Betty Bronson Poster


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Overview (4)

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, USA
Died in Pasadena, California, USA
Birth NameElizabeth Ada Bronson
Height 5' (1.52 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Betty Bronson's discovery reads like a Hollywood dream. As a New Jersey teenage bit-player, she was rocketed from obscurity when she was chosen to play the part of Peter Pan in 1924's Peter Pan (1924). She was hand-selected by author J.M. Barrie and beat several Hollywood superstars to the part, most notably Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford. Pickford, though nearly 30, had built a career out of playing such parts, and faced the first serious threat to her status as "America's Sweetheart". Betty's beautifully expressive performance and unsophisticated looks earned her instant success. For the year following "Peter Pan"'s release, Bronson-mania easily equaled the sort of hysteria previously reserved only for Pickford.

Unfortunately, Bronson's studio seemed unsure of how to exploit this talent, which was wasted in small or unchallenging roles. "Peter Pan"'s 1925 follow-up, A Kiss for Cinderella (1925), seemed destined for the same success--but instead was a major flop. In only one year the public taste had changed so much as to render the sentimental entertainment of yesteryear obsolete. Had Bronson emerged ten years earlier she would have been a worthy competitor to Pickford; in 1925, audiences were suddenly more interested in the more adult charms of flappers such as Clara Bow and Colleen Moore. Betty, too, was re-launched as a flapper, sophisticate and occasional period dame. Her career was moderately successful but her superstardom had subsided. She sparkled and demonstrated an excellent voice in her first sound appearance (The Singing Fool (1928) with Al Jolson) but it became clear that her formidable skills as a pantomimist was wasted in the new form. She retired in 1933 to marry, and only appeared on-screen intermittently thereafter.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Camille Scaysbrook {verona_beach@hotpop.com}

Spouse (1)

Ludwig Lauerhass (16 March 1932 - 21 October 1971) ( her death) ( 1 child)

Trivia (5)

Interviewed in "Talking to the Piano Player: Silent Film Stars, Writers and Directors Remember" by Stuart Oderman (BearManor Media).
Bronson's son has said that Al Jolson was the only person she admitted she didn't like working with; they appeared together in The Singing Fool (1928).
She named Peter Pan (1924) and A Kiss for Cinderella (1925) as her favorites of all her films. She also named Herbert Brenon as her favorite actor.
Bronson had a son with Ludwig Lauerhass, born in 1935. The boy was Ludwig "Luddy" Lauerhass Jr., a lecturer in history emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles. He obtained a PhD from UCLA in 1972.
Brother was Frank Bronson.

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