California · Crime Scene Photography

Silent movie star’s body found 2 days after death

January 23, 1937
Los Angeles, California
The body of actress Marie Prevost is found 2 days after she died

Prevost had been a silent movie star and, as she grew older and films moved from silent to talking pictures, her fame dwindled. Between the decline of her film career and the loss of her parents, Provost struggled with depression and sought comfort in binge eating (increasing her weight and, by extension, her depression) and alcohol.

On January 21, Prevost’s body surrendered to malnutrition and acute alcoholism at the age of 38. She was discovered 2 days later after neighbors complained of her dog’s constant barking. Her body was found face down on her bed, with teeth marks on her body left by her dog who, according to the Los Angeles Times (Jan. 24, 1937; front page), “had tugged at his mistress in an attempt to arouse her.” As time passed, Prevost’s legacy was remember with the embellishment of her dog eating her limbs rather than nipping at them as the police report, newspaper articles, and photography of the scene imply.

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