Happy 117th Birthday, Colleen Moore!

Actress Colleen Moore was born Kathleen Morrison 117 years ago today (or was it 114 years—there’s some debate about that) in Port Huron, Michigan. She was one of the biggest stars of the silent era and made flappers safe for the average American. Here are 10 CM Did-You-Knows:

  • Her childhood was a happy one and her parents happy together, much in contrast to that other actress who was famous for portraying flappers, Clara Bow.
  • She was fascinated with motion pictures from childhood and dreamed even as a child of being a movie star.
  • When she was a teenager, her uncle, who was editor of The Chicago Tribune, arranged with D. W. Griffith, with whom he was acquainted, for his niece to be given a shot in Hollywood. Griffith agreed, giving Moore five small roles in her first year in Hollywood.
  • Moore had one blue eye and one brown one.
  • She was one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars of 1922.
  • Moore was one of the women most responsible for popularizing the then-controversial bobbed haircut for women.
  • There were two stockbrokers among her four husbands, and Moore was quite savvy in investing her money. As a result, she was very comfortable financially throughout her life and even wrote an investment guide to advise and encourage women to become investors.
  • Moore’s hobby was building extravagant doll houses, the eighth of which became known as “The Enchanted Castle,” took a decade to build, employed dozens of craftsmen, toured the world to raise money for charity, and is now on public display at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago.
  • She claimed to have discovered actress Loretta Young and even to have suggested she change her name from Gretchen to Loretta.
  • After appearing in just a few talking pictures, Moore retired from motion pictures in 1934. She later was a partner in the investment firm Merrill Lynch.

Happy birthday, Colleen Moore, wherever you may be!

Colleen Moore