SNUGGLING up to the Pavilion Theatre’s resident cat, Bessie Love looks at home in Glasgow.

The American-born star of stage and screen, who appeared in the Oscar-winning 1929 film The Broadway Melody, one of the first sound movies, was in town in April 1948.

In the show she appeared alongside singers, dancers and comedians. “Miss Love’s dramatic monologues,” said the reviewer from our sister newspaper The Herald, “though simple, are effective.”

Glasgow Times:

The previous year, she had toured with Laurence Olivier’s Born Yesterday (he was the director), which had enjoyed a Glasgow run prior to its opening in London’s west end.

Billboard magazine noted at the time that the show “clicked solidly in the Scotch city and was a personal triumph for star Yolande Donlan in the Judy Holliday role.

“Hartley Power in the Paul Douglas slot also went big and,” it added, slightly less warmly, “Bessie Love, former Hollywood pic name, did okay.”

Bessie was born Juanita Horton, in Midland, Texas in 1899 and her career stretched from silent movies to television. Her big break came when she was spotted by D W Griffith, one of the first great directors in Hollywood.

Bessie had a small role in his epic silent film, Intolerance in 1916, which would come to be seen as an influential classic.

Her performance in The Broadway Melody earned her an Oscar nomination, although the Oscars website points out this was not an official nomination with only the winners’ names announced during the awards dinner in April 1930.

READ MORE: Majestic Glasgow ships were the pride of the Clyde

She starred in many films and TV productions, including Isadora in 1968, Ragtime in 1980 and Warren Beatty’s film, Reds in 1981, as well as the 1978 TV mini-series, Edward and Mrs Simpson.

She was back on stage in Scotland in 1958, this time at Perth Theatre with her own play, The Homecoming.

The Herald’s reviewer explained: “It seems to be a fashionable idea among modern dramatists that all that is required for a play is to take an episode from their lives and wrap a story around it.

Glasgow Times:

“Miss Bessie Love, writer and female lead in the Homecoming, is no exception to this trend. In many ways this is unfortunate. The plot is simple and rather worn. An ageing actress finds it difficult to obtain employment in London and decides to accept the invitation of two old uncles to return home to California.”

He continued: “There was a love scene which could hardly be described as tender as the conversation revolved around plumbing or the lack of it in Britain.”

Despite signing off with an abrupt “the play lacked dramatic punch and any kind of action”, there was some consolation for Bessie.

“Bessie Love’s sparkling voice and bubbling personality are as fresh as when in the days of the silent films she acted with William Hart, Douglas Fairbanks and Adolphe Menjou,” said the reviewer. “Her charm is still with her.”

READ MORE: I Grew Up in Glasgow: 'We couldn't hear The Beatles over the screaming fans'

Bessie moved to Britain in 1935, following the break up of her marriage and she eventually became a British citizen. She died in London in April, 1986, aged 87.