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Gilda Gray

Gilda Gray was born in Krakow, Poland, Oct. 24, 1897. She was adopted by an American couple and raised in Milwaukee. Reportedly, she was forced into a marriage at age twelve, and bore a son one year later. Gray was best known for her dancing ability, and came to the attention of Sophie Tucker in 1919 who gave her her name. She appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies in 1922, and was featured as a dancer as early as 1923 in the feature "Lawful Larceny." Her first starring role was as a South Seas dancer in "South Seas Aloma" (1926) with Warner Baxter, William Powell and Percy Marmont. Directed by Maurice Tourneur, the picture did well at the box office, and Gray starred in two more features in 1927 ­ "Cabaret" and "The Devil Dancer" ­ both films obviously starring her as a dancer. She went to England in 1928 and made "Picadilly." She made was given a part in the Nelson Eddy-Jeannette MacDonald feature "Rose-Marie" in 1936, but her career failed to do much, and she filed for bankruptcy in 1941. Her last association with the movies was as "sex appeal consultant" on the 1954 film "Kiss Me Deadly." She was living in a small apartment on Hollywood Boulevard when she died Dec. 22, 1959.

 

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