Dorothy Stone (actress)

Dorothy Stone (June 3, 1905 September 24, 1974) (a/k/a Dorothy B. Stone and Dorothy Stone Collins) was an actress, dancer, and singer in theater and motion pictures, born in Brooklyn, New York.[1][2]

Birth

She was the daughter of Fred Stone,[3] a stage actor, dancing comedian, and owner of the Fred Stone theatrical stock company. Her mother, Allene Crater Stone, acted with her father and was a singer. Her sisters were Paula Stone and Carol Stone. The family had a ranch at Lyme, Connecticut.

She went into show business at an early age and in July, 1921, she was thrown and kicked by a pony she rode in the second annual circus and Wild West show of the Lights Club, an organization composed of theatrical people living on Long Island. Dorothy, known as the "Queen of Chin Chin Ranch," was shaken up by her fall and bruised by kicks from the pony but not otherwise injured.[4]

Theater

Dorothy’s Broadway debut was in 1923 in Jerome Kern’s “Stepping Stones” with her father, Fred Stone. She was a big hit in the show. The New York Times reports that the audience was cheering her before the first act was over.[5]

Dorothy performed with her father again at the Globe Theater in Manhattan, in Criss Cross in October 1926. This was followed by “Three Cheers” in 1928 (with Will Rogers taking her father’s place because of an airplane accident). The headline of the review by Brooks Atkinson in the New York Times read “Dorothy Stone Captivates as Dancer and Singer.” [6]

In August, 1929, when Ruby Keeler (Al Jolson’s wife) had to withdraw due to illness from the cast of Ziegfeld’s “Show Girl”, Dorothy took over to headlines that read “Dorothy Stone scores a hit on ‘Show Girl’ . . . Receives an Ovation.”[7]

Dorothy next appeared with her father (having recovered from his accident), mother, and Paula (making her stage debut) in "Ripples", a show which debuted in New Haven, Connecticut, in January 1930. The first New York production of the show came to the New Amsterdam Theater in February. As Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times reported, “Fred Stone is back.”[8]

Dorothy, Paula, and their father teamed in Smiling Faces, produced by the Shubert Theater owners in 1932. Mack Gordon and Harry Revel wrote the music and lyrics. The musical had its pre-Broadway tryout in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Dorothy took over the roles played by Marilyn Miller in the Irving Berlin musical, “As Thousands Cheer” in 1934. “She tossed them off with charm and with the sprightly air that is the trade-mark of the Stones.” [9]

With her husband, Charles Collins, Dorothy appeared in the musical comedy “Sea Legs” (1937), which got bad notices. About Charles and Dorothy, however, Brooks Atkinson said they “are an attractive couple with a neat gift for dancing.” [10]

She played Essie in the 1945 revival of You Can't Take It With You in which her father (at age 70) appeared as Martin Vanderhof, and her husband, Charles Collins, as Boris Kolenkhov.[11]

She also appeared with her husband and Eddie Foy, Jr. in the revival of “The Red Mill” in 1945.

Movies

Dorothy’s first film was a short entitled “Shave It With Music” (1932), with her father Fred Stone.[12] However, her next film, also a short, starred Bob Hope in his first credited role: “Paree, Paree” (1934), with songs by Cole Porter from “Fifty Million Frenchmen”.[13]

Her other film credits include:[14]

  • "Paree, Paree" (1934) with Bob Hope.
  • “Revolt of the Zombies” (1936)
  • “Radio Hook Up” (1938)
  • “Latin Hi-Hattin” (1938)
  • “I’ll Be Seeing You” (1944)

Marriage and Death

In 1931, she married her dancing partner, Charles Collins, in London.[15]

Dorothy Stone died at her home[16] in Montecito, California, on September 24, 1974, at the age of 69.[17]

References

  1. Internet Movie Database: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0831838/?ref_=tt_ov_st
  2. Internet Broadway Database: http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=61215
  3. "Fred Stone And Daughter at Davidson Next Week". The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle. Wisconsin, Milwaukee. March 26, 1926. p. 10. Retrieved 1 June 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  4. New York Times, July 17, 1921, p. 3
  5. New York Times, November 7, 1923, p. 14
  6. New York Times, October 16, 1928, p. 16
  7. New York Times, August 8, 1929, p. 34
  8. New York Times, February 20, 1930, p. 29
  9. New York Times, July 10, 1934, p. 24
  10. New York Times, May 19, 1937, p. 26
  11. New York Times, March 27, 1945, p. 284
  12. Internet Movie Database: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382971/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_6
  13. Internet Movie Database: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025628/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_5
  14. Internet Movie Database: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0831838/?ref_=tt_cl_t2
  15. New York Times, September 9, 1931, p. 64
  16. "Broadway Comedienne Dies At 69". The Tampa Tribune. Florida, Tampa. September 28, 1974. p. 1. Retrieved 1 June 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  17. New York Times, September 28, 1974, p. 32
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