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Dagmar Godowsky (November 24, 1897 – February 13, 1975) was an American silent film actress born in Chicago to Polish composer Leopold Godowsky and Frederica Saxe.[1][2]

Silent film actress

Her Hollywood film career spanned the years from 1919 through 1926. She played in A Sainted Devil (1924) with Rudolph Valentino and The Story Without a Name (1924). The latter co-starred Tyrone Power, Sr. and Louis Wolheim. Among her other film credits are Red Lights (1923), The Common Law (1923), Virtuous Liars (1924), and The Price of a Party (1924).

Private life

Godowsky wed silent screen actor Frank Mayo in Tijuana, Mexico in 1921. She named actress Anna Luther as co-respondent in a suit brought against Mayo in March 1925. The marriage was annulled in August 1928 on the ground that Mayo had another wife.

In 1958 Godowsky published a thoroughly candid autobiography entitled First Person Plural. She wrote I lived only for pleasure and I spoiled my own fun. Where was I running? From whom? Little feet running around the globe. Nothing but circles, and I never once bumped into myself.[3] In the book she named Enrico Caruso, Arthur Rubinstein, Jascha Heifetz, Charles Chaplin, Igor Stravinsky, and Valentino among her "great loves". When queried about the number of husbands she had, Godowsky responded, Two of my own, my dear, and several of my friends'.

In her later years she made frequent appearances in London, England and on television talk shows in New York City.


Left to right, Hollywood studio pilot Emery H. Rogers, actress Dagmar Godowsky and violinist Jascha Heifetz (1920)

Godowsky died aged 78 in Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan on 13 February 1975. It was the anniversary of her father's birth. Her funeral was held at Riverside Chapel on Amsterdam Avenue and 76th Street. She was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Westchester, New York. She was survived by a brother, Leopold Jr. He was married to Frances Gershwin, sister of George Gershwin.


  1. ^ Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922
  2. ^ Passenger List SS Washington November 18, 1933
  3. ^ Godowsky, Dagmar. First Person Plural. The Lives of Dagmar Godowsky by Herself. New York: The Viking Press, 1958.
  • New York Times, Dagmar Godowsky, 78, Vamp Of the Silent Screen, Is Dead, February 14, 1975, Page 35.
  • Oakland, California Tribune, Frank Mayo Accused By Silent Screen Star, Wednesday Evening, March 18, 1925, Page 1.

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