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|Born||May 2, 1912|
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||May 18, 1953 (aged 41)|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Pasadena Playhouse|
|Occupation||Actress, casting director, and songwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Alan Dinehart (m. 1933–1944, his death)|
Thomas W. Gosser (m. 1948–1953, her death; separated prior to her death)
|Children||Mason Alan Dinehart|
Mozelle Britton (May 2, 1912 – May 18, 1953) was an American actress, casting director, newspaper columnist, and songwriter.
Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, she relocated to Southern California with her family when she was seventeen years old. She studied at the Pasadena Playhouse and later appeared in films produced at Fox and Columbia Pictures. Aside from acting, she worked as an assistant casting director at Columbia, when she met and married actor Alan Dinehart in 1933. He was divorced at the time; the marriage lasted eleven years until his death. They had a son, Mason Alan Dinehart, also known as Alan Dinehart III, who later became an actor. In 1939, the Dineharts were involved in a head-on collision while driving home from a dinner party. Mozelle’s head and shoulders went through the car's windshield. In fact, the accident nearly decapitated her. After being rushed to the hospital, she received over a hundred stitches and underwent extensive plastic surgery. She never fully regained her health after the accident.
In 1940, she dropped out of her husband's stage production of Separate Rooms due to poor health. She then spent a year in a sanitarium for an undisclosed illness. In 1942, she once again underwent surgery. She had penned the songs “When I Listen to a Love Song” and “Only You Have Kissed My Heart” in the 1940s. Both songs were intended for a Broadway musical that she and her husband had been developing.
In 1948, four years after the death of her first husband, she wed Thomas W. Gosser, a recently divorced aeronautical engineer. They separated five months before her death. She turned to writing and produced a daily column carried in a number of California and out-of-state newspapers. In April 1953, Britton sought police aid in finding her son, Alan, whom she believed was eloping with his 16-year-old sweetheart. The pair was found the following day, unwed and broke, and returned to their homes. An actor, Mason Alan Dinehart was subsequently cast in thirty-four episodes as a young Bat Masterson on the ABC/Desilu television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, starring Hugh O'Brian in the title role.
Mozelle Britton died, aged 41, at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, where she had been under treatment for a heart ailment. According to her sister, Mrs. Allamae Gingg, Britton's death was hastened by overwork. She had been preparing a benefit show in San Diego for the American Cancer Society. She and her first husband are entombed together at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
Mozelle Britton rewrote her will eight days before her death, leaving her entire $60,000 estate to her mother, Ida Belle Britton, and willed her son and estranged second husband $1 each. In the case of her son, Britton wrote that she anticipated that his grandmother (her mother) would "take care of his needs".
- Los Angeles Times, May 19, 1953, "Mozelle Dinehart, 41, Widow of actor, Dies".
- Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1953, "Alan Dinehart's Widow Wills Mother estate"