Seena Owen (Signe Auen)

Seena Owen

Seena Owen’s first important film was A Yankee From the West (1915) under the name Signe Auen at the age of 21. She was later convinced to change her name and settled on Seena Owen, the phonetic spelling of her real name. In 1916 she performed in D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance. The same year she married George Walsh whom she had met on the set of Intolerance. The marriage lasted until their divorce in 1924. A regular player for the rest of the silent era, Owen appeared in films such as Maurice Tourneur’s Victory in 1919 where she was photographed to great effect by Tourneur’s cameraman, Rene Guissart. Victory, long lost, was recently found in 35mm print in Europe and can be seen on DVD. In 1920, she appeared in “The Gift Supreme” with Lon Chaney, who appeared with her in Victory. All but one reel of The Gift Supreme is lost. She co-starred with Gloria Swanson and Walter Byron in the ill-fated Queen Kelly (1928), as the mad Queen who whips Swanson in one scene.¬†With the arrival of sound in movies, Seena Owen’s weak voice became a problem and forced her to retire from the silver screen in 1933. After her retirement, she worked on a number of films in the 1930s/40s as a screenwriter including two starring Dorothy Lamour: Aloma of the South Seas (1941) and Rainbow Island (1944). The former was written in part with her sister, Lillie Hayward, a successful Hollywood screenwriter.¬†Seena Owen died on August 15, 1966 at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, aged 71, and was interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. She was survived by her daughter, Mrs. Patricia Noonan.

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  • November, 14, 1894
  • USA
  • Spokane, Washington


  • August, 15, 1966
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California


  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery
  • Hollywood, California
  • USA

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