her film debut in the 1928 western Old Arizona. While working at Fox Movietone Studios in 1929 she was injured when a lamp fell on her. In 1931 she signed a contract with First National. Dorothy had supporting roles in numerous films including Ladies Must Love, Strictly Personal, and Hold Your Man with Jean Harlow. Because of her dark hair and olive skin she was often cast as Hispanic characters. She was engaged to director Clarence Brown and dated Jules Galenzer, a New York jeweler.

Dorothy BurgessDorothy Burgess

On December 23, 1932 she was involved in a fatal car crash in Los Angeles. Dorothy was charged with manslaughter but the case was eventually settled out of court. The stress led her to have a nervous breakdown and she spent time in a sanitarium. She co-starred with Fay Wray in Black Moon and with Bette Davis in Fashions of 1934. Although she appeared in more than forty films she never became an A-list star. After making the 1935 drama Village Tale she took a five year break from acting. In 1940 she had small parts in The Lady In Question and I Want A Divorce. Her final movie was the 1943 crime drama The West Side Kid. Dorothy married Dr. William Seeley on November 25, 1943. They got divorced a few years later. She moved to Palm Springs and got a job as a saleswoman in a department store. Sadly in the Spring of 1961 she was diagnosed with lung cancer. On August 20, 1961 she died from the disease at the age of fifty-six. Dorothy was cremated and her remains are in a storage vault at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles, California.

Dorothy BurgessDorothy Burgess