Billie Seward

Billie Seward (born Rita Ann Seward, October 23, 1912 March 20, 1982)[1] was a 1930s motion picture actress from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[2]

Billie Seward
Billie Seward and Jeff York in Li'l Abner (1940)
Rita Ann Seward

(1912-10-23)October 23, 1912
DiedMarch 20, 1982(1982-03-20) (aged 69)
Years active1934 - 1944
Spouse(s)William Wilkerson (1935-1938)

Film actress

Seward performed with Lou Holtz at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel Gold Room in December 1933.[3]

She obtained a contract with Columbia Pictures following a three-month stay in Hollywood. Seward starred with Richard Cromwell in the 1934 Columbia production of Among the Missing.[4] Wallace Ford joined Seward and Cromwell in Hot News, which was eventually titled Men of the Hour (1935).

She was in three western films written by Ford Beebe in 1935. The titles are Law Beyond the Range, The Revenge Rider, and Justice of the Range. Colonel Tim McCoy, Ward Bond, and Ed LeSaint were among her fellow actors.[5] In One Crowded Night (1940) Seward plays Gladys. This RKO film is critiqued by Bosley Crowther who called it "a routine multi-plot melodrama, Grand Hotel reduced to a tourist camp."[6]


In 1934 Seward was linked romantically to actor Lyle Talbot.[7] She married William Wilkerson, owner of the Trocadero (Los Angeles) and Ciro's, on September 30, 1935. Wilkerson was also the owner and publisher of The Hollywood Reporter.[8] The couple separated in February 1937 but reconciled. Seward renewed a divorce suit against Wilkerson in March 1938, using her legal name Rita Ann Wilkerson.[9]


Seward died in Sherman Oaks, California, in 1982. She was survived by four brothers and two sisters. Her funeral mass was conducted from St. Cyrils Church in Encino, California, and she was buried in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery.[1]



  1. "Death Notices". Los Angeles Times. March 23, 1982. p. SD_A2.
  2. "Changeable Coat Latest Novelty". Los Angeles Times. February 12, 1934. p. 8.
  3. Hobnobbing in Hollywood, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 1933, pg. A7.
  4. "Screen Notes". The New York Times. July 9, 1934. p. 18.
  5. "The Star: In Composite". The New York Times. May 19, 1935. p. X4.
  6. "The Screen". The New York Times. August 27, 1940. p. 17.
  7. Hobnobbing In Hollywood, Los Angeles Times, May 26, 1934, pg. 6.
  8. "Film Player To Be Bride". Los Angeles Times. September 29, 1935. p. 1.
  9. "Billie Seward Revives Suit". Los Angeles Times. March 2, 1938. p. A8.
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