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Gloria Dickson

Biography

Remembered best on her behalf starring role as Sybil Hale in the 1937 feature film THEY DON’T Neglect, Dickson also made an appearance in Waterfront; This Thing Known as Love; Mercy Isle; and over twenty additional films from the 1930s and ’40s. Created Thais Alalia Dickerson, she was raised in Pocatello, Idaho. After relocating towards the Los Angeles region, she started her entertainment profession by carrying out on an extended Seaside, California radio train station. Tragically, she passed away at age twenty-seven in a residence fire the effect of a lit cigarette. She was laid to rest in the popular Hollywood Forever Cemetery in LA, California. Between 1938 and 1944, she wedded and divorced both make-up designer Perc Westmore and movie director Ralph Murphy. Her third relationship, to William Fitzgerald, lasted from 1944 until her loss of life in 1945. She co-starred with Joan Blondell in the 1940 Paramount Photos film I’D LIKE a Divorce.

Quick Facts


Full Name Gloria Dickson
Date Of Birth August 13, 1917
Died April 10, 1945, Los Angeles, California, United States
Place Of Birth Idaho
Profession Movie Actress
Nationality American
Spouse William Fitzgerald, Ralph Murphy, Perc Westmore
Siblings Doris Dickerson
Movies They Won't Forget, They Made Me a Criminal, Lady of Burlesque, Power of the Press, Gold Diggers in Paris, Racket Busters, Heart of the North, The Affairs of Jimmy Valentine, King of the Lumberjacks, Tear Gas Squad, Mercy Island, The Cowboy Quarterback, Private Detective, Secrets of an Actress, I Want a Divorce, This Thing Called Love, Crime Doctor's Strangest Case, Waterfront, Rationing, On Your Toes, The Crime Doctor's Strangest Case, No Place to Go, Big Boss
Star Sign Leo

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#Fact
1Loved fishing, especially around Catalina Island, and even caught a 632-pound shark in August, 1938.
2Her widower died on May 5, 1958, in the Nebraska State Penitentiary at age 47.
3She died of asphyxiation from inhalation of fumes. She was found face down in the bathroom with first and second degree burns covering her body. Police thought the flames started from an unextinguished cigarette that lit a chair on fire while Dickson was sleeping. It is thought she went to the bathroom to try to escape through the window and is estimated she waited there for an hour before dying.
4Her pet boxer also died in the fire that killed her.
5Her last husband was a former bodyguard to Jean Harlow. He had been a middleweight boxer.
6She separated from Ralph Murphy in February 1943. She divorced him on grounds of mental cruelty.
7She first married her second husband Ralph Murphy, but they had to remarry in 1941 when it was found that her divorce was not final when they originally wed.
8She separated from her first husband in June, 1940.
9While traveling in 1940, she stopped in Utah to see a friend, actor singer Cliff Edwards. Her husband, Perc Westmore, reported her missing and she made national newspaper headlines for several days. When she returned from her trip, a furious Dickson insisted to the press that her husband had known where she was the whole time. It was viewed in Hollywood as a publicity stunt.
10She divorced her first husband due to his extramarital affairs, jealousy, controlling nature, and drinking. She resented his interference in her career.
11Her photograph was the first natural color photograph to be transmitted by International News Pictures from Hollywood to the East Coast.
12She auditioned at the Mason Opera House in Los Angeles, resulting in being cast in the lead in Seventh Heaven. She also had the leads in Smilin' Through and The Devil Passes. It was here that Warner Bros. talent scout Irving Kumin saw her perform and left her his card backstage.
13She was a member of the Hart Players, a tent show troupe.
14She grew up in Idaho, but moved to Long Beach, CA in 1930.
15Her father died suddenly in 1929.
16She had an older sister, Doris.
17Ironically, in one of Gloria Dickson's final performances, Crime Doctor's Strangest Case (1943), she played the wife of a man who habitually started accidental fires with carelessly discarded smoking materials. Two such scenes were featured in the movie. It was just two short years later she died in a house fire suspected to have been caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette.
18Contracted to Warner Brothers during her brief Hollywood tenure.
19Stage actress.


Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Rationing1944Miss McCue
The Crime Doctor's Strangest Case1943Mrs. Keppler / Evelyn Fenton Cartwright
Lady of Burlesque1943Dolly Baxter
Power of the Press1943Edwina Stephens
The Affairs of Jimmy Valentine1942Cleo Arden
Mercy Island1941Leslie Ramsey
The Big Boss1941Sue Peters
This Thing Called Love1940Florence Bertrand
I Want a Divorce1940Wanda Holland
Tear Gas Squad1940Jerry Sullivan
King of the Lumberjacks1940Tina Martin Deribault
Private Detective1939Mona Lannon
On Your Toes1939Peggy Porterfield
No Place to Go1939Gertrude Plummer
The Cowboy Quarterback1939Evelyn Corey
Waterfront1939Ann Stacey
They Made Me a Criminal1939Peggy
Heart of the North1938Joyce MacMillan
Secrets of an Actress1938Carla Orr
Racket Busters1938Nora Jordan
Gold Diggers in Paris1938Mona Verdivere
Talent Scout1937Blonde on Bus (uncredited)
They Won't Forget1937Sybil Hale

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
King of the Lumberjacks1940performer: "They Say" 1940

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 21941Documentary shortHerself - at Mocambo (uncredited)
Screen Snapshots Series 19, No. 5: Art and Artists1940Short documentaryHerself
Screen Snapshots Series 19, No. 11939Documentary shortHerself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage1983DocumentaryHerself (uncredited)

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TitleSalary
They Won't Forget (1937)$200 /wk


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