Place of Death
Long Beach, CA., USA
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Profile Bio Text
Edwina Booth (September 13, 1909 - May 18, 1991) was an American actress born Josephine Constance Woodruff in Provo, Utah. She is best known for the 1931 film Trader Horn during the filming of which she contracted an illness which effectively ended her movie career.
Booth`s brief film career began in 1928 with the Dorothy Arzner-directed Manhattan Cocktail which also featured Nancy Carroll and Richard Arlen. MGM was impressed with her, and cast Booth as an up-and-comer in its new jungle epic Trader Horn opposite Harry Carey.
With MGM having a fairly large budget, filming took place on location in East Africa. Up until 1929, the only films shot in Africa were travelogues, but MGM was hoping that the idea of "location shooting" might increase the film`s commercial appeal. Thus the crew was inexperienced and ill-equipped for filming in Africa, a problem exacerbated by MGM`s last-minute decision to shoot the film with sound.
In addition to the heat and insects, Booth contracted malaria during shooting. Her role in the film as "The White Godess" [sic] required that she be very scantily clad, no doubt increasing her susceptibility. Production went on for several months (much longer than average production time in those days). Despite the problems with the film`s production, Trader Horn was a success, securing an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
Booth, however, fared much worse as it took her six years to fully recover physically. She sued MGM for over a million dollars, claiming she had been provided with inadequate protection and inadequate clothing during the African shoot. She also claimed she had been forced to sunbathe nude for extended periods during filming. The case received a lot of attention in the tabloids and was eventually settled out of court, the terms not disclosed.
Although she appeared in a few subsequent serials, Booth`s acting career never recovered. She withdrew completely from the public eye, although it`s said she became more active in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints circles. There were many false rumours and reports of her demise until her death in 1991.
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Full Name at Birth
Josephine Constance Woodruff
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Edwina Booth (September 13, 1904 – May 18, 1991) was an American actress. She is best known for the 1931 film Trader Horn, during the filming of which she contracted an illness which effectively ruined her movie career.