Ethlyne Clair, silent screen star of comedies, Westerns and serials, died Tuesday at age 91.
She died in Tarzana Hospital of respiratory failure after ulcer surgery.
Although her career spanned less than a decade, Clair enjoyed a colorful life both on- and off-screen during Hollywood's adolescence.
She achieved her greatest popularity in Westerns opposite cowboy stars of the day. She made three films with Hoot Gibson, whom she rated decades later as her favorite actor, and two with Tom Tyler, to whom she was briefly engaged.
"Hoot was wonderful to me," she said in 1991, "and we had a little love affair."
Her co-stars fared better in her opinion than the films.
"I hated them," she said, looking back as an octogenarian. "You see, I wanted to do big things and become a big star, not ride horses through the desert. I thought I was above all that. I just wanted to be a beautiful vamp."
After working in New York studios, Clair made her Hollywood debut in a series of comedies, "The Newlyweds and Their Baby," adapted from a newspaper comic strip. Two serials, "The Vanishing Rider" in 1928 and "Queen of the Northwoods" in 1929, increased her national reputation.