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26 August 2014

Dolly Davis

French actress Dolly Davis (1896-1962) was a very popular comédienne in the 1920s. She was often paired with André Roanne, and they even performed in a film simply called Dolly (Pierre Colombier, 1928).

Dolly Davis
French postcard in the 'Les Vedettes de Cinéma' Series by A.N., Paris, no. 112. Photo: G.L. Manuel Freres.

Dolly Davis
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 139. Photo: P. Apers.

Dolly Davis
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Edition, Paris, no. 515. Photo: Studio Lorelle.

Dolly Davis
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 665. Photo: G.F.F.A.

The Imaginary Voyage


Dolly Davis was born as Julienne Alexandrine David in Paris, France, in 1896.

She already made her first film in 1919: La bourrasque (Charles Maudru, 1919). She followed it up with Un conte de Noël/A Christmas Story (1920) and Les étrennes à travers les âges/New Year's Gifts Through the Ages (Pierre Colombier, 1920).

She was much beloved in films such as the serial Vidocq (Jean Kemm, 1922) starring René Navarre as Vidocq, Genevieve (Léon Poirier, 1923) with Pierre Blanchar, Paris (René Hervil, 1924) with Marie Bell, and Mon frères Jacques/My Brother Jacques (Marcel Manchez, 1925) with Enrique Rivero.

A highlight was the fairytale-like Le voyage imaginaire/The Imaginary Voyage (René Clair, 1925) with Albert Préjean.

Another success was Paris en cinq jours (Pierre Colombier, Nicolas Rimsky, 1926), a comedy about Americans in Paris.

With André Roanne, she appeared in La petite chocolatière/The Chocolate Girl (René Hervil, 1927) and La femme du voisin/The Neighbour's Wife (Jacques de Baroncelli, 1928).

Dolly Davis
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 933. Collection Didier Hanson.

Dolly Davis
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 932.

Dolly Davis
French postcard by Europe, no. 299. Photo: Cinéromans / Films de France.

Dolly Davis
French postcard by Europe, no. 773. Photo: Paramount.

Dolly Davis
Belgian postcard by N.V. Universum, Antwerpen.

Tingel Tangel


In the late silent era Dolly Davis also performed in various German films.

These included Fraulein Josette-meine Frau (Gaston Ravel, 1926), Tingel tangel (Gustav Ucicky, 1927) with Paul Hartmann, Verirrte Jugend/Misled Youth (Richard Löwenbein, 1928), Frauenraub in Marokko (Gennaro Righelli, 1928) opposite Vladimir Gajdarov, Die weisse Rosen von Ravensberg/The White Roses of Ravensberg (Rudolf Meinert, 1929) starring Italian diva Diana Karenne, and a film directed by actress Olga Tschechowa: Der Narr seiner Liebe/Fool For Love (1929), starring Michael Chekhov.

In 1928 Davis also played in the American silent film Lights of Paris, shot in Paris and directed by Pierre Hemp.

When sound came along, Davis starred in the French comedy Un trou dans le mur (René Barberis, 1930) with Jean Murat.

More little known French sound films followed including Gagne ta vie/Earn Your Living (André Berthomieu, 1931), Brumes de Paris/Mists of Paris (Maurice Sollin, 1932), Un train dans la nuit/A Train in the Night (René Hervil, 1934), Bichon (Fernand Rivers, 1935), and Bar du sud/Southern Bar (Henri Fescourt, 1938) starring Charles Vanel.

After the latter film, Dolly Davis retired. From then on, she dedicated her time to painting, and she died in 1962 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

Dolly Davis, publicity for Campari
French postcard. Photo: Studio Lorelle. Caption: "Si Paris vous attire, Campari vous retient."

Dolly Davis
French postcard by A.N., Paris, no. 676. Photo: Studio G.L. Manuel Frères.

Dolly Davis
French postcard by Editions Cinémagazines, no. 325. Photo: Studio G.L. Manuel Frères.

Dolly Davis
French postcard by J.R.P.R., Paris, no. 401. Photo: Studio Lorelle, Paris.

Dolly Davis
French postcard by EC (Editions Chantal), Paris, no. 77. Photo: Piaz.


Scene from Le voyage imaginaire/The Imaginary Voyage (1925). Source: Maxence Cyrin (Cinemix).

Sources: Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), CineArtistes.com, Wikipedia (French), and IMDb.

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