Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Born Today July 4: Dolores Cassinelli


Silent film actress Dolores Cassinelli was born on Independence Day 1888 in Chicago, Illinois--her actual first name was Elvere, with Dolores being her middle name. She was hired under contract to Essanay and appeared in her first film for them in 1911 with Two Men And A Girl.  She stayed with Essanay until the end of 1913, when her contract was up.  The last film that she made for them was Dollars, Pounds, Sense (1913).  After this she became a kind of free agent.  The first film that she made out of contract came at the very end of 1913; The Wolf Of The City (1913) was made for Selig Polyscope.  She then starred in a series of Tom & Jerry films for the Emerald Motion Picture Company.  Two of her later acting jobs came under the production of the Chronicles of America Pictures; back to back she played Queen Isabella in Christopher Columbus (1923) and turned right around to play Pocahontas in Jamestown (1923).  Her next the last film that she ever made with Bela Lugosi in The Midnight Girl in 1925.  Her last film--also in 1925--was The Unguarded Hour.  She then retired from the film business altogether.  During her time in the film industry, she earned the nickname "The Cameo Girl of the Movies," but she was a popular enough actress to be featured in the 1920 Screen Snapshots, Series 1, No. 21.  Cassinelli died in New Brunswick, New Jersey on the 26 April 1985, she was 95.  She is buried in South Plainfield, New Jersey at the Holy Redeemer Cemetery. (Note:  some sources cite her birth year as 1893, this may be due to her own fibbing about her age.  And, others sources say that she was born in New York City--she wasn't.)

Cassinelli in 1919

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