March 11, 1950: Death of Duluth silent film star Marguerite De La Motte De la Motte 

On this day in 1950, Beatrice Marguerite De La Motte died in San Francisco. De La Motte was a silent film star in the 1920s, working with Douglas Fairbanks in such classics as The Mark of Zorro (1920), The Three Musketeers (1921), and The Iron Mask (1929). De La Motte went on to appear in fifty-eight films, retiring in 1942. in 1924 when she married silent film actor John Bowers, but her marriage to Bowers was rocky, and they would separate before the decade was over. De La Motte’s success faded with the coming of “talkies” near the end of the 1920s. She had fewer featured roles, a few bit parts. In the midst of this decline, Bowers committed suicide in 1936. Some people believe that Marguerite’s stormy marriage to Bowers, who had a drinking problem, was the inspiration for the 1937 film A Star is Born. De La Motte would later marry Sidney H. Rivkin, but that union ended in divorce after four years. You can read De La Motte’s full biography here.

Marguerite De La Motte in 1924’s The Beloved Brute. (Image: Silent Filmstill Archive)