Dorothy Janis was an American silent film actress who made five movies in her brief career. Janis was born Dorothy Penelope Jones on Feb 19, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. Her short film career began when she was visiting a cousin, who was working on a film for Fox Film Corporation in 1927. Her beauty was noticed at once and she was asked to make a screen test. Janis went on to make five films, four of which were silents and one talkie. Her first movie was “Kit Carson” (1928) for Paramount Pictures. She followed with “Fleetwing” (1928) for Fox Film Corporation and “The Overland Telegraph” (1929) for MGM. Janis was best known for her next role, playing opposite Ramon Novarro in the MGM film “The Pagan” (1929). “The Pagan”, directed by W. S. Van Dyke, was a part-sound film, with music and sound effects only, and featured “Pagan Love Song” on the soundtrack. Her fifth film and only talkie one was “Lummox” (1930). Based on the Fannie Hurst novel of the same name, the film was released by United Artists and a copy only exists as a single nitrate print at the British Film Institute.
Janis retired from film in 1930 and married bandleader Wayne King in 1932. The vice president of the Music Corporation of America, W. H. Stein, was best man. Janis and King were married for 53 years, until King’s death in 1985. She lived in Paradise Valley, Arizona from 2004 up until her death on March 10, 2010 at the age of 98. She was laid to rest in the All Saints Episcopal Church Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona.