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Lillian Bond, 83; Actress Played ‘Other Woman’ in 1930s Films

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Lillian Bond, frequently cast as “the other woman” in films of the 1930s including the horror classic “The Old Dark House,” has died. She was 83.

Miss Bond died Saturday at the Reseda Convalescent Center of cardiac arrest, according to her stepson, Michael Fessier Jr. of Santa Barbara.

The daughter of a London tea shop owner, Miss Bond began her career in England at the age of 14 in the stage production of Dick Whittington’s “Pantomime.”

Two years later she was brought to New York to appear in the Ziegfeld Follies and other musical revues.

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She made her Hollywood debut in the 1927 short “Lost and Found,” and went on to have leading or second lead roles in more than 30 films over nearly three decades.

Among those were “Hot Saturday” with Cary Grant, “China Seas” with Clark Gable, “The Westerner” with Gary Cooper, “The Bishop Misbehaves,” “The Jolson Story” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Her career declined in the 1940s and ended with the 1955 film “The Pirates of Tripoli.”

A colorful personality, Miss Bond posed for photographers on her arrival in Hollywood wearing a monocle. She won her first beauty contest in London in her teen years, and later in Hollywood continued to attract publicity as a finalist in such competitions as the “perfect back contest” of the National Progressive Chiropractic Assn. She squabbled publicly in court over payment of commissions to her agent and a fine for drunk driving.

Miss Bond was married three times. After a brief marriage as a teen-ager in London, she was married to wealthy New York broker and big game hunter Sidney Smith from 1935 to 1944. After that divorce, she married novelist and film writer Michael Fessier, who died in 1989.

In addition to her stepson, Miss Bond is survived by a stepdaughter, Jo Kelly of Port Angeles, Wash., and a niece, Pam Huffman of Reseda.

Services will be private. The family has requested that any memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society.


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