Nola Luxford

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Nola Luxford OBE (born Adelaide Minola Pratt; 23 December 1895 – 10 October 1994) was a New Zealand-born American film actress, spanning from the silent film era to the 1930s. During the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, she was also a writer and pioneer broadcaster, providing a daily radio programme for audiences in Australia and New Zealand.

Early life

Born Adelaide Minola Pratt in Hunterville, New Zealand, on 23 December 1895,[1] and raised in Hastings, Luxford was the eldest of three children of Adelaide Agnes McGonagle, a schoolteacher, and Ernest Augustus Pratt, a draper.[2]

Self-adjustments

She would later:

  • Reverse her forename and middle name [1][3]
  • Change her birthdate to coincide with that of her father (who was born 24 December)[4]
  • Shave six years off her age[1][3][4]
  • Change her birthplace to Auckland (on her U.S. citizenship petition)

Career

She left in 1919 for Hollywood to pursue a career in film acting. She was 23 years old and determined to distinguish herself after a family scandal in New Zealand. Her first film appearance was in the 1920 film The Tiger's Coat. From 1920 through 1927 she would appear in thirteen films, starring opposite and alongside such actors as Bill Cody, Jack Holt, and Carmel Myers.[5] In 1932 she gave a daily one-hour radio report on the Olympics at Los Angeles for New Zealand and Australia, relayed "down under" by short-wave radio.[6] She made six film appearances between 1932–1935, with the only credited ones of any notability being The Iron Master (starring Reginald Denny) and Lost in Limehouse (starring Laura La Plante), both in 1933. She retired after 1935, and settled in Pasadena, California.

Recording career

She founded the Anzac Club of New York, and through her wartime radio broadcasts she became known as the "Angel of the Anzacs". She was awarded the OBE for her services.[3]

Personal life

Her first husband, Maurice George "Maurie" Luxford, whom she wed in 1919, died.[7] She married, secondly, to William Bauernschmidt. She married her third husband, Glenn Russell Dolberg, in 1959; he died in 1977. She became a naturalized United States citizen on 12 November 1928. She continued to live in Pasadena, California, where she died on 10 October 1994, aged 98. She was survived by five nieces and one nephew.[5]

Partial filmography

References

  1. ^ a b c Adelaide Minola Pratt, New Zealand, Birth Index, 1840-1950; Birth Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 1896, Hunterville, New Zealand, Folio #420; accessed 21 December 2016.
  2. ^ Van Grondelle, Carole. "Luxford, Nola". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Biodata, teara.govt.nz; accessed 21 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b Carole Van Grondelle (2000). Angel of the Anzacs: The Life of Nola Luxford. Victoria University Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-86473-397-9.
  5. ^ a b Nola Luxford profile, IMDb.com; accessed 19 December 2016.
  6. ^ Our Olympic Century (page 49) by Joseph Romanos (2008, Trio Books, Wellington); ISBN 978-0-9582839-3-9
  7. ^ "Photograph of the wedding of Nola Pratt and Maurie Luxford, 1919". Mp.natlib.govt.nz. Retrieved 20 December 2016.

Further reading

  • Carole Van Grondelle, Angel of the Anzacs, Victoria University Press (1 June 2001); ISBN/SKU: 9780864733979
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