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Bess Flowers
Bess Flowers
(November 23, 1898 – July 28, 1984) was an American actress best known for her work as an extra in hundreds of films.[1] By some counts considered the most prolific actress in the history of Hollywood,[citation needed] she was known as "The Queen of the Hollywood Extras,"[2] appearing in more than 350 feature films and numerous comedy shorts in her 41-year career.[3]

Contents

1 Career 2 Personal life 3 Death 4 Partial filmography 5 See also 6 External links 7 References

Career[edit] Born in Sherman, Texas, Flowers' film debut came in 1923, when she appeared in Hollywood.[4] She made three films that year, and then began working extensively. Many of her appearances are uncredited, as she generally played non-speaking roles. By the 1930s, Flowers was in constant demand. Her appearances ranged from Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
and John Ford
John Ford
thrillers to comedic roles alongside of Charley Chase, the Three Stooges, Leon Errol, Edgar Kennedy, and Laurel and Hardy. She appeared in the following five films which won the Academy Award for Best Picture: It Happened One Night, You Can't Take it with You, All About Eve, The Greatest Show on Earth, and Around the World in Eighty Days.[2] In each of these movies, Flowers was uncredited. Including these five movies, she had appeared in twenty-three Best Picture nominees in total, making her the record holder for most appearances in films nominated for the award.[2] Her last movie was Good Neighbor Sam
Good Neighbor Sam
in 1964.[3] Flowers's acting career was not confined to feature films. She was also seen in many episodic American TV series, such as I Love Lucy, notably in episodes, "Lucy Is Enceinte" (1952), "Ethel's Birthday" (1955), and "Lucy's Night in Town" (1957), where she is usually seen as a theatre patron. Outside her acting career, in 1945, Flowers helped to found the Screen Extras Guild[1] (active: 1946-1992, then merged with the Screen Actors Guild), where she served as one of its first vice-presidents and recording secretaries.[2] Personal life[edit] Flowers was first married on September 2, 1923, in Ventura County, California, to Cullen Tate[5] (1894–1947), an assistant to Cecil B. DeMille. They were divorced in 1928 in Los Angeles. Her second marriage took place on August 5, 1929, in Los Angeles, to William S. Holman (1895–1962). They were divorced in 1930 in Los Angeles. She and Tate had one child, Patricia E. Tate (January 29, 1924 – August 1, 1972). Death[edit] Flowers died on July 28, 1984, at age 85 in the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital[3]:129 in Woodland Hills, California. She was cremated and her ashes interred at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory (Los Angeles). Partial filmography[edit]

