Wednesday, October 7, 2015

HELEN CHANDLER AFTER DRACULA


Born in New York City on 1 February 1909, Helen Louise Chandler enjoyed a hugely successful career on the stage in the 1920's until Hollywood seductively lured her away.

While she is widely remembered for her role as the doleful Mina in DRACULA (1931), she made a number of films afterwards. For example, the portrait shown here from the January 1932 issue of SCREENLAND magazine by photographer Preston Duncan was for a film released on 5 December of the previous year entitled HEART AND HAND. The film was also shown as A HOUSE DIVIDED, and starred Walter Huston. Bette Davis screen tested, but Helen Chandler got the job playing Ruth Evans. Contrary to the photo caption, there were other women who played in the movie.

Chandler was busy in 1931, as she was cast in no less than six films. After that, her film career dwindled. She returned to the stage in 1937. However, she had become an alcoholic and dependent on prescription drugs. She was burned and disfigured in a fire in 1947 and she became even more deeply depressed. She died after surgery for a bleeding ulcer 30 April 1965.

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