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Summary Article: Love, Bessie (1898 Midland, TX-1986 London, England)
from Encyclopedic Dictionary of Women in Early American Films: 1895-1930, An

Bessie Love moved with her family from Texas to Hollywood, where her father set up a chiropractic practice. While waiting for the practice to become established, Love applied for film roles to augment the family income. She was nicknamed the “little brown wren” because of her small stature and coloring.

She caught the eye of D. W. Griffith, who cast her in a small role in The Birth of a Nation (1915), followed by the role as the Bride of Cana in Intolerance (1916). She was soon a popular and sought-after actor able to appear in all genres from comedy to drama. She was chosen as a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1922 and earned an Academy Award nomination in 1929 for her role in Broadway Melody.

Courtesy of Silents Are Golden at <>

However, by 1931 she could not get any roles in Hollywood so she moved with her family to England and, after World War II broke out, entertained the troops there. She returned to the United States after the war and found work as a supporting player. She divided her time between work in the United States and England, appearing on stage, on radio, and on television.

In her later years she wrote about the silent era and critiqued later film works for both British and American publications. She wrote her autobiography, From Hollywood with Love, in 1977.

Film Credits
1915 The Birth of a Nation; Georgia Pearce
1916 Acquitted; The Flying Torpedo; The Aryan; The Good Bad Man; Reggie Mixes In; Stranded; Hell-to-Pay Austin; Intolerance, A Sister of Six, Heiress at Coffee Dan's, The Mystery of the Leaping Fish
1917 Nina the Flower Girl; A Daughter of the Poor; Cheerful Givers; Sawdust Ring; Wee Lady Betty; Polly Ann
1918 Little Sister of Everybody; The Dawn of Understanding; The Great Adventure; How Could You, Caroline?
1919 The Enchanted Barn; Carolyn of the Corners; The Wishing Ring Man; A Yankee Princess; The Little Boss; Cupid Forecloses; Over the Garden Wall; A Fighting Colleen
1920 Bonnie May; Pegeen; The Midlanders
1921 Penny of the Top Hill Trail; The Swamp; The Sea Lion
1922 The Vermilion Pencil; Forget Mr. Not; The Village Blacksmith; Nightlife in Hollywood; Deserted at the Altar
1923 Three Who Paid; The Ghost Patrol; Souls for Sale; Mary of the Movies; Human Wreckage; The Eternal Three; St. Elmo; Slave of Desire; Gentle Julia; Purple Dawn
1924 Torment; Those Who Dance; The Silent Watcher; Dynamite Smith; Sundown; Tongues of Flame; The Woman of the Jury
1925 Soul-Fire; A Son of His Father; New Brooms; Marqueray's Duel; The Lost World; The King on Main Street; Bulldog Courage
1926 The Song and Dance Man; Lovey Mary; Meet the Prince; Young April; Going Crooked
1927 Rubber Tires; A Harp in Hock; Dress Parade; The American; Amateur Night
1928 The Matinee Idol; Sally of the Scandals; Anybody Here Seen Kelly?
1929 The Broadway Melody; Idle Rich; The Girl in the Show; The Hollywood Revue of 1929
1930 They Learned About Women; Chasing Rainbows; Conspiracy; Good News; See America Thirst
1931 Morals for Women
1932 Big City Interlude1936 I Live Again
1941 Atlantic Ferry
1942 London Scrapbook1946 Journey Together
1951 No Highway; The Magic Box
1953 The Weak and the Wicked
1954 The Barefoot Contessa; Beau Brummell
1955 Touch and Go
1957 The Story of Esther Costello
1958 Nowhere to Go; Next to No Time
1960 Too Young to Love
1961 The Greengage Summer; The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
1963 The Wild Affair; Children of the Damned
1964 Think They Call Him John (voice only)
1965 Promise Her Anything
1966 Poppies Are Also Flowers
1967 I'll Never Forget What's ‘is Name; Battle Beneath the Earth
1968 Isadora
1969 On Her Majesty's Secret Service1971 Catlow; Sunday Bloody Sunday
1973 Vampyres
1974 TheRitz
1977 Gulliver's Travels (voice only)
1981 Lady Chatterley's Lover; Ragtime; Reds
1983 The Hunger
© 2005 by Denise Lowe