April 26, 1903|
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
|Died||April 8, 1957
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Holy Cross Cemetery|
|Spouse(s)||William Boyd (m. 1930–36)
Harold Shapiro (m. 1947–57)
Dorothy Sebastian (April 26, 1903 – April 8, 1957) was an American film and stage actress.
Sebastian was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. In her youth, she aspired to be a dancer and a film actress. Her family frowned on both ambitions, however, so she fled to New York at the age of 15. Upon her arrival in New York City, Sebastian's southern drawl was thick enough to "cut with a knife". She followed around theatrical agents before returning at night to a $12-a-month room, after being consistently rejected.
Sebastian's first contact in Hollywood was Robert Kane, who gave her a film test at United Studios. She performed in George White's Scandals and later co-starred with Joan Crawford and Anita Page for a popular series of MGM romantic dramas including Our Dancing Daughters (1928) and Our Blushing Brides (1930). Sebastian also appeared in 1929's Spite Marriage, wherein she was cast opposite her then-lover Buster Keaton.
By the mid-1930s, Sebastian was semi-retired from acting after marrying Hopalong Cassidy star William Boyd. After their 1936 divorce, she returned to acting appearing in mostly bit parts. Her last onscreen appearance was in the 1948 film The Miracle of the Bells.
On November 7, 1938, Sebastian was found guilty of drunk driving in a Beverly Hills, California Justice Court. The night she was arrested, she had been dining at the home of Buster Keaton with her nephew. She was given a 30-day suspended jail sentence and paid a fine of $75.
In 1940, Sebastian was denied an award of $10,000 from a San Diego court. She appeared at a Red Cross benefit in San Francisco in 1937, and failed to pay her hotel bill. She contended the promoter should have met the expense. An employee of the Plaza Hotel took out the suit, charging "defrauding an innkeeper". The State Supreme Court of California reversed the decision, which awarded her the money on grounds of malicious prosecution.
On April 8, 1957, Sebastian died of cancer at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. She is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Dorothy Sebastian has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6655 Hollywood Blvd.
|1925||Sackcloth and Scarlet||Polly Freeman|
|1925||Why Women Love||Pearl|
|1926||You'd Be Surprised||Ruth Whitman|
|1927||On Ze Boulevard||Gaby de Sylva|
|1927||The Isle of Forgotten Women||Marua|
|1928||A Woman of Affairs||Constance|
|1928||The House of Scandal||Ann Rourke|
|1929||The Unholy Night||Lady Efra Cavender||Alternative title: The Green Ghost|
|1930||Montana Moon||Elizabeth "Lizzie" Prescott|
|1930||The Rounder||Ethel Dalton||MGM short, costarring Jack Benny.|
|1931||The Deceiver||Ina Fontanne|
|1932||They Never Come Back||Adele Landon|
|1933||Ship of Wanted Men||Irene Reynolds|
|1934||The Life of Vergie Winters||Lulu|
|1937||The Mysterious Pilot||Jean McNain|
|1939||The Arizona Kid||Bess Warren|
|1941||Kansas Cyclone||Helen King|
|1942||True to the Army||Gloria||Uncredited|
|1948||The Miracle of the Bells||Miss Katie Orwin||Uncredited|
- "Dorothy Is Gate Crasher". The Los Angeles Times. 1926-10-04. p. C20.
- Merrick, Molly (1930-12-30). "Hollywood In Person". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Dorothy Sebastian, Former Actress, Dies". Reading Eagle. 1957-04-09. p. 22. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Brettell, Andrew; King, Noel; Kennedy, Damien; Imwold, Denise (2005). Cut!: Hollywood Murders, Accidents, and Other Tragedies. Leonard, Warren Hsu; von Rohr, Heather. Barrons Educational Series. p. 179. ISBN 0-7641-5858-9.
- "Actress Found Guilty Of Driving While Intoxicated". Lewiston Morning Tribune. 1968-11-08. p. 3. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "High Court Rules Against Actress". The Los Angeles Times. 1940-05-28. p. 9.
- Los Angeles Times, "Alabama Steps To Top", August 10, 1930, Page B16.
- Oakland Tribune, "Kin of Actress Burns To Death", May 14, 1938, Page 1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dorothy Sebastian.|
- Dorothy Sebastian at the Internet Broadway Database
- Dorothy Sebastian at the Internet Movie Database
- Dorothy Sebastian at the TCM Movie Database
- Dorothy Sebastian at Virtual History