Priscilla Bonner (Priscilla Bonner)

Priscilla Bonner

Priscilla Bonner was born in Washington, D.C. on February 17, 1899. Her father, John S. Bonner, was in the Army and she spent much of her life in different places. She often play acted to amuse herself, playing all the parts and shifting the sets. While her father was stationed in Chicago, assigned to the staff of General Leonard Wood, she received a call from someone connected with Chicago Photoplay, insisting she come to their studio for photographs. Although realizing it was likely a wrong number, Priscilla seized the opportunity to have her picture taken there. Intrigued by her bold initiative and photogenic charisma, the studio took portraits of her and sent them to film studios in California. Her parents allowed her the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles. It was here that she met Charles Ray, and made her film debut in the 1920 film Homer Comes Home, after being signed to MGM that same year. She went on to co-star with Jack Pickford in The Man Who Had Everything (1920), Lon Chaney, Sr. in Shadows (1922), Colleen Moore in April Showers, and comedian Harry Langdon in The Strong Man. In 1925 she successfully sued Warner Bros. and won a substantial cash settlement when she was originally chosen and then dropped as leading lady from John Barrymore’s The Sea Beast in favor of Barrymore’s new real life love interest Dolores Costello.

That same year she starred in the controversial independent film The Red Kimono produced and directed by Dorothy Davenport, the widow of Wallace Reid. In 1927, Bonner was loaned to Paramount Pictures to co-star in the box office hit It, starring Clara Bow. In 1921, she married writer and author Allen Wynes Alexander. A little over a year later, he left her. She sued for divorce, but later dismissed the case. In 1928, Bonner married Dr. E. Bertrand Woolfan. She retired from films the following year. The couple were popular hosts to the burgeoning Los Angeles literary and film community, and particularly befriended Preston Sturges, the writer and director. On February 21, 1996, Priscilla Bonner died at the age of 97.

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Born

  • February, 17, 1899
  • USA
  • Washington D.C.

Died

  • February, 02, 1996
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

Cemetery

  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
  • Los Angeles, California
  • USA

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