Actress. She appeared in roughly 56 feature films during the 1920s. Raised in Chicago, she went to Hollywood at a young age, and found work in the low budget westerns that were popular at the time. She made her silver screen debut with the 1920 “Tipped Off”, which starred Hoot Gibson, though her first “credited” performance was in “The Fox” (1921). Her good looks soon made her a sought-after romantic lead and kept her busy through the decade. Perhaps her best known roles were two very different ones that she landed in 1925, playing opposite Rudolph Valentino in “Cobra”, and Lon Chaney in “The Monster”. Olmstead had the distinction of appearing in the legendary Greta Garbo’s first American film, 1926’s “The Torrent”. Having met and married director Robert Z. Leonard in 1926 (the marriage lasted until Leonard’s death in 1968), and perhaps realizing that she would not adapt well to “talkies”, Olmstead retired from films following the 1929 “The Show of Shows”, and lived out her years in Hollywood. Her name is sometimes rendered as “Olmsted”.
- November, 13, 1897
- January, 18, 1975
- Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)