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Betty Bronson
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    (November 17, 1906-October 19, 1971)
    Born in Trenton, New Jersey
    Born Elizabeth Ada Bronson
    Acted in 'Ben Hur: A Tale of Christ,' 'Are Parents People,' 'A Kiss for Cinderella,' and 'The Singing Fool'
    Best known for being the first actress to play the title role in the silent movie adaptation of 'Peter Pan' (1924)
    She disliked working with Al Jolson in 'The Singing Fool.'
    Her last film appearance was a bit part in an Evel Knievel biopic.
    Her overprotective mother chaperoned her dates, frustrating the boys who called on her in Hollywood.
    She never moved past the overnight stardom she achieved as Peter Pan.
    She shared same-sex kisses with actresses Mary Brian and Anna May Wong as Peter Pan; in retrospect leading viewers to interpret a lesbian subtext in the film.
    She was marketed as the next Mary Pickford but she never came close to equaling Pickford's success.
    Part of this failure was that she began her film career just as Pickford's golden-haired 'Pollyanna'-image was beginning to fade out, eclipsed by the growing popularity of 'flappers' like Clara Bow.
    Studio heads tried to regain footing by remolding her as a bob-haired, carefree cigarette-smoking 'flapper gal' but the transition wasn't convincing.
    Moving Pictures Magazine publicized her role in 'Peter Pan' by writing that she 'she believes in fairies. And why shouldn't she? Wasn't it a fairy who gave her a funny little pointed chin and queer little elfin ways and the tiniest hoppity feet that simply can't keep still?'
    Her mother taught her to make her own clothes.
    She was an extremely gifted pantomime.
    Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. described her as his first 'boyhood crush.'
    She was personally selected by J.M. Barrie for the role of Peter Pan.
    She successfully made the transition from silent movies to 'talkies.'
    She was described as being gracious and easy to work with.
    She came closest to dethroning Mary Pickford as 'America's Sweetheart' (she beat out both her and Gloria Swanson for the Pan role).
    She retired from filmmaking in the 1930s to get married and start a family.
    Her last major film role was in a 'singing cowboy' picture with Gene Autry.
    She had one of the more memorable scenes in the original 'Ben-Hur' as the Virgin Mary, filmed in early Technicolor.
    She worked in a factory to support the war effort during World War II.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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