Billie Dove

QUESTION:  Billy Dove is, surprisingly, a pseudonym.  What was this actresses' birth name?
A)  Mary Pickford
B)  Bertha Bohny
C)  Dolores Kringle
D)  Virginia Frey

The American Treasure Tour blog wrote yesterday about a silent film actor named Owen Moore. Since his last film was released almost eighty years ago, we won't judge you too harshly if you are unfamiliar with him.  Of course, the last film of today's silent film actress, Billie Dove, was released in 1932, even before Moore's last movie five years later.  In her day, Billie Dove was definitely a hot property.

Born in 1903 to Swiss immigrants, she was a beauty from a very young age and actually supported her family as a successful model prior to getting into the film industry.  As a teenager, she was hired to dance in the famous Ziegfield Follies Revue, a highly popular vaudeville-style show on Broadway during the early twentieth century.  Ambitious, Dove moved from there to Hollywood to become a star.  She ascended quickly, getting starring roles in films opposite Douglas Fairbanks and earning the nickname "The American Beauty," which became the name of one of her more popular films in 1927.  Beloved by many male moviegoers, Dove gained the attention of a young Howard Hughes, who cast her in a few of his own movies before she terminated their relationship (for undisclosed reasons - very mysterious!)

Dove retired from film in 1932 so that she could raise a family.  She'd married three times (her final husband being Robert Alan Kenaston, a wealthy oil tycoon). She had a long, rich life, passing away at the age of 94 in 1997.  Billie Holiday, the legendary jazz singer, adopted the name Billie to honor her favorite actress, Billie Dove.  (Holiday's birth name was Eleanor Fagan.)

ANSWER:  B)  Bertha Bohny.