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Leota Lorraine

Do you have an actor or actress in your tree? My answer to that question would have been ‘NO’. However, while doing some descendancy research, I discovered a cousin, a second cousin twice removed, who was an actress: Leota Lorraine Crider.

This little detail was included in an article in The Kansas City Star announcing her marriage.

Robert F. Lakenan, Jr. Wed.
Leota Crider, Film Actress, Whose Parents Live Here, Is the Bride
Leota Lorraine Crider, moving picture actress, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel P. Crider, 3506 Robert Gillham road, was married yesterday to Robert F. Lakenan, jr., in Pasadena, Cal., a telegram to her parents says.
Robert Lakenan, jr, is vice-president of the Ridge Estate Company. He lives at 32 West Armour boulevard. The marriage was a complete surprise, Mrs. Crider said today, and no details of the future plans of the Lakenans was included in the telegram.
Mrs. Lakenan has been in the “movies” about three years, Mrs. Crider said today. She has been playing in Metro pictures. Her home has been at Hollywood, Cal.
A divorce was obtained by Mrs. Lakenan from her first husband, J. C. Henderson, an insurance man, in 1916. Her petition alleged non-support.
Mrs. Crider said today her daughter always said nothing, not even marriage, would prevent her form continuing her motion picture work.
Robert Lakenan jr., is a widely known young golfer at the Blue Hills Country Club. In the war he was a first lieutenant with Battery C. 53d artillery, C. A. C.

“Robert F. Lakenan, Jr Wed,” The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Missouri), 18 May 1920, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 9 March 2021).

Curious about her acting career, I did some searching on Google and found the following:

Then I returned to newspapers to see if I could find an obituary. Since she died in Los Angeles, I started looking for an obituary in the Los Angeles papers and found a very brief obituary.

Lakenan, (Leota Lorraine), loving mother of (Nancy Duke) Simpson, loving grandmother of Gregory Royce Simpson.
Interment in Kansas City, Mo.
Bresee Brothers & Gillette local directors

“Lakenan, (Leota Lorraine),” The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California), 11 July 1974, page 67; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 10 March 2021).

When I searched the Kansas City papers, I did not find her obituary. However, when I removed the date criteria from the search, I found several articles about Leota Lorraine Crider Lakenan and her messy divorce.

  • “On ‘Reefs’ of Hollywood,” The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), 13 September 1923, page 7; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 10 March 2021).
  • “Lakenans May Fight in Court,” The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), 1 October 1923, page 4; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 10 March 2021).
  • “First Drink form Husband,” The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), 16 July 1926, page 2; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 10 March 2021).
  • “Mrs. Robert F. Lakenan, Jr., Wins Divorce,” The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri), 5 November 1927, page 5; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 10 March 2021).

I also found an article about Leota Lorraine’s appearance in ‘The Turning Point’.

Leota Lakenan in Film Here Next Week
Leota Crider Lakenan, film actress and former Kansas City girl, appears as a principal in a photoplay to be featured at the New Royal theater next week. Mrs. Lakenan, whos screen name is Loretta Lorraine, plays in support of Katherine McDonald, motion picture star, in a production entitled “The Turning Point,” from the novel by Robert W. Chambers.
Mrs. Lakenan has been doing pictures for four years. She attended Westport high school, Missouri university and dramatic school in Chicago. She has played supports for several stars and leads in Charles Ray’s comedies.
A few months ago she was married in Los Angeles to Robert Lakenan, jr. former Kansas City club man. Mr. Lakenan served in the war as a captain in the 35th division. Mr. and Mrs. Lakenan are keeping house in Hollywood Cal., and it is reported Mr. Lakenan has interests in western film concern.
Mrs. Lakenan is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. T. Crider,Thirty-fifth street and Robert Gillham road. They are spending the summer with their daughter in Hollywood. Mr. Crider is a member of the Lee Livestock Commission firm in the city.

Thanks to my curiosity about the words “film actress” in the marriage announcement, I have learned a lot about my cousin, Leota Lorraine Crider Lakenan.

2 thoughts on “Leota Lorraine

  1. Pingback: Friday’s Family History Finds | Empty Branches on the Family Tree

  2. That’s funny – my post tomorrow is about an actor connection. That drawing of Leota near the end makes her look rather peeved about something. One of her husband’s, perhaps?

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