Priscilla Dean, 1922
November 25, 1896|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||December 27, 1987
Leonia, New Jersey, U.S.
Priscilla Dean (November 25, 1896 – December 27, 1987) was an American actress popular in silent film as well as in theatre, with a career spanning two decades.
Life and career
Born in New York to an active theatrical family (her mother was popular stage actress Mary Preston Dean), Priscilla Dean made her stage debut at the age of four, appearing in plays starring her parents. From then on, she pursued her stage career at the same time as being educated at a convent school until the age of fourteen. Following her leave from school, Priscilla went to work on stage, then tried to get into the movies.
Dean made her film debut at the age of fourteen in one-reelers for Biograph and several other studios. She was finally signed on to Universal(then called IMP) in 1911. She soon gained popularity as the female lead in the comedy series of Eddie Lyons and Lee Moran.
She was propelled to stardom after she appeared in The Gray Ghost in 1917. Following this film, she became very successful in her work. However, when the age of sound dawned, Priscilla's career was severely damaged. She continued to do several low-budget films for minor independent studios during the '30s, but never regained the popularity she had earned in silent films.
She married Wheeler Oakman, who was also under contract at Universal and appeared in The Virgin of Stamboul and Outside the Law with Priscilla. They divorced in the mid-1920s, and at the end of the decade, she married Leslie Arnold, who was famous as one of the "Around The World Flyers." They remained married until his death in the 1960s. She never had children. Ephraim Katz stated that she had been a school bus driver sometime in the 1970s.
Priscilla Dean died in Leonia, New Jersey at the age of 91 on December 27, 1987 from injuries related to a fall she had suffered the previous September.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Priscilla Dean.|
- Priscilla Dean at the Internet Movie Database
- Priscilla Dean photographs and articles
- Priscilla Dean in a chorus in 1910 on the right (Univ. of Washington, Sayre collection)