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Lilyan Tashman

Lilyan Tashman
Personal information
Birth dateOctober 23, 1896
Place of birthBrooklyn, New York, U.S.
Date of deathMarch 21, 1934(age 37)
Death placeNew York City, New York, U.S.
SpouseAl Lee (1914 1921)
Edmund Lowe (1925 1934)

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Lilyan Tashman (October 23, 1896 March 21, 1934) was a Brooklyn-born Jewish American vaudeville, Broadway, and film actress. Tashman was best known for her supporting roles as tongue-in-cheek villainesses and the bitchy 'other woman'. She made sixty-six films over the course of her Hollywood career and although never obtained superstar status, her cinematic performances are "sharp, clever and have aged little over the decades."

Tall, blonde, and slender with fox-like features and a throaty voice, Tashman freelanced as a fashion and artist's model in New York City. By 1914 she was an experienced vaudevillian, appearing in Ziegfeld Follies between 1916 and 1918. In 1921, Tashman had a role in her first film, Experience, and over the next decade and a half she appeared in numerous silent films. With her husky contralto singing voice she easily navigated the transition to the talkies.

Tashman married vaudevillian Al Lee in 1914 but they divorced in 1921. She married openly gay actor Edmund Lowe in 1925. Her lesbian affairs in Hollywood were an open secret, and her wardrobe and lavish parties the talk of the town.

She died of cancer in New York City on March 21, 1934, at the age of 37. Her last film, Frankie and Johnny, was released posthumously in 1936.

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