Betty Compson


Actor
Betty Compson

About

Also Known As
The Vagabond Violinist, Eleanor Luicime Compson
Birth Place
Beaver, Utah, USA
Born
March 18, 1897
Died
April 18, 1974
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

Petite, fair-haired, beautiful and highly-paid leading lady of the silent era. Billed in vaudeville as 'The Vagabond Violinist', Compson was signed in 1915 for a series of Al Christie comedy shorts. She made her dramatic debut as a member of a confidence gang in "The Miracle Man" (1919) and went on to star in dozens of films both in the USA and England (among them "The Little Minister," ...

Family & Companions

James Cruze
Husband
Director. Married in October 1925; divorced in May 1930.
Irving Wineberg
Husband
Producer. Married briefly during 1930s.
Silvius Jack Gall
Husband
Boxer. Married from the 1940s until his death in 1962.

Biography

Petite, fair-haired, beautiful and highly-paid leading lady of the silent era. Billed in vaudeville as 'The Vagabond Violinist', Compson was signed in 1915 for a series of Al Christie comedy shorts. She made her dramatic debut as a member of a confidence gang in "The Miracle Man" (1919) and went on to star in dozens of films both in the USA and England (among them "The Little Minister," "Rustle of Silk," "The White Flower," "Wise Guy" and "Twelve Miles Out"). She was memorable as a dejected prostitute rescued from suicide in Josef von Sternberg's highly stylized "Docks of New York" (1928), as the assistant to a mad ventriloquist (Erich Von Stroheim) in her then-husband, James Cruze's "The Great Gabbo" (1929) and in Hitchcock's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (1941).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Here Comes Trouble (1948)
Martha Blake
Second Chance (1947)
Mrs. Davenport
Hard Boiled Mahoney (1947)
Selena Webster
Her Adventurous Night (1946)
Miss Spencer
Confessions of a Vice Baron (1943)
Mrs. Lola Morgan
Danger! Women at Work (1943)
Madame Sapho
Roar of the Press (1941)
Thelma Tate
Zis Boom Bah (1941)
Mame
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
Gertie
The Invisible Ghost (1941)
Mrs. Kessler
Escort Girl (1941)
Ruth Ashley
Laughing at Danger (1940)
Mrs. Van Horn
Strange Cargo (1940)
Suzanne
They Asked for It (1939)
News Is Made at Night (1939)
Kitty Truman
Cowboys from Texas (1939)
Belle Starkey
Mad Youth (1939)
Mrs. [Lola] Morgan
The Mystic Circle Murder (1939)
Ada Bernard
Cafe Hostess (1939)
2nd "B" girl
Hotel Imperial (1939)
Soubrette
Blondes at Work (1938)
Blanche Revelle
Torchy Blane in Panama (1938)
Kitty
Under the Big Top (1938)
Marie
Two Gun Justice (1938)
Kate
The Port of Missing Girls (1938)
Chicago
A Slight Case of Murder (1938)
Loretta
The Beloved Brat (1938)
Eleanor Sparks
Federal Bullets (1937)
Sue
God's Country and the Man (1937)
Roxy Moore
Circus Girl (1937)
Carlotta
Laughing Irish Eyes (1936)
Molly
Bulldog Edition (1936)
Billie
Killer at Large (1936)
Kate
Millionaire Kid (1936)
Gloria Neville
The Drag-Net (1936)
Mollie Cole
Two Minutes to Play (1936)
Fluff Harding
August Week-end (1936)
Ethel Ames
Hollywood Boulevard (1936)
Betty
Manhattan Butterfly (1935)
False Pretenses (1935)
Clarissa Stanhope
Too Many Millions (1934)
Notorious but Nice (1933)
Millie Sprague
West of Singapore (1933)
Lou
Destination Unknown (1933)
Ruby Smith
The Silver Lining (1932)
Kate Flynn
Guilty or Not Guilty (1932)
Maizie
The Gay Diplomat (1931)
Baroness Alma Corri
Three Who Loved (1931)
Helga Larson Hanson
The Virtuous Husband (1931)
Inez Wakefield
The Lady Refuses (1931)
June
Midnight Mystery (1930)
Sally Wayne
The Great Gabbo (1930)
Mary
Blaze o' Glory (1930)
Helen Williams
The Case of Sergeant Grischa (1930)
Babka
The Czar of Broadway (1930)
Connie Colton
She Got What She Wanted (1930)
Mahyna
The Boudoir Diplomat (1930)
Helene
Inside the Lines (1930)
Jane Gershon
Isle of Escape (1930)
Stella
The Spoilers (1930)
Cherry Malotte
Those Who Dance (1930)
Kitty
Weary River (1929)
Alice
Scarlet Seas (1929)
Rose
The Time, the Place, and the Girl (1929)
Doris Wardrobe
On With the Show (1929)
Nita
Street Girl (1929)
Freddie Joyzelle
Skin Deep (1929)
Sadie Rogers
Woman To Woman (1929)
The Barker (1928)
Carrie
The Docks of New York (1928)
Sadie
Masked Angel (1928)
Betty Carlisle
Court-Martial (1928)
Belle Starr
The Desert Bride (1928)
Diane Duval
Life's Mockery (1928)
Kit Miller/Isabelle Fullerton
Love Me and the World Is Mine (1928)
Mitzel
The Big City (1928)
Helen
Say It With Diamonds (1927)
Betty Howard
Temptations of a Shop Girl (1927)
Ruth Harrington
The Ladybird (1927)
Diana Whyman
Cheating Cheaters (1927)
Nan Carey
The Palace of Pleasure (1926)
Lola Montez
The Belle of Broadway (1926)
Marie Duval
The Wise Guy (1926)
Hula Kate
Counsel for the Defense (1925)
Katherine West
The Pony Express (1925)
Molly Jones
Locked Doors (1925)
Mary Reid Carter
New Lives for Old (1925)
Olympe
Eve's Secret (1925)
Eve
Paths to Paradise (1925)
Molly
The Stranger (1924)
Peggy Bowlin
The Fast Set (1924)
Margaret Sones
Miami (1924)
Joan Bruce
The Enemy Sex (1924)
"Dodo" Baxter
The Female (1924)
Dalla
Ramshackle House (1924)
Pen Broome
The Garden of Weeds (1924)
Dorothy Delbridge
The Rustle of Silk (1923)
Lola De Breze
The Woman With Four Faces (1923)
Elizabeth West
The White Flower (1923)
Konia Markham
Kick In (1923)
Molly Brandon
Hollywood (1923)
Over the Border (1922)
Jen Galbraith
To Have and To Hold (1922)
Lady Jocelyn Leigh, the king's Wardrobe
The Law and the Woman (1922)
Margaret Rolfe
The Bonded Woman (1922)
Angela Gaskell
Always the Woman (1922)
Celia Thaxter
The Green Temptation (1922)
Genelle/Coralyn/Joan Parker
Prisoners of Love (1921)
Blanche Davis
At the End of the World (1921)
Cherry O'Day
The Little Minister (1921)
Babbie
For Those We Love (1921)
Bernice Arnold
Ladies Must Live (1921)
Christine Bleeker
The Little Diplomat (1919)
Phyllis Dare
The Light of Victory (1919)
Jane Ravenslee
The Prodigal Liar (1919)
Hope Deering
The Devil's Trail (1919)
Julie Delisle
The Miracle Man (1919)
Rose
The Terror of the Range (1919)
The Border Raiders (1918)
Rose Hardy

