Eilers in the January 1933 edition of Photoplay Magazine
Dorothea Sally Eilers
December 11, 1908
New York City, U.S.
|Died||January 5, 1978 (aged 69)|
|Hoot Gibson (1930-1933)|
Harry Joe Brown (1933-1943); 1 child
Howard Barney (1943-1946)
Hollingsworth Morse (1949-1958)
Dorothea Sally Eilers (December 11, 1908 - January 5, 1978) was an American actress.
Eilers was born in New York City to a Jewish-American mother, Paula or Pauline Schoenberger, and a German-American father, Hio Peter Eilers (an inventor). She had one sibling, a brother, Hio Peter Eilers Jr. When Eilers was young, she moved to Los Angeles with her parents, and in 1927 she graduated from Fairfax High School. She went into films because so many of her friends were in pictures. She studied for the stage, specializing in dancing. Her first try was a failure, so she tried typing, but then went back into pictures and succeeded.
She made her film debut in 1927 in The Red Mill, directed by Roscoe Arbuckle. After several minor roles as an extra, in 1927-1928 she found work with Mack Sennett as one of his "flaming youth" comedians in several comedy short subjects, along with Carole Lombard, who had been a school friend. In 1928, she was voted as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars, a yearly list of young actresses selected by publicity people in the film business, with selection based on the actresses' having "shown the most promise during the past 12 months."
Eilers was a popular figure in early-1930s Hollywood, known for her high spirits and vivacity. Her films were mostly comedies and crime melodramas such as Quick Millions (1931) with Spencer Tracy and George Raft. By the end of the decade, her popularity had waned, and her subsequent film appearances were few. She made her final film appearance in Stage to Tucson (1950).
She was married four times, beginning with Western actor Hoot Gibson. She and her second husband, Harry Joe Brown, had one child, a son, Harry Joe Brown Jr. (1934-2006). She lived in a mansion in Beverly Hills, California designed by architect Paul R. Williams. Eilers was a Democrat who supported Adlai Stevenson's campaign during the 1952 presidential election. Like her mother, Eilers adhered to Judaism.
During her final years, Eilers suffered poor health, and died from a heart attack on January 5, 1978, in Woodland Hills, California, at the age of 69. She was cremated and her remains were interred in a small niche in the Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Understanding, Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, California.