#M(ichigan)M(ovie)H(istory): On this Day, January 25, 1988: Silent movie star Colleen Moore dies

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It was on this day, January 25, 1988, in M(ichigan)M(ovie)H(istory) American film actress Colleen Moore died from cancer in Paso Robles, California, aged 88. Born Kathleen Morrison on August 19, 1899 in Port Huron, Michigan, 1905 the family moved to Hillsdale, Michigan where they remained for over two years

Her father was an irrigation engineer and provided her family with a comfortable living. Colleen was educated in parochial schools and studied at the famed Detroit Conservatory
The family relocated to Atlanta, Georgia by 1908, then lived briefly — probably less than a year — in Warren, Pennsylvania, and by 1911 they had settled down in Tampa, Florida.

As a child she was fascinated with films and the queens of the day such as Marguerite Clark and Mary Pickford and kept a scrapbook of those actresses; she even kept a blank space for the day when she would be a famous star and could put her picture there.

When a neighbor down the street from her had a piano delivered, Colleen talked the deliverymen into taking the wooden packing crate to her house, and she set it up as a stage. It was the beginning of her career, as she and her friend performed plays for the other neighborhood children.

At age 15, her uncle Walter C. Howey, the editor of the “Chicago Tribune” who helped D.W. Griffith make his films The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) more presentable to the censors arranged a screen test with director D.W. Griffith. She wanted to be a second Lillian Gish but instead she found herself playing heroines in Westerns with stars such as Tom Mix. But the movie that defined her as a “flapper” was the classic Flaming Youth (1923), in which she played Patricia Fentriss. By 1927 she was the top box-office draw in the US, pulling in the phenomenal sum of $12,500 a week

Moore became one of the most fashionable stars of the era and helped popularize the bobbed haircut.  Her final film role was as Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter (1934).

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Colleen Moore has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1551 Vine Street.

For more on Colleen Moore and her filmography. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colleen_Moore

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