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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dorothy Dwan
Dorothy Belle Ilgenfritz

(1906-04-26)April 26, 1906
DiedMarch 17, 1981(1981-03-17) (aged 74)
Years active1922–1930
(m. 1925; died 1928)

Paul Northcutt Boggs Jr.
(m. 1930; div. 1935)

Dorothy Dwan (born Dorothy Belle Ilgenfritz; April 26, 1906 – March 17, 1981) was an American film actress.[1]

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Early years

Born Dorothy Belle Ilgenfritz in Sedalia, Missouri, Dwan was the daughter of Charles Melvin Ilgenfritz and Nancy Dorothy Wallace.[2][3][4] Shortly after her mother's divorce and remarriage in approximately 1915, Dorothy was legally adopted by her stepfather George Hughes Smith. Eventually, the family moved to Philadelphia,[2] where Dorothy attended Miss Hill's School, specializing in English and music.[1]


Universal signed Dwan to a contract after she had been an extra in films.[1]

She was a WAMPAS Baby Star.[5] She appeared in 40 films between 1922 and 1930, several of which were directed by her first husband, Larry Semon.

In 1928, Dwan moved from making films to acting on stage, signing with Henry Duffy to act in his Pacific Coast theaters.[6]

After she left acting, Dwan worked as a columnist for Photoplay magazine.[1]

Personal life and death

Dwan married Semon on January 22, 1925. They were still wed when he died in 1928. She had one child, a son, Paul, from her second marriage to Paul Northcutt Boggs Jr. on May 23, 1930. They divorced in 1935.[1] Dwan died in Ventura, California from lung cancer, aged 74.[1]

Partial filmography


  1. ^ a b c d e f Katchmer, George A. (September 22, 2009). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. ISBN 9781476609058. Retrieved October 23, 2017 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b Sassen, Claudia (2015). Larry Semon, Daredevil Comedian of the Silent Screen: A Biography and Filmography. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. p. 140. ISBN 9780786498222.
  3. ^ Wallace, George Selden (1927). Wallace: Genealogical Data Pertaining to the Descendants of Peter Wallace and Elizabeth Woods, His Wife. Charlottesville, VA: The Michie Company, Publishers. p. 147.
  4. ^ "Mel Ilgenfritz Dies at Home Unexpectedly (Continued from Page One)". The Sedalia Democrat. January 12, 1942. p. 2. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  5. ^ "'Big Money' Star in Claims Court". Los Angeles Evening Post-Record. March 7, 1929. p. 14. Retrieved June 16, 2021 – via
  6. ^ "Dorothy Dwan Returns to the Stage". The Standard Union. New York, Brooklyn. August 1, 1928. p. 14. Retrieved June 16, 2021 – via

External links

This page was last edited on 25 September 2023, at 21:55
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