Biography

Although her name for years remained unknown to moviegoers, brunette Dorothy Bernard was one of the first American film stars. A member of the original Biograph stock company and thus predated Mary Pickford and the Gish sisters. Bernard enjoyed an immense popularity in tandem with Florence Lawrence and John Compson in the company's Jonesy comedies. A South African by birth, Bernard had made her stage bow at the age of two and toured with stock companies all over the world prior to entering films around 1907. Popular through the 1910s, even after leaving Biograph, Bernard later played Eponine in the 1918 version of Les Miserables (William Farnum starred as Jean Valjean) and was Jo March in Little Women (1918). Later that year, she went on an extended tour with Frank Morgan in The Man Who Came Back and only returned to Hollywood to play a couple of supporting roles in the early '20s. Amazingly, Bernard would enjoy a second stab at stardom as Margaret in the 1953-1955 television situation comedy Life With Father. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi