Estelle Taylor

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Estelle Taylor
Born Ida Estelle Taylor
May 20, 1894
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Died April 15, 1958 (aged 63)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1919–1945
Spouse(s) Kenneth Malcolm Peacock
Jack Dempsey (1925–1933)
Paul Smith

Estelle Taylor (May 20, 1894 – April 15, 1958) was an American Hollywood actress whose career was most prominent during the silent film era of the 1920s.[1]


Born Ida Estelle Taylor to a Jewish family[2] in Wilmington, Delaware, the daughter of Harry D Taylor and Ida LaBertha (Barrett) Taylor, Estelle married three times. Her first husband was banker Kenneth Malcolm Peacock,[3] her second husband was "Jack" Dempsey,[4] the world heavyweight boxing champion, and her third husband was a theatrical producer, Paul Smith. She had no children.

Dempsey with his wife Estelle on his shoulder. (Chicago, 1925)

After relocating to Hollywood, she began taking bit parts in films. One of Taylor's earliest successes was in 1920 in Fox's While New York Sleeps with Marc McDermott. She and McDermott play three sets of characters in different time periods. This film was lost for decades, but has been recently discovered and screened at a film festival in Los Angeles. Taylor is possibly best recalled for her roles in the 1922 drama Monte Cristo, opposite John Gilbert; the enormously successful 1923 Cecil B. DeMille directed The Ten Commandments as Miriam, the sister of Moses; as Lucrezia Borgia in the 1926 Warner Bros.' first feature-length film with synchronized Vitaphone sound effects and musical soundtrack Don Juan, with John Barrymore, Mary Astor and Warner Oland; 1927's New York, featuring Ricardo Cortez and Lois Wilson; 1931's Street Scene with Sylvia Sidney; the Academy Award-winning Cimarron; and the Clara Bow talkie Call Her Savage in 1932.

Taylor married heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey in 1925. She was supposed to have co-starred in a movie with Rudolph Valentino, but he died just before production was to begin. In 1928, she and husband Dempsey starred in a Broadway play titled The Big Fight, loosely based around Dempsey's boxing popularity, which ran for 31 performances at the Majestic Theatre.[5]

Taylor's last film appearance was in the 1945 Jean Renoir directed drama The Southerner. In her later years, Taylor devoted her free time to her pets and was the president and founder of the California Pet Owners' Protective League. In 1953, Taylor served on the City Animal Regulation Commission in Los Angeles, California.

She died in 1958, after a battle with cancer. She was interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Estelle Taylor was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1620 Vine Street in Hollywood, California. In a 1983 American made-for-television movie biopic of Jack Dempsey, Estelle Taylor was portrayed by British actress Victoria Tennant.

Partial filmography[edit]


External links[edit]