Dagmar Godowsky

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Dagmar Godowsky
Dagmar Godowsky Stars of the Photoplay.jpg
Publicity photo of Godowsky from Stars of the Photoplay (1924)
Born Mercedes Dagmar Godowsky
(1897-11-24)November 24, 1897
Chicago, Illinois US
Died February 13, 1975(1975-02-13) (aged 77)
New York City, New York US
Nationality American
Occupation Actress
Years active 1919–1926

Dagmar Godowsky (November 24, 1897 – February 13, 1975) was an American silent film actress born in Chicago to Polish composer Leopold Godowsky and Frederica Saxe.[1][2]

Silent film actress[edit]

Her Hollywood film career spanned the years from 1919 through 1926. She played in A Sainted Devil (1924) with Rudolph Valentino and The Story Without a Name (1924). The latter co-starred Tyrone Power, Sr. and Louis Wolheim. Among her other film credits are Red Lights (1923), The Common Law (1923), Virtuous Liars (1924), and The Price of a Party (1924).

Private life[edit]

Godowsky wed silent screen actor Frank Mayo in Tijuana, Mexico in 1921. She named actress Anna Luther as co-respondent in a suit brought against Mayo in March 1925. The marriage was annulled in August 1928 on the ground that Mayo had another wife.

In 1958 Godowsky published a thoroughly candid autobiography entitled First Person Plural. She wrote I lived only for pleasure and I spoiled my own fun. Where was I running? From whom? Little feet running around the globe. Nothing but circles, and I never once bumped into myself.[3] In the book she named Enrico Caruso, Arthur Rubinstein, Jascha Heifetz, Charles Chaplin, Igor Stravinsky, and Valentino among her "great loves". When queried about the number of husbands she had, Godowsky responded, Two of my own, my dear, and several of my friends'.

In her later years she made frequent appearances in London, England and on television talk shows in New York City.


Left to right, Hollywood studio pilot Emery H. Rogers, actress Dagmar Godowsky and violinist Jascha Heifetz (1920)

Godowsky died aged 78 in Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan on February 13, 1975. It was the anniversary of her father's birth. Her funeral was held at Riverside Chapel on Amsterdam Avenue and 76th Street. She was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Westchester, New York. She was survived by a brother, Leopold Jr. He was married to Frances Gershwin, sister of George Gershwin.

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922
  2. ^ Passenger List SS Washington November 18, 1933
  3. ^ Godowsky, Dagmar. First Person Plural. The Lives of Dagmar Godowsky by Herself. New York: The Viking Press, 1958.


  • "Dagmar Godowsky, 78, Vamp Of the Silent Screen, Is Dead", New York Times, February 14, 1975, Page 35.
  • "Frank Mayo Accused By Silent Screen Star", Oakland Tribune, Wednesday Evening, March 18, 1925, Page 1.

External links[edit]