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Lou Tellegen

1969 - 1969

Sint-Oedenrode, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Lou Tellegen (born Isidor Louis Bernard Edmon van Dommelen, November 26, 1881 – October 29, 1934) was a Dutch-born silent film and stage actor, film director and screenwriter. Tellegen made his stage debut in Amsterdam in 1903, and over the next few years built a reputation to the point where he was invited to perform in Paris, eventually co-starring in several roles with Sarah Bernhardt, with whom he was involved romantically. In 1910, he made his motion picture debut alongside Bernhardt in La dame aux camélias, a silent film made in France. In the summer of 1913, Tellegen went to London where he produced and starred in Oscar Wilde's play The Picture of Dorian Gray. Invited back to the United States, Tellegen worked in theatre and made his first American film in 1915, titled The Explorer, followed by The Unknown. Considered one of the best-looking actors on screen, he followed up with three straight films starring with Geraldine Farrar (his wife 1916-1923). Tellegen married a total of four times. He became an American citizen in 1918. Tellegen appeared in numerous films before his face was damaged in a fire on Christmas Day 1929, when he fell asleep while smoking. He had extensive plastic surgery in 1931. Fame fading, employment not forthcoming, and ridden with debt, he filed for bankruptcy. He was diagnosed with cancer, though this information was kept from him, and he became despondent. In 1931, he wrote his autobiography Women Have Been Kind. On October 29, 1934, while a guest in the Cudahy Mansion at 1844 North Vine Street in Hollywood (now the site of the Vine-Franklin underpass of the Hollywood Freeway), Tellegen locked himself in the bathroom, then shaved and powdered his face. Then, while standing in front of a full-length mirror, he committed suicide by stabbing himself with a pair of sewing scissors seven times. Tellegen was cremated and his remains scattered at sea.