Mildred Reardon ~ The Brown Eyed Ziegfeld Girl

Mildred Reardon

"I wanted to do something very good in pictures and still intend to do so." ~ Mildred

Mildred Reardon was born Mildred Louise Riordan on June 23, 1897 in Ottawa, Illinois. She was the middle child of Anna and Thomas Riordan. Her family called her "Lou". Mildred enrolled in art school but dropped out in 1916 when her father died. She needed to work to support her family so she started dancing with The Ziegfeld Follies in Chicago. When the show moved to New York City she went with them. She also modeled for artist Henry Clive who nicknamed her "The Girl With The Brown Eyes". Mildred made headlines when she sued a man for slander after he called her "a little bum". In 1918 she made her film debut in the comedy No Place Like Jail with Stan Laurel. She signed a contract with Sunshine Pictures and appeared in several comedies with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Cecil B. Demille cast Mildred in his 1919 drama Male and Female.

Mildred ReardonMildred Reardon

Then she was given prominent roles in Everywoman and Our Wives. By 1920 she was receiving hundreds of fan letters a week and she answered them all herself. She married S. Russell Hollander, a millionaire fur manufacturer, in May of 1920. Mildred said "I got married. It was a real romance too. Russ saw me on the screen about a year ago and fell in love with me - or so he says." The couple lived in New York City and spent their summers in Europe. She continued to make movies but her career never took off. Her husband Russell also acted in a few films. In 1927 Mildred had a supporting role in His Rise To Fame. Soon after she decided to quit acting. She and Russell moved to Stamford, Connecticut with their dog "Ty Cobb Jr". They never had children. On July 20, 1937 Mildred died of a heart attack. She was only forty years old. Mildred was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Darien, Connecticut.


Mildred ReardonMildred Reardon Fatty Arbuckle
                                                                      With Fatty Arbuckle


Mildred is one of many actresses who appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies and then died young. Was she a victim of the Ziegfeld Follies curse?