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Mildred Harris (Cheyenne, Wyoming, November 29, 1901-20 July 1944, Hollywood, California,) was an American actress.
She was born in Cheyenne, capital of the US state of Wyoming, as the daughter of Harry Harris, operator of the telegraph, and his wife Anna Parsons Foote. His first appearances on the screen were at the age of eleven, in the western 1912 The Post Telegrapher, directed by Francis Ford and Thomas Ince. Subsequently, she began playing juvenile roles, where she used to be paired with actor Paul Willis, including appearances in the series based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Lyman Frank Baum. Later, she appears as a girl from the harem in the famous silent film Intolerance (1916), by D. W. Griffith. She was nicknamed “Innocent Mildred Harris” because of her candid, boyish appearance of a petite girl with blond curls and blue eyes.
On October 23, 1918, he married Charles Chaplin in private, a marriage that caused a scandal because Harris was a month older than 17, while Chaplin was 29. The link was accelerated by a pregnancy Harris, which in the end turned out to be a false alarm. His relationship with the actor was included in the biopic Chaplin; where it was characterized by the Ukrainian actress Milla Jovovich.
Harris was finally pregnant shortly after the wedding, her son Norman Spencer Chaplin was born on July 7, 1919. The neonate, with serious health problems, lived 70 hours. The boy was cremated in the Inglewood Park Cemetery, and they separated in the fall of that year. Charles, who always saw Mildred as intellectually inferior, claimed in his memoirs that although he seemed a pretty girl, he was never in love with her.
After the separation, Chaplin moved to Los Angeles Athletic Club. Meanwhile, Harris tried to keep up appearances, believing that a reconciliation would be possible. Finally in 1920, he filed for divorce due to mental cruelty. Chaplin accused her of infidelity, and although she would not publicly name her lover, it was suspected that she could have an affair with Alla Nazimova. The process aroused great media coverage. The divorce was granted in November 1920, receiving Harris $ 100,000 (US $ 1,195,515 in 2016 dollars)
After the divorce he had a relationship with the Prince of Wales, Duke of Windsor, later King Edward VIII. In fact, it was she who introduced the prince to whom she would become his wife, Wallis Simpson.
In 1924, Harris married a second marriage with Everett Terrence McGovern. The couple had a son, Everett Terrence McGovern, Jr., in 1925. This marriage also ended in divorce on November 26, 1929, when Harris petitioned him for desertion. In 1934, he remarried to former soccer player William P. Fleckenstein in Asheville, North Carolina. They remained married until the death of Harris
At first, it does not manage to adapt well to the sound film, so it is mainly dedicated to vaudeville and burlesque, making a tour with the comedian Phil Silvers. Even so, she was highly praised for her performance in the 1930 film adaptation of the Broadway musical; No, No Nanette. Also memorable is his performance in the 1936 comedy Movie Maniacs of Three Stooges, where he portrayed a temperamental and demanding movie star.
Harris continued to work in film during the 1940s, largely thanks to the kindness of his former director, Cecil B. DeMille, who chose her in Reap the Wild Wind in 1942 (starring Paulette Goddard, who, as Harris, was married to Charlie Chaplin), and The History of Dr. Wassell, 1944. His last film appearance was in the 1945 film, Having A Wonderful Crime. This last released posthumously.
He has a star on the “Walk of Fame” on Hollywood Boulevard.
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