Bessie Love had an up and down career, and had too many roles in which her talents were wasted. Hollywood found her difficult to type. Tiny with a girlish face, she played innocent young girls, flappers, sweet leading ladies, and only occasionally had a role she could put her teeth into. Her best known film is The Lost World (1925), where she has little to do but be alternately winsome and terrified. But she is a strikingly un-helpless heroine in the peculiar comedy The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916), and gives a brilliant performance in the bittersweet Frank Capra comedy The Matinee Idol (1928). She got a well deserved Academy Award nomination for her performance in MGM's first all-talkie Broadway Melody (1929), but soon her career settled back into routine films, so she packed off to England, appearing in films and television into the 1980s. Even when given nothing better to do than look charming, Bessie Love is always a welcome presence in any film.
Love, Bessie. From Hollywood With Love. N. Pomfret VT: David and Charles, 1977.
Lahue, Kalton C. Ladies in Distress. South Brunswick and New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1971. p. 171-178.
Franklin, Joe [and William K. Everson].Classics of the Silent Screen. New York : Citadel Press, 5th ed., 1971 (originally published 1959): p. 197.
©2001, by Greta de Groat. All Rights Reserved
Last revised November 27, 2008