Gwen Lee ~ The Forgotten Flapper

Gwen Lee

Gwen Lee was a popular flapper actress who disappeared from Hollywood

She was born Gwendolyn Lepinski on November 4, 1904 in Hastings, Nebraska. Her parents divorced when she was a child. Tragically her father committed suicide in 1911. After graduating from high school she and her mother, Etta Lepinski, moved to Chicago, Illinois. While working as a department store model she was discovered by director Monta Bell. He helped her get a contract with MGM. Gwen made her film debut in the 1925 drama Lady Of The Night starring Norma Shearer. She had supporting roles in numerous silent films including The Actress, Untamed, A Lady Of Chance, and Show Girl. The beautiful blonde was often cast as a carefree flapper. In 1928 was chosen to be one of the Wampas Baby Stars along with Lupe Velez and Sally Eilers. Gwen told reporters "I am going to fight my way up in pictures. I waited too long for the chance to think of giving it up." 

Gwen LeeGwen Lee With Her Cat

She co-starred with and with Joan Crawford in Paid and with Greta Garbo in Inspiration. Unfortunately she began suffering from some serious mental health issues. Her mother sued her in 1932 claiming she was incompetent and in need of a guardian. The lawsuit was eventually dropped. By the mid-1930s her career was in trouble. Gwen played bit parts in the films A Night At The Opera, Double Wedding, and Libeled Lady. Her final movie role was in the 1938 crime drama Paroled From The Big House. She cared for her mother who had been diagnosed with dementia until her death in 1941. On May 4, 1943 she married George Mence Jr, a retail manager. Gwen spent the rest of her life out of the spotlight. During the 1950s she moved to Reno, Nevada. Sadly on August 20, 1961 died on at the age of fifty-six. The cause of her death was not made public.

Gwen LeeGwen Lee Posing Semi-Nude