Esther Dale

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Esther Dale
Esther Dale signed.jpg
Signed Publicity Photo
Born (1885-11-10)November 10, 1885
Beaufort, South Carolina, U.S.
Died July 23, 1961(1961-07-23) (aged 75)
Queen of Angels Hospital, Hollywood, California, U.S.
Cause of death complications from surgery
Occupation Actress
Years active 1934-1960 (film and television roles, though in earlier years appeared on stage including Broadway)
Spouse(s) Arthur Beckhard
(m.? - March 1961; his death)

Esther Dale (November 10, 1885 – July 23, 1961) was an American actress, best known perhaps for her role as Aunt Genevieve in the 1935 Shirley Temple vehicle, Curly Top.


Esther Dale in 1938

She attended Leland and Gray Seminary in Townsend, Vermont. In Berlin, Germany, she studied music and enjoyed a successful career as a singer of lieder on the concert stage.

In America, she transferred to the acting stage and cultivated a career as an actress in summer stock. She starred in Carrie Nation on Broadway in 1933.

Her first film was Crime Without Passion in 1934 in an uncredited role. She was a familiar face in films of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, frequently playing stern, authoritarian characters such as prison matrons and head nurses, although she was equally adept at playing grande dames and ladies of the aristocracy.

She played many roles in television over the years. In the 1958-1959 season of The Donna Reed Show, Dale played a job-seeking housekeeper who is frightened from the Stone home by Jeff Stone's pet mouse, and appeared in the 1957 Maverick episode "According to Hoyle" opposite James Garner.

Dale died in the summer of 1961 following surgery in Queen of Angels Hospital in Hollywood. She had been married to writer and director Arthur J. Beckhard, who predeceased her by four months.

Partial filmography[edit]


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