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Billie Dove
Billie Dove

Billie Dove

Biography: 

(1902-1997)

Billie Burke eased Showgirl Billie Dove's way into the movies. Ziegfeld had shown an interest in the statuesque model when her face appeared on the cover of a magazine. When he contacted her, he found out she was fourteen. He waited until she was 16 before hiring to for the Follies in 1919. She appeared concurrently in the 1919 and 1920 editions of the Midnight Frolic, and danced briefly in "Sally."

Sometime in 1920 Ziegfeld began having an affair with Billie Dove, prompting the other Billie in his life, his wife Billie Burke, to arrange work for the young lady in Hollywood. Dove proved a serviceable actress on the silent screen and rose to first rank stardom with 1926's "The Black Pirate."

She was for a time the mistress of Howard Hughes and quit the movies in 1932 when her romance with Texas millionare Robert Kenaston led to her engagement. From 1933 until her death she lived the life of a Texas grande dame. David S. Shields/ALS