Phyllis Haver

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Phyllis Haver
Phyllis Haver The Blue Book of the Screen.jpg
Born (1899-01-06)January 6, 1899
Douglass, Kansas, U.S.
Died November 19, 1960(1960-11-19) (aged 61)
Sharon, Connecticut, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1915–1930
Spouse(s) William Seeman (1929-1945)

Phyllis Haver (January 6, 1899 – November 19, 1960) was an American actress of the silent film era.

Early life

She was born Phyllis Haver in Douglass, Kansas. When she was young, her family moved to Los Angeles, California, then a city of less than half a million people. Haver attended Los Angeles Polytechnic High. After graduating, she played piano to accompany the new silent films in local theaters.


Haver auditioned for comedy producer Mack Sennett on a whim. Sennett hired her as one of his original Sennett Bathing Beauties.[1] Within a few years, she appeared as a leading lady in two-reelers for Sennett Studios.

Later, while signed with DeMille-Pathé, Haver played the part of Roxie Hart in the first film adaptation of Chicago in 1927, opposite Hungarian film actor Victor Varconi. One reviewer called her performance "astoundingly fine," and added that Haver "makes this combination of tragedy and comedy a most entertaining piece of work."[2]

She performed in the comedy film The Battle of the Sexes (1928), directed by D. W. Griffith, and appeared with Lon Chaney in his last silent film, Thunder (1929).

Haver retired from the industry with two 'sound' films to her credit.

Personal life

In 1929, she married millionaire William Seeman with a service performed by New York Mayor James J. Walker [3] at the home of Rube Goldberg, the cartoonist. The couple divorced in 1945.


Haver retired in Sharon, Connecticut. She died at age 61 from an overdose of barbiturates in 1960, a suspected suicide.[4] Haver left no survivors.

Selected filmography

Phyllis Haver as a "beach beauty", photographed by Mack Sennett in 1917.


  1. Phyllis Haver, Actress, dies UPI. The Pittsburgh Press - Nov 21, 1960
  2. Movie Review: Chicago Hall, Mordaunt. The New York Times, 1927. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  3. Death Comes to Silent Star, Phyllis Haver AP. The Milwaukee Journal - Nov 21, 1960.
  4. Kansas Silent Film Star Phyllis Haver is Dead AP. Lawrence Journal-World - Nov 21, 1960

External links