Gloria Holden

Gloria Anna Holden (September 5, 1903 – March 22, 1991) was an English-born American film actress, best known for her role as Dracula's Daughter. She often portrayed cold society women.[1]

Gloria Holden
Holden in Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Gloria Anna Holden

(1903-09-05)September 5, 1903
London, UK
DiedMarch 22, 1991(1991-03-22) (aged 87)
Years active1931–1958
Spouse(s)Harold A. Winston (1932-1937; divorced)
William Hoyt (1944–1991; her death)

Early lifeEdit

Holden was born in London, England.[2] She emigrated to the United States as a child with her parents, Charles Laurence Sutherland and Eska (née Bergmann). Her mother was German.[3][better source needed] She attended school in Wayne, Pennsylvania, and later studied at New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Before she became an actress, she modeled for artists, was a shopper for a store, and worked in a beauty salon.[4] In her early teens, living in suburban Philadelphia (Gladwyne), she took voice lessons from Philip Warren Cook and was a church chorister in Ardmore and, later, Overbrook.[5]


Holden's early stage work included small parts in plays such as The Royal Family, in which she spoke four lines playing a nurse. She was an understudy to Mary Ellis in Children of Darkness, and had a minor role in That Ferguson Family.[6] She was an understudy for Brass Ankle (1931), had a bit part in The Desert Song (1926),[4] and succeeded Lilly Cahill in As Husbands Go at the John Golden Theatre on Broadway, in June 1931. In August 1932, Holden was part of the cast of Manhattan Melody at the Longacre Theatre. The Lawrence Hazard play, adapted by L. Lawrence Weber, also featured Helen Lowell, Minnie Dupree and William Corbett as players. She was the leading lady in Survivor (1933), written by D.L. James. Holden was among the cast members in Memory (1933), a Myron Fagan play.[citation needed]

Holden was active in stock theater in Cincinnati, Ohio; Princeton, New Jersey; and Scarborough, New York.[4]


She may be best remembered for two roles in her long career, that of Mme. Zola in The Life of Emile Zola (1937), and her "exotic" depiction of the title role in Dracula's Daughter (1936).[7] Her performance in the latter influenced the writings of horror novelist Anne Rice, and Dracula's Daughter is directly mentioned in Rice's novel The Queen of the Damned.[citation needed] In July 1937, Holden was assigned to play the character of Marian Morgan in The Man Without a Country (1937). The Technicolor short co-starred John Litel and was nominated for a Short Subject (Color) Academy Award.[8] Her film career ended with This Happy Feeling (1958).[1]


Holden performed on Eddie Cantor's radio program for 26 weeks[4]: 352  and played a non-singing Julie La Verne on the 1940 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Show Boat, based on the 1936 film version.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Holden married Harold A. Winston on December 17, 1932; the couple divorced on December 2, 1937. In 1944, she married her third husband, William Hoyt, to whom she remained married until her death. They had one son, William Christopher Hoyt, who was born in 1948 and killed in an automobile accident in 1970, listed as a homicide.[10]

Holden died at Redlands hospital[4]: 361  of a myocardial infarction in 1991, aged 87.[11]


Harold Winston, who is credited with helping discover actor William Holden, named him in honor of Gloria Holden. A version of how William Holden obtained his stage name is based on a statement by George Ross of Billboard magazine. George Ross stated: "William Holden, the lad just signed for the coveted lead in "Golden Boy", used to be Bill Beadle. And here is how he obtained his new movie tag. On the Columbia lot is an assistant director and scout named Harold Winston. Not long ago he was divorced from the actress, Gloria Holden, but carried the torch after the marital rift. Winston was one of those who discovered the "Golden Boy" newcomer and who renamed him—in honor of his former spouse!..."[12]

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ a b Erickson, Hal. "Gloria Holden". AllMovie. AllMovie. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  2. ^ Wagner, Laura (November 2019). "Gloria Holden". Classic Images (533): 6, 8–9.
  3. ^ "Genealogy". Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e Mank, Gregory William (2015). Women in Horror Films, 1930s. McFarland. pp. 349–361. ISBN 978-1-4766-0954-6. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  5. ^ "Began as Chorister." Buffalo (NY) Evening News, 12 March 1932.
  6. ^ ""House Unguarded at Little" - New Play of the Panama Canal Zone Will Open on Broadway on Jan. 15 - Gossip of the Players". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle: 12A. January 4, 1929.
  7. ^ "Gloria Holden - Biographical Summaries of Notable People". 1903-09-05. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  8. ^ "The 10th Academy Awards". Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  9. ^ "Lux Radio Theater at OTR.Network (Old Time Radio)". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  10. ^ "Boulder dropped on his car - Chris Hoyt, 22, dies from head injuries". Redlands Daily Facts: 3. October 23, 1970.
  11. ^ "Gloria Holden obituary". Associated Press.
  12. ^ Ross, George (April 12, 1939). "Broadway: 'Golden Boy'". The Pittsburgh Press: 23.


  • The New York Times, "In The Summer Spotlight", June 14, 1931, p. X3.
  • New York Times, "Theatrical Notes", August 27, 1932, p. 13.
  • New York Times, "16 New Plays Open In Byways Tonight", August 14, 1933, p. 18.
  • New York Times, "Theatrical Notes", January 27, 1934, p. 8.
  • New York Times, "Listing The Week's New Shows", July 21, 1935, p. X1.
  • Zanesville Signal, "Liberty Horror Film", June 23, 1936, p. 11.
  • Los Angeles Times, "New Film Productions Started In Last Week". February 2, 1936, p. C1.
  • Los Angeles Times, "The Pageant of The Film World", July 14, 1937, p. 13.
  • Los Angeles Times, "Around And About In Hollywood", October 4, 1937, p. A9
  • Los Angeles Times, "Town Called Hollywood", August 21, 1938, p. C1.
  • Los Angeles Times, "Troupe Treks To Modesto Location", November 11, 1938, p. 10.
  • Los Angeles Times, "Jap Treachery Background of Screen Drama", September 11, 1943, p. 7.

External linksEdit