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Nina Byron

Nina Byron 1900–1987 was born in Christchurch.

In about 1915 her mother took her to New York and promptly abandoned her. The fifteen year old waif was nearly starving when she met a Russian writer named Nicholas Danaew who was directing films. He took an immediate fancy to her and gave her small parts in movies.

She went on to California where in 1916 she played the female lead in Truthful Tulliver, an American silent western film directed by William S. Hart, produced by Thomas Ince and starring Hart, Alma Rubens and Nina Byron.

After good roles in several more Paramount and Artcraft movies, she and Dunaew married in 1918. It was not a happy union. Nina left him after fifteen months to join the Hitchy-koo dance company and later danced with the Ziegfeld Follies in New York and later in Paris with the Folies Bergère. Ziegfeld considered her “one of the most beautiful girls in the world”. 

She married Harold G Rosson in 1924 but he divorced her (for desertion) and later married Jean Harlow. She was associated with Eddie Cantor in the Florenz Ziegfeld show Whoopie in New York, returning to Hollywood where she eventually married director Frank Hotaling in 1939.