|Born||Jeanne de La Fonte
September 30, 1898
Lille, Nord, France
|Died||October 5, 1933 (aged 35)
Tujunga, California, USA
William Sherman Gill (1927–1929)
Renée Adorée (September 30, 1898 – October 5, 1933) was a French actress who had appeared in Hollywood silent movies during the 1920s.
Born Jeanne de La Fonte in Lille, Nord, France, she was the daughter of circus artists and who, by age five, was performing in the circus with her parents. In her teen years she began acting in minor stage productions and toured Europe with her troupe. She was performing in Russia when World War I broke out and fled to London.
From London she went on to New York City where she continued to work in the theatre until the opportunity came to work in the motion picture business.
In 1920, given the exotic name Renée Adorée (meaning "Reborn" for a female - very common French first name - and "Adored", yet again for a female) by the studio, she appeared in her first motion picture. While in New York City on New Year's Eve 1921 she met Tom Moore (1883–1955). Fifteen years her senior, Tom Moore and his brothers were very successful Hollywood actors. Six weeks after their meeting, Renée Adorée married Tom Moore on February 12, 1921 in his home in Beverly Hills, California. The marriage did not last, and in 1925 Ms. Adorée married a second time to Sherman Gill.
Despite her petite stature, Renée Adorée's sensuous beauty and penetrating eyes made for a compelling presence on the black and white screen. She is most famous for her role as "Melisande" in the melodramatic romance war epic The Big Parade (1925), that became one of MGM's biggest hits of all time and a film that historians rank as one of the best films made in the silent film era. Co-starring John Gilbert, The Big Parade is still shown on television today and is available on video. In The Mating Call, a 1928 film produced by Howard Hughes, Adorée had a very brief nude skinny-dipping scene that caused quite a commotion at the time.
With the advent of sound in film, Renée Adorée was one of the fortunate ones whose voice came over well enough to continue acting. She would star opposite Lon Chaney and her former brother-in-law Owen Moore, make three more films with John Gilbert, and star in four films with another leading Hollywood actor Ramon Novarro.
By the end of 1930, she had appeared in forty-five films, the last four of them talkies. That year she was diagnosed with tuberculosis, Renée Adorée lived only a few years longer.
After Adorée went against her physician's advice in completing her final film, Call of the Flesh, with Navarro, she was rushed to a sanitarium in Prescott, Arizona, where she lay flat on her back for two years in an effort to regain her physical health. In April 1933 she left the sanitarium. At this point it was thought she had recovered sufficiently to resume her screen career. However, she almost immediately grew weaker and her health declined day by day. She was moved from her modest home in the Tujunga Hills to the Sunland health resort in September 1933.
Renée Adorée left an estate valued at $2,429. The only heir was Mrs. Victoria, mother of the actress, who lived in England. No will was found.