Born Kathleen Morrison in Port Huron, Michigan, Moore made her first film appearance in 1918 and for the next few years appeared in small, supporting roles gradually attracting the attention of the public. She was named as a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1922 in recognition of her growing popularity. Her first major success was the 1923 film Flaming Youth. Moore's vivacious flapper caused a sensation and made her one of the most talked about actresses of her day. Moore and Louise Brooks were seen as the people who epitomized the young adult society of their day, and Moore's career grew over the next few years. As she continued to play similar characters in successful films such as Flirting With Love and The Perfect Flapper, Moore's bobbed hairstyle was widely copied throughout the world.
By the late 1920s she had progressed to more important roles in films such as So Big (1925) and was also well received in light comedies. With the advent of talking pictures in 1929, Moore took a hiatus from acting but returned in 1933 to appear in three films. None of these were successful, and Moore retired.
In the 1960s she formed a television production company with King Vidor with whom she had worked in the 1920s. In her later years she would frequently attend film festivals, and was a popular interview subject, always willing to discuss her Hollywood career. She was a participant in the 1980 documentary series Hollywood providing her recollections of Hollywood's silent film era.
She was the author of two books, the autobiography Silent Star and How Women Can Make Money in the Stock Market, a subject she had proved herself well qualified to discuss. At the height of her fame, Moore was earning $12,500 per week. She was recognised as an astute investor, and through her investments remained wealthy for the rest of her life.
In 1928 Moore constructed an 8 foot tall miniature fairy castle which toured the United States. It has been housed as an exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois since the early 1950s where, according to the museum it is seen by 1.5 million people each year. Moore continued working on it, and contributing artefacts to it, until her death.
Colleen Moore died from cancer in Paso Robles,California.
Her contributions to Motion Pictures have been recognised with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1551 Vine St.
Colleen Moore Facts
|August 19, 1900
|Port Huron, Michigan, USA
|Date of death
|January 25, 1988 (age 87)
|The Power and the Glory
|Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film
|Accidentally Preserved: volume 4
|Sky Pilot, The
|An American Rhapsody