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Claire Du Brey

Claire Du Brey
Claire Du Brey Evans.jpg
Du Brey, c. 1920
Clara Violet Dubreyvich

(1892-08-31)August 31, 1892
DiedAugust 1, 1993(1993-08-01) (aged 100)
Other namesClaire Du Bray
Claire Dubrey
Years active1916–1959
Spouse(s)Mark G. Gates
(m. 1911; div. 192?)

Claire Du Brey (born Clara Violet Dubreyvich, August 31, 1892 – August 1, 1993) was an American actress. She appeared in more than 200 films between 1916 and 1959. Her name is sometimes rendered as Claire Du Bray or as Claire Dubrey.[1]

Early years

Du Brey was born in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho,[1] to an ethnic Croat father from Dalmatia (who anglicized his name to Matthew Dubrey before his marriage),[citation needed] and an Irish-American mother, Lilly (née Henry), later Mrs. Richard Fugitt. Her parents married on November 9, 1891 in Pocatello, Bannock County, Idaho. She was raised Catholic and attended a convent school.[2]

Du Brey "had trained as a nurse".[3] She related that in 1897 she traveled west from Idaho in a covered wagon with her mother and her grandfather.[3]


Du Brey's screen career began with Universal Studios and she played at one time or another with almost all the larger companies. More notable films in which she appeared were Anything Once (1917), Social Briars (1918), The Devil's Trail (1919), What Every Woman Wants (1919) and Dangerous Hours (1919). Other films include The Wishing Ring Man, The Spite Bride, The World Aflame, and The Walk Offs. Her career declined with the sound era and she later played mostly small roles.

In the 1930s, Du Brey was an agent for other actors. Her clients included Mary Carlisle, Richard Cromwell, and Kitty Kelly. Late in 1934, Anna Q. Nilsson joined Du Brey's operation, making contacts with producers and directors, while Du Brey handled the office part of the business.[4]

Du Brey was proficient in athletics, excelling in swimming, riding, golfing, tennis and motoring. She was five feet seven inches high, weighed 130 pounds and had auburn hair and brown eyes, and took a lively interest in horticulture.[5]

Later life and death

According to two biographies of Marie Dressler published in the late 1990s, Dressler and Du Brey had a long-term romantic relationship.[3][2] However other sources indicate that Du Brey, who had trained as a nurse, was the elder actress's assistant and caregiver while Dressler was ill with terminal cancer.[5]

Du Brey married Los Angeles medical doctor Norman Gates, on November 25, 1911; the couple divorced sometime in the 1920s.[3] On August 1, 1993, Du Brey died in Los Angeles, aged 100.[1]

Selected filmography

Advertisement, 1919
Advertisement, 1919


  1. ^ a b c Gmür, Leonhard (2013). Rex Ingram: Hollywood's Rebel of the Silver Screen. epubli. p. 182. ISBN 9783844246018. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Kennedy, Matthew (2006). Marie Dressler: A Biography; with a Listing of Major Stage Performances, a Filmography and a Discography. Jefferson NC: McFarland. pp. 143–144. ISBN 9780786428441.
  3. ^ a b c d Lee, Betty (1997). Marie Dressler: The Unlikeliest Star. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. pp. 186–187. ISBN 0813126703.
  4. ^ Carroll, Harrison (December 17, 1934). "Behind the Scenes in Hollywood". The Bristol Daily Courier. King Features Syndicate, Inc. p. 3. Retrieved January 13, 2022 – via
  5. ^ a b Charles Donald Fox & Milton L. Silver (1920). "Claire Du Brey". Who's Who on the Screen. New York City: Ross Publishing. Retrieved July 27, 2015.


  • Kennedy, Matthew (1999). Marie Dressler: A Biography, With a Listing of Major Stage Performances, a Filmography And a Discography. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0520-1.
  • Lee, Betty (1997). Marie Dressler: The Unlikeliest Star. University of Kentucky Press. ISBN 0-8131-2036-5.
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Claire Du Brey
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