Lois Moran

Lois Moran (born Lois Darlington Dowling;[1] March 1, 1909 July 13, 1990) was an American film and stage actress.[2]

Lois Moran
Moran portrait by Carl Van Vechten, 1932
Lois Darlington Dowling

March 1, 1909
DiedJuly 13, 1990 (aged 81)
Spouse(s)Clarence M. Young (m.1935-1973; his death)

Early Life

Moran was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Roger Dowling and Gladys Evans Dowling. When Moran was one years old, her father died in an automobile accident. A few years later, her mother married Dr. Timothy Moran. She suffered a second loss at age 9, when her stepfather (whom she later described as "my dearest person in the world next to mother") died from influenza.[3]

She attended Seton Hill Academy in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.[3] In 1921, when Lois was 12, she and her mother moved to Paris, France, with funding provided by Lois's great-aunt.[3]:8-9


Moran's stage activities included singing and dancing at the Paris National Opera[4] when she was 13 years old.[5]

Her Broadway credits include Of Thee I Sing (1931) and This Is New York (1930).[6]


Moran's film career began when she made her first film in Paris at age 14.[5] She is probably best known for her role as Laurel Dallas, daughter of the title character, in the 1925 film Stella Dallas, which was her Hollywood film debut.[4]

She appeared in early sound movies such as Behind That Curtain (1929), and some musical movies, such as A Song of Kentucky (1929), Words and Music (1929), and Mammy (1930). She then moved to Broadway, where she appeared in the play This Is New York (1930), and the musicals Of Thee I Sing (1933) and Let 'Em Eat Cake (1934).


Moran also had a co-starring role in the short-lived TV series Waterfront (1954–1955). It starred Preston Foster as Capt. John Herrick and Moran as his wife May Herrick.[7]

Personal life

In 1927, she had a short affair with writer F. Scott Fitzgerald who just moved with his wife to Hollywood in order to write a flapper comedy for United Artists.[8] Lois became a temporary muse for the author and he rewrote Rosemary Hoyt, one of the central characters in Tender is the Night, (who had been a male in earlier drafts) to closely mirror her.[9][10]

In 1935, she married Clarence M. Young, assistant secretary of commerce,[5] temporarily retiring from her acting career. They had one son, Timothy,[2] and remained together until Young's death in 1973.[11]


Moran died at a nursing home in Sedona, Arizona after suffering from cancer.[5] She was cremated, and her ashes were scattered in the Red Rock country in Arizona.[12] She was survived by her son Timothy.[5]

Selected filmography


  1. Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 335. ISBN 9780786457632. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  2. "Lois Moran Young Dead at 81; Musical Star and Movie Actress" (July 15, 1990) New York Times
  3. Buller, Richard P. (2005). A Beautiful Fairy Tale: The Life of Actress Lois Moran. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 5–6. ISBN 9780879103125. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  4. Tyler, Don (2007). Hit Songs, 1900-1955: American Popular Music of the Pre-Rock Era. McFarland. p. 446. ISBN 9780786429462. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  5. "Actress Lois Moran, 81". Chicago Tribune. New York Times News Service. July 17, 1990. Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  6. "("Lois Moran" search results)". Playbill Vault. Playbill. Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
  7. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 1154. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  8. https://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/21/movies/f-scott-fitzgerald-gets-a-second-act-after-all.html
  9. Tate, Mary Jo (2007). Critical Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work. ISBN 9781438108452.
  10. Tate, Mary Jo (2007). Critical Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work. ISBN 9781438108452.
  11. https://www.nytimes.com/1973/04/11/archives/col-clarence-m-young-dies-held-2d-us-civil-air-license.html
  12. Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. (2 volume set). McFarland. p. 529. ISBN 9780786479924. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
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