Priscilla Dean was a very unlikely diva. Her photos show a plain but cheerful looking woman, with rather heavy features, a crooked grin, and an unfashionably curvaceous figure. But on screen her intensity is unmatched. She had been hanging around in Universal films for years when she began working with director Tod Browning, who unleashed her talent. Her startlingly fierce performance in Outside the Law (1920) with Lon Chaney is, fortunately, readily available on video. Sadly, bad decisions stalled her career, and she finished out the 20's in a Hal Roach short and appeared in only a handful of talkies. Her starring career was brief, but there was nobody else quite like her.
|Two advertisements featuring Priscilla Dean, courtesy of David Menefee.|
Films in Review, August-September, 1984.
Lahue, Kalton C. Ladies in Distress. South Brunswick and New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1971. p. 74-82.
©2001, by Greta de Groat. All Rights Reserved
Last updated April 20, 2013