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Dorothy Wilson (actress)

Personal information
Birth dateNovember 14, 1909
Place of birthMinneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Date of deathJanuary 07, 1998(age 88)
Death placeLompoc, California, USA
Years active1932 - 1943
SpouseLewis R. Foster (1936-1974) (his death)

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:For the author and playwright, see Dorothy Clarke WilsonDorothy Wilson (November 14, 1909 - January 7, 1998) was an American film actress of the 1930s.

Wilson was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, moving to Los Angeles, California after her high school graduation. Ironically, she had no interest in acting, and had moved to Los Angeles due to an urge to travel. In 1930 she began working as a secretary, and applied at several employment agencies. She received a job at RKO Pictures, and for two years she worked there as a secretary. While often taking notes for director Gregory La Cava, he noticed her and had her do a screen test for his upcoming 1932 film The Age of Consent. She won one of the two lead coed roles, placing her opposite Richard Cromwell. Her performance in the film received good reviews.

That same year she was selected as one of fifteen girls to be "WAMPAS Baby Stars", a list which that year included future Hollywood legends Gloria Stuart and Ginger Rogers. She would go on to star opposite some of Hollywood's biggest names, to include Harold Lloyd, Richard Dix, Tom Keene, Preston Foster and Will Rogers. She would star in twenty films between 1932 to 1937.

In 1936 she had married scriptwriter Lewis R. Foster, whom she had met while filming the 1934 movie Eight Girls in a Boat. Foster would win an Oscar for his script Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, released in 1939 and starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, and based on Foster's book The Gentleman From Montana. She would star in only two films after the marriage, her last being the 1937 film Speed to Spare, after which she retired from acting to devote time to her family. She returned to acting only once, an uncredited role in the 1943 film Whistling in Brooklyn. However, she was asked to test for the part of "Melanie Hamilton" in the epic movie Gone With the Wind, which she did, but she did not win the role, with it being awarded to Olivia de Havilland.

She and Foster remained together, and raised a family of two children. Foster died in 1974. Dorothy never remarried, and was residing in Lompoc, California at the time of her death on January 7, 1998.

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