Producer (Feature Film)

For Those We Love (1921)
Producer

Life Events

1912

First vaudeville performance, billed as "The Vagabond Violinist"

1915

Film acting debut in "Wanted--a Leading Lady"

1919

Dramatic debut, "The Miracle Man"

1948

Retired from acting to become a businesswoman in California

Videos

Movie Clip

Singin' In The Rain (1952) - I'm Not An Actor! After the premiere, silent-movie star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) with musical partner Cosmo (Donald O’Connor) in Hollywood, gets mobbed and, with a coy contemporary-swashbuckling escape, meets opinionated Cathy (Debbie Reynolds), early in MGM’s Singin’ In The Rain, 1952.
White Shadow, The (1924) - A Willing Victim Alfred Hitchcock at 24 was the art director, screenwriter, assistant director and probably most other things, Graham Cutts the credited director, in the 1924 British melodrama The White Shadow, from Lost And Found: American Treasures From The New Zealand Film Archive, Part 2, 2013, original score by Michael D. Mortilla.
Weary River (1929) - Members Only Neat opening from director Frank Lloyd finds Richard Barthelmess (Jerry) and Betty Compson (Alice) as popular denizens of a speakeasy which, we learn, he owns, as we also discover he’s maybe mobbed-up, in the First National/Warner Bros. part-talkie/Musical Weary River, 1929.
Weary River (1929) - It's Up To You Bootlegger Jerry (Richard Barthelmess) and gal Alice (Betty Compson) begin talking and singing upon adjourning to their apartment, sampling a standard before performing an original by Louis Silvers and Grant Clarke, dubbed by Johnny Murray, in the part-talkie Weary River, 1929.
Weary River (1929) - Sung By Its Composer Starting at the speakeasy owned by incarcerated Jerry (Richard Barthelmess), director Frank Lloyd travels via radio to the prison where he’s performing (title song by Louis Silvers and Grant Clarke), Betty Compson his girl, Louis Natheaux a snarky rival, in the part-talking Weary River. 1929.
Lady Refuses, The (1931) - A Short Life And A Merry One Sir Gerald (Gilbert Emery) has just been stood-up by playboy son Russell (John Darrow), who scampers with disreputable Berthine (Margaret Livingston), only later noticing vagrant June (Betty Compson), pursued by the bobbies, but rescued by the baronet, early in The Lady Refuses, 1931.
Lady Refuses, The (1931) - Blighter Can't Even Crawl Made-over June (Betty Compson) has secretly been positioned by the English nobleman father of Russell (John Darrow) to pry him away from gold-digging Berthine (Margaret Livingston) and her crowd, this being their first not-accidental encounter, in The Lady Refuses, 1931, directed by George Archainbaud.
Escort Girl - Wild Goose Chase Racketeer Greg (Wheeler Oakman) tells worried partner Ruth (Betty Compson) why the new under-cover cop, who's engaged to her daughter, needs to be kept close in Escort Girl, 1941.

Trailer

Companions

James Cruze
Husband
Director. Married in October 1925; divorced in May 1930.
Irving Wineberg
Husband
Producer. Married briefly during 1930s.
Silvius Jack Gall
Husband
Boxer. Married from the 1940s until his death in 1962.

Bibliography