Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dorothy Janis (1910 - 2010)

Dorothy Janis was born Dorothy Penelope Jones on February 19, 1910 in Dallas, Texas.



When Dorothy was 15 years old she was visiting her cousin who was working on a film for Fox. The beautiful Dorothy was noticed at once and asked to make a screen test.



She was cast in her first film role in Kit Carson (1928) as Sings-in-the-Clouds. That same year, she played Thurya in Fleetwing (1928).

Within a year, although she was just 16, Dorothy Janis was signed by Metro to a 5-year contract. Metro said publicly that Janis was 18 and half-Cherokee; neither fact was true.

Dorothy's first film for MGM was The Overland Telegraph (1929).

She is best known for playing opposite Ramon Novarro in The Pagan (1929), her second film for MGM and overall her fourth film.




In 1930, she appeared in her final film as Chita in Lummox (1930).

Dorothy Janis was scheduled to appear in one more film entitled The White Captive. In 1930, Dorothy and the film compnay sailed to the for a tour of the Malay Peninsula to make a film to be entitled The White Captive. When the company returned to Hollywood at the end of 1930, however, the studio found that shot footage was virtually unusable, and worse yet, poor Dorothy Janis found herself at the epicenter of a tabloid scandal.




Sidney Lund, a newlywed sound technician who traveled with the White Captive company, apparently formed a crush on Janis during the 6-month trip, inspiring Mrs. Lund, a former vaudeville dancer, to file for divorce and to sue Janis for $25,000 for "alienation of affection."

Mrs. Lund eventually got her divorce and dropped her suit against Dorothy Janis.

Admist the scandal, Dorothy Janis traveled to Chicago to visit an aunt to get away from the Hollywood scandal. During the trip, Dorothy Janis met and fell in love with bandleader Wayne King.

The two were married on March 21, 1932 and were married 53 years until his death on July 16, 1985.

Dorothy Janis was an exotic beauty who made five films: four silents and one talkie. She retired in 1930 and currently resides in Arizona. She has two children and six grandchildren.

Few knew or could even have imagined that the happy housewife and mother of two and grandmother of six once wore a sarong in the Tahitian jungles listening to Ramon Novarro croon the "Pagan Love Song."



Dorothy Janis died on March 10, 2010 at the age of 100.

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