Lina Copeland Basquette (1907 - 1994) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: San Mateo, CA, USA
Death: Died in Wheeling, WV, USA
Cause of death: Cancer
Managed by: Tina
Last Updated:
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About Lina Copeland Basquette

Lina Copeland Basquette was an American actress noted as much for her more than 75 years in entertainment beginning in the silent film era, as her tumultuous personal life and nine marriages.

In 1923, Ziegfeld Follies producers officially dubbed her "America's Prima Ballerina." Basquette was named one of thirteen WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1928 and the following year made The Younger Generation with Frank Capra.

In 1929, she also made The Godless Girl with Cecil B. DeMille, arguably the role for which she was best remembered, for she named her 1990 autobiography Lina: DeMille's Godless Girl. In this film, made at the transition from the silent era to the talkies, she played the title character. Judith is based on Queen Silver, a child prodigy and socialist orator The character, leader of a high school atheist society, forces members to renounce The Bible while placing a hand on the head of a live monkey. In the climactic scene, DeMille insisted on realism in filming a last shot of the reformatory going up in flames. Basquette's eyebrows and eyelashes were singed; her eyelashes grew back but her eyebrows did not.

After appearing in The Godless Girl, Basquette soon became a star in future DeMille films. While working for Demille, Basquette began an affair with DeMille's chief camera man, J. Peverell Marley. During the affair, Basquette lost much of her money on stocks that were duds, leaving her unable to afford insurance for her daughter Lita. After this, she agreed to marry Marley, and the two were married in 1928. By 1930, Basquette was broke and spent a good amount of her time partying with fellow actresses Jean Harlow, Clara Bow, and Carole Lombard.

Basquette was the favorite American actress of Adolf Hitler, and on at least one occasion she traveled to Germany at his invitation to meet him.

In 1991, Basquette was cast as Nada in filmmaker Danny Boyd's Paradise Park. She played a grandmother who dreamed God was coming to grant a wish to residents of an Appalachian trailer park. The film features country music stars Porter Wagoner, as the governor of West Virginia, and Johnny Paycheck. Boyd was a communications professor at West Virginia State University. He met the actress at a Charleston, West Virginia film festival.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Lena Basquette has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 1529 Vine Street.

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Lina Basquette's Timeline

1907
April 19, 1907
San Mateo, CA, USA
1925
July 4, 1925
Age 18
home of Dr. Nathan Krass, rabbi of Reform Temple Emanu-El, New York
1929
1929
Age 21
1930
1930
Age 22
1931
October 31, 1931
Age 24
1931
Age 23
1931
Age 23
1932
September 10, 1932
Age 25
1937
1937
Age 29