Louise Dresser (Louise Josephine Kerlin)

Louise Dresser

Louise Dresser (October 17, 1878 – April 24, 1965) was an American actress. Born Louise Josephine Kerlin in Evansville, Indiana. Her father was a train conductor who died when she was fifteen years old. She starred in several films in the silent era. She had acted on the stage previously, being a Vaudeville singer at age fifteen and her first film was The Glory of Clementina (1922), and her first starring role was in The City that Never Sleeps (1924). She took her professional last name as a tribute to her good friend, songwriter Paul Dresser. Dresser was a popular songwriter of the turn of the 20th century. During the first presentations of the Academy Awards in 1929 she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for A Ship Comes In. She portrayed Empress Elizabeth in Paramount Pictures’s The Scarlet Empress (1934). Dresser’s last film was Maid of Salem (1937). On television, she appeared in an episode spotlighting Buster Keaton on Ralph Edwards’s program, This is Your Life. Louise Dresser had known Keaton since he was a small boy with his parents in vaudeville. Louise Dresser was married twice. First, to singer/songwriter, Jack Norworth, whom she divorced and then to Jack Gardner, until his death in 1950. Dresser died in Woodland Hills, California, after surgery for an intestinal ailment, and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Dresser died without issue.


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  • October, 17, 1878
  • USA
  • Evansville, Indiana


  • April, 24, 1965
  • USA
  • Woodland Hills, California

Cause of Death

  • intestinal obstruction


  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
  • Glendale, California
  • USA

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