Edwina Booth

American leading actress of the early talkie period, whose ordeal during the production of Trader Horn (1931) led her retirement and to false rumors of her death. She had some brief stage experience before getting some unimportant film roles. She was given a leading role in the ambitious adventure film Trader Horn (1931) and travelled to Africa shoot the film. She contracted an infection (most often referred to as ‘jungle fever’) and was upon her return to the U.S. bedridden for nearly six years and never again acted in films. The story grew up that she had died of the fever, and it has remained one of the most persistent myths of early Hollywood. In reality, Booth was quite ill, but survived. She sued MGM, the producers of the film, for a sum in excess of one million dollars. The case was settled out of court. She spent part of her later years working at the Los Angeles Mormon Temple. She died at 86 in a Los Angeles nursing home.

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