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|Born||Elizabeth Ada Bronson
November 17, 1906
Trenton, New Jersey
|Died||October 19, 1971
Betty Bronson (November 17, 1906 – October 19, 1971) was an American television and film actress who began her career during the silent film era.
Elizabeth Ada Bronson was born in Trenton, New Jersey, to Frank and Nellie Smith Bronson. She began her film career at the age of sixteen with a bit part in Anna Ascends. At seventeen, she was interviewed by J. M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan. Although the role had been sought by such established actresses as Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford, Barrie personally chose Bronson to play the lead in the film adaptation of his work, which was released in 1924. She appeared alongside actresses Mary Brian (Wendy Darling) and Esther Ralston (Mrs. Darling), both of whom remained lifelong friends.
Bronson had a major role in the 1925 silent film adaptation of Ben-Hur. In 1925, she starred in another Barrie story, A Kiss for Cinderella, an artfully made film that failed at the box office. She made a successful transition into sound films with The Singing Fool (1928), co-starring Al Jolson. She appeared in the sequel, Sonny Boy, with Davey Lee in 1929. She was the leading lady opposite Jack Benny in the romantic drama The Medicine Man (1930).
Bronson continued acting until 1933 when she married Ludwig Lauerhass, with whom she had one child, Ludwig Lauerhass, Jr. She did not appear in films again until Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge (1937) starring Gene Autry. In the 1960s, she appeared in episodic television and feature films. Her last role was an uncredited part in the television biopic Evel Knievel (1971).
Bronson, the Media and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr
Bronson was reclusive with the press, but received attention after being seen with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. He had his first boyhood crush on her, as he remembered in his autobiography, The Salad Days:
"Another important picture had just started. It was Peter Pan, directed by a clever caricature of a wildly temperamental movie director, Herbert Brenon. After exhaustive tests, Betty Bronson, a pretty and gifted girl in her middle teens, was given this famous role... I fell for Betty! It was my first intensely juvenile, deep-sighs-and-bad-sonnets love. It was not fully requited. She only flirted with me. My rival was a fellow in his twenties, a newspaperman who was to become one of New York's most respected theater critics, Richard Watts, Jr. ...In any event, I was so smitten with Betty, I could think of little else, except when I could call on her, even though her overprotective mother was always just in the next room."
It is known that Bronson kept all Fairbanks' letters and spoke of him fondly until her death.
|1922||Anna Ascends||Bit part||Uncredited|
|1923||Java Head||Janet Ammidon|
|The Go-Getter||Bit part||Uncredited|
|His Children's Children||Uncredited|
|The Eternal City||Page||Uncredited|
|1924||Peter Pan||Peter Pan|
|1925||Are Parents People?||Lita Hazlitt|
|Not So Long Ago||Betty Dover|
|The Golden Princess||Betty Kent|
|A Kiss for Cinderella||Cinderella (Jane)|
|Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ||Mary||Alternative title: Ben-Hur|
|1926||The Cat's Pajamas||Sally Winton|
|Everybody's Acting||Doris Poole|
|1927||Paradise for Two||Sally Lane|
|Open Range||Lucy Blake|
|Brass Knuckles||June Curry||(*Trailer only: Library of Congress)|
|1928||Companionate Marriage||Sally Williams||Alternative title: The Jazz Bride|
|The Singing Fool||Grace|
|1929||A Modern Sappho|
|The Bellamy Trial||Reporter|
|Sonny Boy||Aunt Winigred Canfield|
|One Stolen Night||Jeanne|
|The Locked Door||Helen Reagan|
|1930||The Medicine Man||Mamie Goltz|
|1931||Lover Come Back||Vivian March|
|1932||The Midnight Patrol||Ellen Gray|
|1937||Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge||Milly Baynum||Alternative title: The Hero from Pine Ridge|
|1961||Pocketful of Miracles||Mayor's wife||Uncredited|
|1962||Who's Got the Action?||Mrs. Boatwright||Uncredited|
|1964||The Naked Kiss||Miss Josephine||Alternative title: The Iron Kiss|
|1968||Blackbeard's Ghost||Old Lady|
|1960||My Three Sons||Mrs. Butler||1 episode|
|1964||Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre||1 episode|
|Grindl||Mrs. Cooper||1 episode|
|1965||Run for Your Life||Alma Sloan||1 episode|
|1971||Evel Knievel||Sorority House Mother||Television film
- "Betty Bronson (1906 - 1971) - Find A Grave Memorial". www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2016-02-29.
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