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    Hills of Hate: Dorothy Gordon (Ellen Ridgeway) being lovingly held by Gordon Collingridge (Jim Blake). They are standing next to a tree with their horses behind them., courtesy of National Film and Sound Archive.
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Jenner, Dorothy Gordon (Andrea) (1891 - 1985)

OBE

Born
1 March 1891
Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia
Died
24 March 1985
Kings Cross, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Actor, Art Director, Journalist, Scriptwriter and War correspondent
Alternative Names
  • Andrea (pen name)
  • Gordon, Dorothy (birth name)
  • Jenner, Dorothy Hetty Fosbury (Second Married Name)
  • McEwen, Dorothy (former married name)

Summary

Dorothy Gordon Jenner was an Australian actress, scriptwriter, newspaper columnist and controversial radio personality.

Biographical accounts of the early acting career of Dorothy Gordon are laden with contradictions. Due to a lack surviving archival material, what we do know about Gordon comes from her own memoirs which are criticised for being inconsistent and exaggerated. It does appear, however, that she did have a career in film, in Australia and abroad, which finished sometime in 1927. She then turned her hand to journalism.

After two unsuccessful marriages, Dorothy Jenner travelled to London in 1927, where she began a column for the Sydney Sun under the name of 'Andrea'. Hers was a gossip column, keeping Australian audiences updated on celebrity comings and goings in London and New York. After 1940, she toured south-east Asia as a war correspondent. She was captured by the Japanese in Hong Kong and spent nearly four years in Stanley prisoner of war camp. From 1951, Jenner was writing for the Mirror. She later switched to broadcasting, working for 2UE, and pioneering talk-back radio on 2GB.

Details

Gordon's acting career began in 1912 as a chorus girl in the Melbourne stage production of Girl in a Train.

In 1915 Gordon moved to America. In Hollywood she began work as a dressmaker in a costume department. In 1916, she began to appear as an extra in Famous Players-Lasky Corporation (later Paramount).

In her memoir Darlings I've had a Ball! (1975), Gordon claims to have appeared in at least two Valentino films: The Sheik (Melford, 1921) and Blood and Sand (Niblo 1922). Gordon recalled a close relationship with Valentino.

Gordon's memoir also claimed she worked regularly with Houdini and W.C. Fields. Gordon made uncredited appearances in Unseen Forces (Franklin, 1920) and Wise Fool (Melford, 1921).

In 1925, Gordon returned to Australia and was immediately cast as the lead in Raymond Longford's Hills of Hate (1926). There are no known surviving copies of this film.

Upon completion of Hills of Hate , Australasian Films approached Gordon and asked her to collaborate with Raymond Longford's son, Victor, on the script for the film For the Term of His Natural Life (Dawn, 1927). After the director dismantled their script their names were removed from the credits. Gordon did however continue to work on the film as an art director through prop and location research.

For the Term of His Natural Life was Gordon's last film.

Events

1920 - 1970
Career in journalism active

Sources used to compile this entry: Griffen-Foley, Bridget, 'Jenner, Dorothy Hetty Fosbury (Andrea) (1891 - 1985)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A170594b.htm; Pike, Andrew and Cooper, Ross, Australian Film 1900-1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1980.

Related entries

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Archival resources

National Film and Sound Archive

  • Gordon, Dorothy: Interviewed by Graham Shirley, 464835; National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Hills of Hate: Documentation, 1926, 344447; National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Wilfrid Thomas Interviews: Russell Braddon; Dorothy Gordon, 655104; National Film and Sound Archive. Details

Digital resources

Title
Hills of Hate: Dorothy Gordon (Ellen Ridgeway) being lovingly held by Gordon Collingridge (Jim Blake). They are standing next to a tree with their horses behind them.
Type
Image
Repository
National Film and Sound Archive

Details

Barbara Lemon and Hollie Aerts

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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ISSN 2207-3124