Actress. She is best remembered for her portrayal of the outspoken Hattie Loomis in the film adaptation of "Dinner at Eight" (1933). Born into a prominent family, one of three daughters born unto a prosperous grain dealer Joseph Closser and socialite Louise Paddock, she received her formal education at the Boston School of Oratory. After attaining her degree in theatrical arts from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, New York, she began her career in stock companies traveling around the country appearing as a leading lady in such productions as "In Old Kentucky," "Arizona," and "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch". Upon meeting director Robert Florey during a dinner party at the home of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, he was so impressed by her distinctive voice, mature appearance, and humble charm, that he arranged for her to begin a newfound career in the film industry beginning with her being under his supervision in "The Hole in the Wall" (1929). From there, she would go on to flourish as a notable supporting character actress appearing in over 30 motion pictures; often typecast as wives, grandmothers, old maids, matriarchs, secretaries, nurses, aristocrats, salesladies, housekeepers, busybodies, curmudgeons, landladies, governesses, and dowagers. She appeared in such features as "Paris" (1929), "Big Boy" (1930), "Dangerous Nan McGrew" (1930), "Platinum Blonde" (1931), "Captain Applejack" (1931), "Daddy Long Legs" (1931), "The Man Who Played God" (1932), "Shanghai Express" (1932), "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" (1932), "Letty Lynton" (1932), "Today We Live" (1933), "Another Language" (1933), "Storm at Daybreak" (1933), and "The Barbarian" (1933). During her career, she was an honorary member of Actors Equity, was a member of the Screen Actors Guild, had been a regular parishioner of the Episcopal church, was supportive of the Hollywood Democratic Committee, had been an author of over 100 novelettes, presided as a chairwoman for her local charters of the American Red Cross and Planned Parenthood, was an associate editor for "The Smart Set" magazine, had been a theatrical coach for several major studios, and she was married to artist and actor Walter Hale from 1899 to 1917 (their union ended upon his death and produced no children). After appearing in what would be her final theatrical appearance in "Duck Soup" (1933), she died from complications of a heart attack.
Bio by: Lowell Thurgood
Myla Jo Closser Baker