Dorothy Lee

The Life and Films of the Wheeler and Woolsey Girl


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About the Book

Dorothy Lee is best remembered for her screen appearances with the popular comedy team of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey. She went from being a struggling vaudeville performer to the female vocalist in one of the most successful bands in the country to a star in the new-fangled “talking pictures” all within the span of a few short years. During the Great Depression, she lived a fairy-tale existence, rubbing shoulders with Hollywood luminaries and earning an income that most people could only dream of. She retired and balanced domestic life with charity work. And she saw, to her amazement, a revived interest in the movie career she had written off long ago. Based on years of conversations between the authors and Dorothy Lee, this book is an informative biography filled with revealing insights on navigating the studio system during Hollywood’s Golden Age and the ephemeral nature of fame.

About the Author(s)

Jamie Brotherton is a journalist and film historian whose articles and interviews have appeared in such publications as Antique Trader, Comics Buyers Guide, Classic Images, and Filmfax. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ted Okuda is a Chicago-based film historian whose articles have appeared in such publications as Nostalgia Digest, Filmfax, and Classic Images.

Bibliographic Details

Jamie Brotherton and Ted Okuda
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: 47 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3363-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0048-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Foreword by Nick Santa Maria 1

Preface 3

 1 • Do Something: Presenting Marjorie Millsap 5

 2 • I Want the World to Know: Broadway Baby 13

 3 • Sweetheart, We Need Each Other: Boys Meet Girl 21

 4 • Whistling the Blues Away: The Star Treatment 37

 5 • You’ve Got What Gets Me: Parting Company 57

 6 • Niagara Falls to Reno: A Star Without a Studio 69

 7 • Keep on Doin’ What You’re Doin’: Back with the Boys 83

 8 • Isn’t Love the Grandest Thing? Marriage Between Movies 97

 9 • My One Ambition Is You: Motherhood, Matrimony and

        Retirement 113

10 • I Love You So Much: Kindred Spirits in the Autumn Years 123

11 • Dilly Dally: An Unexpected Rediscovery 133

12 • Dance and Let the World Dance with You: A Final Bow 139

Afterword 143

Filmography 147

Chapter Notes 179

Bibliography 181

Index 183

Book Reviews & Awards

“a wonderful book…I just love knowing that we live in a world where we can read a book like Dorothy Lee. That this book is also a fascinating and breezy read is absolutely awesome. The quality of the writing is superb…wonderful reminiscences about her movies…excellent first-hand stories…. I totally loved this book…marvelous photos…. A must-have!”—Classic Images; “readable, enlightening and informative…highly recommended.”—