Born as Alma Inez Williams in Fort Worth, Texas in 1899, her family soon moved to Los Angeles when she was still a young girl. It was there where she completed her education and then joined a musical comedy company, with which she appeared for one year. She then went to Lyons and Moran comedies at Universal Pictures. It was at Universal where she was "discovered" by director/producer Al Christie, one of the most famous comedic moviemakers of the era. She began playing in small parts in films for Christie, but soon received leads and moved from one-reelers to two-reelers, which would make her a star.
Dorothy became very popular in the film industry during the period of 1918 until the late 1920s. She was a talented actress, specializing especially in comedic roles, for which she is remembered, such as in Know Thy Wife (1918), directed by Al Christie. Dorothy was chosen as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1923. During a good deal of her career, she achieved stardom in the comedic two-reel Christie Comedies, released through Educational. When the chance arose for Dorothy to begin making longer, feature films, she decided to stay with what she was doing at that moment: two-reelers, where she had already attracted a good deal of attention.
A little time after her career kicked off, Christie loaned her out to play the female lead opposite Charles Ray in 45 Minutes from Broadway (1920), in which she had great success. Following this film, she declined several feature film offers and immediately returned to two-reelers. She made several successful films which established her as one of the screen's most talented comedians of the era. She made her last film, Take the Heir, in 1930, and began her retirement from the movies.
- Know Thy Wife (1918)
- 45 Minutes from Broadway (1920)
- Magnificent Brute (1921)
- Hazel from Hollywood (1923)
- When Odds are Even (1923)
- The Tomboy (1924)
- The Narrow Street (1925)
- Who Cares (1925) -- (Survives Library of Congress)
- The Prairie Wife (1925)
- Three Weeks in Paris (1925)
- The Man Upstairs (1926)
- Senor Daredevil (1926)
- Mountains of Manhattan (1927)
- No Babies Wanted (1928)
- Take the Heir (1930)
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