Bessie Love's father was a cowboy and bartender, while her mother worked in and managed restaurants.
29 Facts About Bessie Love
Bessie Love attended school in Midland until she was in the eighth grade, when her family moved to Arizona, New Mexico, and then to California, where they settled in Hollywood.
The first films Bessie Love made were with Griffith's Fine Arts company, yet Intolerance was the only film that he formally directed.
Bessie Love later appeared opposite William S Hart in The Aryan and with Douglas Fairbanks in The Good Bad-Man, Reggie Mixes In, and The Mystery of the Leaping Fish.
In early 1918, Bessie Love left Fine Arts for a better contract with Pathe.
Bessie Love took an active role in the management of her career, and was represented by Gerald C Duffy, the former editor of Picture-Play Magazine.
Bessie Love sought roles that were different from the little girls she had portrayed earlier in her career when under contract to studios.
Bessie Love played Asian women in The Vermilion Pencil and The Purple Dawn ; a drug-addicted mother in Human Wreckage ; a woman accused of murder in The Woman on the Jury ; an underworld flapper in Those Who Dance ; and versions of her real-life self in Night Life in Hollywood, Souls for Sale, and Mary of the Movies.
Bessie Love gradually honed these skills and later performed them onscreen and on the stage.
Bessie Love's technique was documented in instructional guides, including a series of photographs by Edward Steichen.
Bessie Love subsequently performed the dance the following year in The Song and Dance Man.
Bessie Love lived frugally so she could afford lessons in singing and dancing.
Bessie Love toured with a musical revue for sixteen weeks, which was so physically demanding that she broke a rib.
Bessie Love appeared in the successful sound musical short film The Swell Head in early 1928, and was signed to MGM later that year.
Bessie Love appeared in several other early musicals, including 1929's The Hollywood Revue of 1929 and 1930's Chasing Rainbows, Good News, and They Learned About Women.
Bessie Love semi-retired from films, and traveled with a musical revue that included clips from her films The Broadway Melody, The Hollywood Revue, and Chasing Rainbows.
In 1935, Bessie Love moved to England, briefly returning to the United States in 1936 to obtain a divorce.
Towards the end of the war, Bessie Love began acting again, this time primarily in the theater and on BBC Radio as a member of their Drama Repertory Company; she played small roles in British films, often as an American tourist.
Stage work included such productions as Bessie Love in Idleness and Born Yesterday.
Bessie Love wrote and performed in The Homecoming, a semiautobiographical play, which opened in Perth, Scotland in 1958.
Bessie Love had supporting roles in The Greengage Summer starring Kenneth More, the James Bond thriller On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and John Schlesinger's Sunday Bloody Sunday.
On television, Bessie Love appeared in dozens of episodes of British television shows in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
Bessie Love appeared in John Osborne's play West of Suez, and as "Aunt Pittypat" in a large-scale musical version of Gone with the Wind and as an "American Lady" in Vampyres.
Bessie Love married then-stockbroker William Hawks at St James' Episcopal Church in South Pasadena, California on December 27,1929.
The wedding and reception were documented by the press and by Beaton in his Diaries, where he wrote that Bessie Love "looked like a terrified bird" but "radiated love".
Bessie Love moved to England with her daughter in 1935, a year before her divorce was final.
Portraits of Bessie Love are preserved in public and private collections, including those of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC and the National Portrait Gallery in London.
Bessie Love periodically was interviewed by film historians, and was featured in the television documentary series The Hollywood Greats and Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film, both about early filmmaking in Hollywood.
Bessie Love loaned materials from her personal collection to museums.