Hollywood (1923) The Silent Partner (1923) Irene (1926) Old Ironsides (1926) (uncredited) Show People
Show People
(1928) (uncredited) We Faw Down
We Faw Down
(1928 short) The Saturday Night Kid
The Saturday Night Kid
(1929) (uncredited) Their Own Desire
Their Own Desire
(1929) (uncredited) Ten Cents a Dance (1931) Strangers May Kiss
Strangers May Kiss
(1931) (uncredited) A Free Soul
A Free Soul
(1931) (uncredited) Monkey Business (1931) (uncredited) Possessed (1931) Sinister Hands (1932) Sin's Pay Day (1932) It Happened One Night
It Happened One Night
(1934) (uncredited) One Exciting Adventure
One Exciting Adventure
(1934) The Whole Town's Talking
The Whole Town's Talking
(1935) (uncredited) A Night at the Opera (1935) (uncredited) Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
(1936) (uncredited) Forgotten Faces (1936) Two-Fisted Gentleman (1936) My Man Godfrey
My Man Godfrey
(1936) (uncredited) Dodsworth (1936) (uncredited) Theodora Goes Wild
Theodora Goes Wild
(1936) (uncredited) Topper (1937) (uncredited) The Awful Truth
The Awful Truth
(1937) (uncredited) Nothing Sacred (1937) (uncredited) Paid to Dance
Paid to Dance
(1937) The Shadow (1937) Holiday (1938) (uncredited) You Can't Take It With You (1938) (uncredited) The Lady Objects (1938) Midnight (1939) (uncredited) Rose of Washington Square
Rose of Washington Square
(1939) (uncredited) The Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties
(1939) as a nightclub patron (uncredited) Ninotchka
Ninotchka
(1939) (uncredited) A Plumbing We Will Go
A Plumbing We Will Go
(1940 short) (uncredited) The Boys from Syracuse (1940) Boom Town (1940) (uncredited) Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) (uncredited) The Lady Eve
The Lady Eve
(1941) (uncredited) Meet John Doe
Meet John Doe
(1941) (uncredited) Ziegfeld Girl (1941) (uncredited) The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) (uncredited) I Married an Angel (1942) (unconfirmed) The Palm Beach Story
The Palm Beach Story
(1942) (uncredited) The Glass Key (1942) (uncredited) Now, Voyager
Now, Voyager
(1942) (uncredited) I Married a Witch
I Married a Witch
(1942) (uncredited) Springtime in the Rockies
Springtime in the Rockies
(1942) (uncredited) Tahiti Honey (1943) (uncredited) Heaven Can Wait (1943) (uncredited) Mr. Skeffington
Mr. Skeffington
(1944) (uncredited) Double Indemnity (1944) (uncredited) Hail the Conquering Hero
Hail the Conquering Hero
(1944) (uncredited) Laura (1944) (uncredited) The Woman in the Window
The Woman in the Window
(1944) (uncredited) Hollywood Canteen (1944) (uncredited) A Song for Miss Julie
A Song for Miss Julie
(1945) (uncredited) The Affairs of Susan
The Affairs of Susan
(1945) (uncredited) Mildred Pierce (1945) (uncredited) Gilda
Gilda
(1946) (uncredited) The Blue Dahlia
The Blue Dahlia
(1946) (uncredited) Notorious (1946) (uncredited) The Big Sleep (1946) (uncredited) The Razor's Edge (1946) (uncredited) Humoresque (1946) (uncredited) Dead Reckoning (1947) (uncredited) The Farmer's Daughter (1947) (uncredited) The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
(1947) (uncredited) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) (uncredited) Song of the Thin Man
Song of the Thin Man
(1947) Cass Timberlane
Cass Timberlane
(1947) (uncredited) A Double Life (1947) (uncredited) The Bride Goes Wild
The Bride Goes Wild
(1948) (uncredited) The Big Clock (1948) (uncredited) The Noose Hangs High
The Noose Hangs High
(1948) (uncredited) Romance on the High Seas
Romance on the High Seas
(1948) (uncredited) A Date with Judy (1948) (uncredited) A Song Is Born (1948) (uncredited) Neptune's Daughter (1949) (uncredited) The Great Gatsby (1949) (uncredited) Mighty Joe Young (1949) (uncredited) Sky Liner (1949) My Friend Irma (1949) (uncredited) Young Man with a Horn (1950) (uncredited) No Man of Her Own
No Man of Her Own
(1950) (uncredited) The Damned Don't Cry (1950) (uncredited) Father of the Bride (1950) (uncredited) Born to Be Bad (1950) All About Eve
All About Eve
(1950) (uncredited) Lullaby of Broadway (1951) (uncredited) Show Boat (1951) (uncredited) The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) (uncredited) Singin' in the Rain
Singin' in the Rain
(1952) (uncredited) The Bad and the Beautiful
The Bad and the Beautiful
(1952) (uncredited) Angel Face (1953) (uncredited) Murder Without Tears
Murder Without Tears
(1953) (uncredited) Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) (uncredited) The Band Wagon
The Band Wagon
(1953) (uncredited) The Robe (1953) (uncredited) Torch Song (1953) (uncredited) Calamity Jane (1953) (uncredited) Easy to Love (1953) (uncredited) Executive Suite (1943) (uncredited) Dial M for Murder
Dial M for Murder
(1954) (uncredited) The Student Prince (1954) (uncredited) Rear Window
Rear Window
(1954) (uncredited) A Star Is Born (1954) (uncredited) White Christmas (1954) (uncredited) Désirée (1954) (uncredited) Interrupted Melody
Interrupted Melody
(1955) (uncredited) To Catch a Thief
To Catch a Thief
(1955) (uncredited) Guys and Dolls (1955) (uncredited) I'll Cry Tomorrow
I'll Cry Tomorrow
(1955) (uncredited) Never Say Goodbye (1956) (uncredited) Anything Goes (1956) (uncredited) Giant (1956) (uncredited) Around the World in 80 Days (1956) (uncredited) Funny Face
Funny Face
(1957) (uncredited) Designing Woman
Designing Woman
(1957) (uncredited) Sweet Smell of Success
Sweet Smell of Success
(1957) (uncredited) Jailhouse Rock (1957) (uncredited) Pal Joey (1957) (scenes cut) Witness for the Prosecution (1957) (uncredited) Vertigo (1958) (uncredited) Houseboat (1958) (uncredited) Imitation of Life (1959) (uncredited) North by Northwest
North by Northwest
(1959) (uncredited) Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960) (uncredited) Where the Boys Are
Where the Boys Are
(1960) (uncredited) The Absent-Minded Professor
The Absent-Minded Professor
(1961) (uncredited) Return to Peyton Place (1961) (uncredited) Blue Hawaii
Blue Hawaii
(1961) (uncredited) Judgment at Nuremberg
Judgment at Nuremberg
(1961) (uncredited) Pocketful of Miracles
Pocketful of Miracles
(1961) (uncredited) Sweet Bird of Youth (1962) (uncredited) The Manchurian Candidate (1962) (uncredited) Who's Minding the Store?
Who's Minding the Store?
(1963) (uncredited) Move Over, Darling
Move Over, Darling
(1963) (uncredited) 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964) (uncredited) The Carpetbaggers (1964) (uncredited) Good Neighbor Sam
Good Neighbor Sam
(1964) (uncredited)

See also[edit]

Biography portal

List of actors who have appeared in multiple Best Picture Academy Award winners

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bess Flowers.

Bess Flowers
Bess Flowers
on IMDb An appreciation by Joe McElhaney Bess Flowers
Bess Flowers
at Virtual History

References[edit]

^ a b Slide, Anthony. Hollywood Unknowns: A History of Extras, Bit Players, and Stand-Ins. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 152–153. ISBN 9781617034749. Retrieved 30 November 2016.  ^ a b c d Feinberg, Scott. "20 Feet From Movie Stardom: The Overlooked Story of Hollywood's Greatest Extra". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media LLC. Retrieved 19 November 2016.  ^ a b c Slide, Anthony. 2010.Silent Players: a Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. p. 103. ISBN 9780813127088. ^ Tevis, Robert E. (Fall 2016). "Send Me ... Bess Flowers". Films of the Golden Age (86): 88–93.  ^ Scott, Tony (2001). The Stars of Hollywood Forever. Lulu.com. ISBN 9781312916975. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 3155335

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