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Evelyn Brent

Evelyn Brent, was an American film and stage actress.

Born Mary Elizabeth Riggs in Tampa, Florida and known as Betty, she was a child of ten when her mother passed away, leaving her father to raise her alone. After moving to New York City, as a teenager her good looks brought modeling jobs that led to an opportunity to become involved in the still relatively new business of making motion pictures. She began her film career working under her own name at a New Jersey film studio then made her major debut in the 1915 silent film production of the Robert W. Service poem, The Shooting of Dan McGrew.

As Evelyn Brent, she continued to work in film, developing into a young woman whose sultry looks were much sought after, often as a femme fatale. After World War I, she went to London, England where she worked in film as well as on stage for a few years before going to Hollywood in 1922. There, her career received a major boost the following year when she was chosen as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. Signed by Douglas Fairbanks Pictures Corporation, she went on to make more than two dozen silent films including three for the noted Austrian director, Josef von Sternberg.

In 1928 she starred opposite William Powell in what was her own and Paramount Studios first talkie. Although the film, titled Interference, did not live up to expectations at the box office, Brent played major roles in several more features, most notably The Silver Horde in 1930. By the early part of the 1930s, she was busy working in secondary roles in a variety of films as well as touring with vaudeville shows. After performing in more than 120 films, she retired from acting in 1950 and worked for a number of years as an actor's agent.

Evelyn Brent was married three times. Her last husband was the actor Harry Fox for whom the foxtrot dance was named. They were still married when he died in 1959.

On her passing in 1975, Evelyn Brent was interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, she has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6548 Hollywood Blvd.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Evelyn Brent Facts

Birth NameMary Elizabeth Riggs
BirthdayOctober 20, 1899
BirthplaceTampa, Florida, USA
Date of deathJune 4, 1975 (age 75)
Height5' 6" (1m68)  How tall is Evelyn Brent compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Mr. Wong Detective
Mr. Wong, Detective
The Life of David Gale
The President's Mystery
Angels With Dirty Faces
The World Gone Mad
Wide Open Town
42nd Street
Tarzan's Fight For Life
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