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Film's First FamilyThe Untold Story of the Costellos$
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Terry Chester Shulman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813178097

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813178097.001.0001

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(p.69) 9 Desperation
Film's First Family

Terry Chester Shulman

University Press of Kentucky

The Costellos slide back into poverty after Maurice parts ways with Vitagraph. They literally starve in the Bayside mansion as film work dries up completely and Maurice goes off on his own to pawn the family assets. The now-teenagedDolores assumes her new place as the family breadwinner, posing for artists like James Montgomery Flagg. In the early twenties, with Maurice getting occasional work in secondary parts, Dolores and Helene arehired byGeorge White’s Scandalsto dance in the chorus line. In Chicago, Dolores is offered a contract by a Warner Brother’s scout and the Costello women leave for Hollywood. They arrive to find acontract has also been drawn up for Helene. After months of stress and uncertainty, Warners picks up the girls’ options and they’re on their way.

Keywords:   poverty, Maurice unemployed, George White’s Scandals, Warner Brothers, Hollywood

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