Actor Film actor Stage actor Television actor

Betty Blythe

Quick Facts

IntroActress
A.K.A.Elizabeth Blythe Slaughter
Was Actor
Film actor
Stage actor
Television actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage, Radio
Genderfemale
Birth 1 September 1893, Los Angeles, USA
Death 7 April 1972, Woodland Hills, USA
(aged 78 years)
Star signVirgo
Family
Spouse: Paul Scardon

Biography

Betty Blythe (born Elizabeth Blythe Slaughter; September 1, 1893 – April 7, 1972) was an American actress best known for her dramatic roles in exotic silent films such as The Queen of Sheba (1921). She appeared in 63 silent films and 56 talking pictures (known as talkies) over the course of her career.

She is famous for being one of the first actresses to appear on film in the nude, or nearly so, during the Roaring Twenties.

She is reported to have said, “A director is the only man besides your husband who can tell you how much of your clothes to take off.”

Career

Blythe began her stage work in such theatrical pieces as So Long Letty and The Peacock Princess. She worked in vaudeville as the “California Nightingale” singing songs such as “Love Tales from Hoffman”.

After touring Europe and the States, she entered films in 1918 at the Vitagraph Studios in Brooklyn, then she was brought to Hollywood’s Fox studio as a replacement for actress Theda Bara.

As famous for her revealing costumes as for her dramatic skills, she became a star in such exotic films as The Queen of Sheba (1921) (in which she wore nothing above the waist except a string of beads), Chu-Chin-Chow (made in 1923; released by MGM in the US 1925) and She (1925).

She was also seen to good advantage in less revealing films like Nomads of the North (1920) with Lon Chaney and In Hollywood with Potash and Perlmutter (1924), produced by Samuel Goldwyn.

Other roles were as an opera star, unbilled in Garbo’s The Mysterious Lady. She continued to work as a character actress. One of her last roles was a small uncredited role in a crowd scene in 1964’s My Fair Lady.

Betty Blythe’s name lives on through the Betty Blythe Vintage TeaRoom in West Kensington.

Personal life

Blythe was married to the movie director Paul Scardon from 1919 until his death in 1954. She reportedly made $3,500,000 when she sold a section of land that is now part of the Sunset Strip. She lost her fortune in the 1929 stock market crash. In May 1967, her forthcoming marriage to former film executive Manuel de Encio was announced.

Death

Betty Blythe died of a heart attack in Woodland Hills, California in 1972, aged 78. She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Awards

For her contributions to the film industry, Betty Blythe has a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 1708 Vine Street.

Selected filmography

Film
YearFilmRoleNotes
1915Bella Donnadancer *uncredited* see still photo at Bella Donna article
1917His Own PeopleLady Mary Thorne
1918The Green GodMuriel Temple
1918Hoarded AssetsClaire Dawson
1918Over the TopMadame Arnot
1919Dust of DesireCorrinne Torrence
1919The UndercurrentMariska
1920Nomads of the NorthNanette Roland
Burnt WingsHelen
1921Mother o’ MineFan Baxter
1922How Women LoveRosa Roma
1923Chu-Chin-ChowZahrat
1924Southern LoveDolores
The SpitfireJean BronsonLost film
The RecoilNorma Selbee
The Folly of VanityMrs. Ridgeway
1925SpeedMary Whipple
SheAyesha
1927SnowboundJulia Barry
Eager LipsPaula
The Girl from Gay PareeMademoiselle Fanchon
1928Glorious BetsyPrincess Fredericka
Into No Man’s LandThe Countess
The Mysterious Ladysinger in Opera*uncredited
1931Adventure
1932Tom Brown of CulverDolores Delight
1933PilgrimageJanet Prescot
Only YesterdayMrs. VincentUncredited
1934Night AlarmElizabeth Van Dusen
Money Means NothingMrs. Ferris
A Girl of the LimberlostMrs. Barker
1935Anna KareninaWomanUncredited
Cheers of the CrowdLil Langdon Walton
1936Yours for the AskingMayUncredited
The Gorgeous HussyMrs. Wainwright
1937TopperMrs. GoodrichUncredited
ConquestPrincess MirskaUncredited
Alternative title: Marie Walewska
1938Romance of the LimberlostMrs. Parker
1939The WomenMrs. SouthUncredited
1940Misbehaving HusbandsEffie Butler
1941Honky TonkMrs. Wilson
1942Dawn on the Great DivideMrs. Elmira Corkle
1943Presenting Lily MarsDowangerUncredited
1944The Chinese CatMrs. ManningAlternative title: Charlie Chan in The Chinese Cat
A Fig Leaf for EveLavinia SardhamAlternative titles: Desirable Lady, Flaming Girls, Hollywood Nights, Not Enough Clothes. Reckless Youth, Room for Love, Strips and Blondes
1945Her Highness and the BellboyDiplomat’s WifeUncredited
They Were ExpendableOfficer’s WifeUncredited
AdventureMrs. BuckleyUncredited
1946The Kid from BrooklynMrs. LeMoyne’s friendUncredited
The Postman Always Rings TwiceCustomerUncredited
UndercurrentSalesladyUncredited
1947The Secret Life of Walter MittyFloor ManagerUncredited
Song of LoveLady with Opera GlassesUncredited
Cass TimberlaneNurseUncredited
Jiggs and Maggie in SocietyMrs. Vacuum
1948Letter from an Unknown WomanFrau KohnerUncredited
1949The Barkleys of BroadwayGuest in Theater LobbyUncredited
Jiggs and Maggie in Jackpot JittersMrs. Van Belden
1950Jiggs and Maggie Out WestSociety WomanUncredited
1951Hollywood StoryBetty Blythe – Old-time Movie Star
1955The Lonesome TrailMrs. WellsUncredited
1956Lust for LifeDowangerUncredited
1957The Helen Morgan StoryParty GuestUncredited
1964My Fair LadyLady at BallUncredited
Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
1952Racket SquadMrs. Burton1 episode
1958The LineupMrs. DeSues1 episode