Born: November 14, 1906 Cherryvale, Kansas, USA
Died: August 8, 1985 in Rochester, New York, USA
|~Stars of the Photoplay, 1930~
It was a dancer with Ruth St. Denis and in the George White's "Scandals" that Louise Brooks first
came to the attention of the public. She was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1909, and entered pictures
with Paramount in 1925. With the advent of the talkies, Louise went to Germany to make pictures,
returning later to this country. She is 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighs 120 pounds and has black hair and
brown eyes. She was married to Director Eddie Sutherland in 1926 and divorced from him in 1928.
Mary Louise Brooks was born in Cherryvale, Kansas in 1906. Her father was a lawyer and her mother
was a talented pianist. According to Louise, when she was a child she was sexually abused by a
neighbor and that this trauma effected her most of her adult life.
Louise started her career as a dancer. She was a member of the Denishawn Modern Dance
Company for about two years. After being fired from the company by Ruth St. Denis, she became a
chorus girl for George White’s “Scandals” which led to Brooks becoming a Ziegfield Follies girl.
As many “Follies” girls did, Louise transitioned her career to Silent Film. Her first film appearance was
in The Street of Forgotten Men, made in 1925. (See SilentHollywood.com’s page for this film to see
a rare movie still of Louise in her first film role.) Soon Louise was starring in flapper films and
comedies with some of Silent Film’s best leading men. Her first notable role was playing a vamp in
Howard Hawks film A Girl in Every Port in 1928. And Beggars of Life (also in 1928) is considered to
be her best performance in American films.
When Paramount Pictures refused to give Louise a raise, she left Hollywood to make films for
German filmmaker G. W. Pabst. And it is these expressionist film by Pabst: Pandora’s Box (1929), A
Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) and Prix de Beauté (1930) that would solidify Louise Brooks a place in film
When Louise returned to America her career did not ascend as promised from her performances in
German films. A combination of self-destructive decisions and romantic distractions kept her from
making any real impression in sound films.
In the 1930’s Louise was briefly married to millionaire Deering Davis (her first marriage to Director
Eddie Sutherland last about the same length). Her final film performance was in John Wayne’s film
Overland Stage Raiders in 1928. Subsequently, she held various jobs including a sales girl for Saks
Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Later in life she penned a memoir entitled “Lulu in Hollywood,” 1982 and on occasion she spent time
with film historians John Kobal and Kevin Brownlow. In 1985, the girl forever known for her dark
bobbed hair, died from a heart attack and was buried in Rochester, New York.
Written by Kay Shackleton
~As all Louise Brooks' fans know, Louise Starred in the film Diary of a Lost
Girl, in 1929. This film was based on the novel (written as a diary) by
Margarete Bohme. Last summer Thomas Gladysz brought this amazing book
back to print with an amazing forward written by Thomas.
Thomas, a friend to SilentHollywood.com, has written an amazing forward the
chronicles the history of Margarete Bohme's book and evolution of the book
to becoming a film starring Louise Brooks. If you haven't read Thomas' book -
it is a must for any Silent Film Fan. The DVD for Louise Brook's film is also
available for purchase. To connect with Amazon.com for either the book or
film - just click what you prefer: BOOK