Dorothy Peterson

Bergetta "Dorothy" Peterson (25 December 1897 - 3 October 1979) was an American actress. She began her acting career on Broadway before appearing in more than eighty Hollywood films.

Dorothy Peterson
Peterson in 1928
Bergetta Peterson

(1897-12-25)December 25, 1897
DiedOctober 3, 1979(1979-10-03) (aged 81)
New York City, U.S.
Years active1924–1964
(m. 1943; died 1962)

Early yearsEdit

Peterson was born in Hector, Minnesota,[1] the daughter of Oscar Frank Peterson and Emily Johnson Peterson. She had a brother, Buford, and was raised in Zion, Illinois.[2] She was of Swedish ancestry. She studied at a dramatic school, performing in adaptations of Greek plays, and then attended the Chicago Musical College.[1]


Billed by her birth name, Peterson acted with a company in Icebound at the Montauk Theater in Brooklyn, New York, in September 1923.[3] For two years, Peterson toured with Borgony Hammer's Ibsen Repertory Company. She left that troupe to go to New York, where she began performing in Broadway productions.[1] Broadway plays in which she acted included Subway Express (1929), Dracula (1927), God Loves Us (1926), Pomeroy's Past (1926), Find Daddy (1926), The Fall Guy (1925), All God's Chillun Got Wings (1924), and Cobra (1924).[4]

She made her screen debut in Mothers Cry (1930), a domestic drama that required the 29-year-old actress to age nearly three decades in the course of the film.[5]

Dorothy Peterson in Pursuit (1935)

Mothers Cry instantly typecast Peterson in careworn maternal roles, which she continued to assay for the rest of her career. Most of her subsequent film assignments were supporting roles like Mrs. Hawkins in Treasure Island. In 1942, she briefly replaced Olive Blakeney as Mrs. Aldrich in the comedy series entry Henry Aldrich for President.[citation needed]

Her last screen appearance was as the mother of Shirley Temple in That Hagen Girl (1947). Peterson remained active on the New York TV and theatrical scene until the early 1960s. She appeared in more than 80 films, and made several television appearances between 1930 and 1964.[citation needed]


Peterson died on October 3, 1979. She was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Zion, Illinois.[2]



  1. ^ a b c "A Few Facts About Miss Dorothy Peterson". Times Union. New York, Brooklyn. January 11, 1931. p. 44. Retrieved October 26, 2020 – via
  2. ^ a b Wilson, Scott (August 22, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 586. ISBN 978-0-7864-7992-4. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  3. ^ "Montauk". The Chat. New York, Brooklyn. September 1, 1923. p. 49. Retrieved July 18, 2022 – via
  4. ^ "Dorothy Peterson". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  5. ^ "Dorothy Peterson". Fandango. Retrieved November 19, 2018.

External linksEdit