|Was||Actor Stage actor Film actor|
|From||France United States of America|
|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||30 September 1897, Hamburg, Germany|
|Death||5 October 1933, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA (aged 36 years)|
Renée Adorée (born Jeanne de la Fonte; 30 September 1898 – 5 October 1933) was a French actress who appeared in Hollywood silent movies during the 1920s. She is most famous for her role as Melisande in the melodramatic romance and war epic The Big Parade.
Born in Lille, Adorée was the daughter of circus artists and performed regularly with her parents as a child. She performed as an acrobat, dancer, and bareback rider and was performing in Brussels when World War I broke out, leading to her to leave for New York.
Having made a reputation in France, England and Australia for her dancing skills, she went to New York City very early in 1919, where she was cast in a vaudeville-style musical called Oh, Uncle, which opened at the Garrick Theatre in Washington, D.C. in March 1919; by mid March, it was being staged in Trenton, New Jersey, and subsequently toured through the summer. In July, it was renamed Oh, What a Girl! and opened at the Shubert Theatre in New York City. Over the next several months, she toured in The Dancer, another Shubert production.
By January 1920, the opportunity arose for her to work in the motion picture business when she was cast for the lead role in The Strongest, directed by Raoul Walsh. The Strongest was a dramatic photoplay written by French prime minister Georges Clemenceau. She went on to star in several other silent films in the early 1920s, including Reginald Barker's The Eternal Struggle, the film which established her as a Hollywood star and also starred Barbara La Marr and Earle Williams.
Before coming to America, she already had adopted the stage name "Renée Adorée" (French for "reborn" and "adored," both in the feminine form), and was billed as such in an Australian film produced in 1918.
She is most famous for her role as Melisande in the melodramatic romance and war epic The Big Parade (1925) opposite John Gilbert. It became one of MGM's highest-grossing silent films, earning between $18 million and $22 million. In The Mating Call, a 1928 film produced by Howard Hughes, Adorée had a very brief swimming scene in the nude that caused a significant commotion at the time.
She also starred with Lon Chaney in 1927's Mr. Wu, made three more films with John Gilbert, and appeared in four films with leading Hollywood actor Ramón Novarro.
While in New York City on New Year's Eve 1921, she met Tom Moore (1883–1955), who was 15 years her senior. Moore and his brothers were Irish immigrants who had become popular Hollywood actors. Six weeks after their meeting, on 12 February 1921, Adorée married Moore at his home in Beverly Hills, California. The marriage ended in divorce in 1926, and in June 1927, Adorée married again, this time to William Sherman Gill.
Illness and death
With the advent of sound in film, Adorée was one of the fortunate stars whose voices met the film industry's new needs, appearing in two all-talking films before her death. By the end of 1930, Adorée had appeared in 45 films, the last four of which were sound pictures. That year, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis and lived only a few years longer. Adorée went against her physician's advice by finishing her final film Call of the Flesh with Ramón Novarro. At its completion, she was rushed to a sanitarium in Prescott, Arizona, where she lay flat on her back for two years in an effort to regain her physical health. In April 1933, she left the sanitarium. At this point, it was thought she had recovered sufficiently to resume her screen career, but she swiftly weakened and her health declined day by day. She was moved from her modest home in the Tujunga Hills to the Sunland health resort in September 1933.
Adorée died there on 5 October 1933 in Tujunga, California. She is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Adorée left an estate valued at $2,429. The only heir was her mother, who lived in England. No will was found.
For her contributions to the film industry, Adorée has a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1601 Vine Street.