Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dolly Tree (17 March 1899–17 May 1962) was an English illustrator, actress and costume designer who during the 1930s and 1940s designed dresses for Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, Rosalind Russell, Maureen O'Sullivan and Judy Garland among others in addition to costuming historical dramas such as David Copperfield (1935) and A Tale of Two Cities (1935). Born in Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol in 1899 as Dorothy Marian Isbell, the daughter of Charles Edwin Isbell (1863-1942) , a solicitor, and Bertha Marian (née Keith-Williams) at an early age she discovered an aptitude for drawing before being drawn towards a career on the stage. In 1912 her family relocated to London and she began her career as an artist after seeing the play Vanity Fair at the Palace Theatre in 1916. Of the play she later wrote, ‘I was fascinated by the wonderful dancing and art of Regine Flory and admired her so much that I started to design a special poster of her, really to amuse myself, based on my recollections of this vivid artist seen across the footlights.’ A friend took her drawing to Sir Alfred Butt who bought it and gave her a two-year contract (c1917-1918) to design posters and programme covers for of all his shows including The Boy (1917), The Beauty Spot (1918), Going Up (1918), Telling the Tale (1918), The Latest Craze (1919), The Kiss Call (1919), Very Good Eddie (1919) and Hello America (1919). Her comic illustrations also appeared in various British newspapers and magazines.

Between 1915 and 1918 Dolly Tree appeared in five British silent films as an actress. In the United Kingdom her career as a costume designer began in the 1920s on various cabaret shows in London in particular; in 1923 she collaborated on her first film, Woman to Woman, directed by Graham Cutts and with Alfred Hitchcock as the co-screenwriter, artistic director and assistant director. Her work became popular in Paris where she became the first English person and the first woman to design for the Folies Bergère.

In 1926 she moved to the United States, first working in New York where she created the costumes for the 1928 Broadway play Diamond Lil starring Mae West. She then went to Hollywood where she was involved in designing for 175 American films, firstly for Fox Studios (1929-1931) and then for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1931-1942), mainly as a designer of dresses, among others alongside Adrian. In 1931 while working at Fox Studios she met and married the American Naval officer Thomas Kimes. Although the marriage was a happy one but his career in the Navy kept them apart and they divorced in 1940. After her divorce Tree began to drink heavily which lead to her leaving MGM in 1942 and returning to Fox Studios where she married her second husband Don E. Whiteford. However, this marriage also did not work and they quickly divorced, which drove Tree further into alcoholism. Her second divorce, her heavy drinking and the death of her father in 1942 lead to her becoming increasing unreliable and losing her job.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dolly Tree (17 March 1899–17 May 1962) was an English illustrator, actress and costume designer who during the 1930s and 1940s designed dresses for Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, Rosalind Russell, Maureen O'Sullivan and Judy Garland among others in addition to costuming historical dramas such as David Copperfield (1935) and A Tale of Two Cities (1935). Born in Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol in 1899 as Dorothy Marian Isbell, the daughter of Charles Edwin Isbell (1863-1942) , a solicitor, and Bertha Marian (née Keith-Williams) at an early age she discovered an aptitude for drawing before being drawn towards a career on the stage. In 1912 her family relocated to London and she began her career as an artist after seeing the play Vanity Fair at the Palace Theatre in 1916. Of the play she later wrote, ‘I was fascinated by the wonderful dancing and art of Regine Flory and admired her so much that I started to design a special poster of her, really to amuse myself, based on my recollections of this vivid artist seen across the footlights.’ A friend took her drawing to Sir Alfred Butt who bought it and gave her a two-year contract (c1917-1918) to design posters and programme covers for of all his shows including The Boy (1917), The Beauty Spot (1918), Going Up (1918), Telling the Tale (1918), The Latest Craze (1919), The Kiss Call (1919), Very Good Eddie (1919) and Hello America (1919). Her comic illustrations also appeared in various British newspapers and magazines.

Between 1915 and 1918 Dolly Tree appeared in five British silent films as an actress. In the United Kingdom her career as a costume designer began in the 1920s on various cabaret shows in London in particular; in 1923 she collaborated on her first film, Woman to Woman, directed by Graham Cutts and with Alfred Hitchcock as the co-screenwriter, artistic director and assistant director. Her work became popular in Paris where she became the first English person and the first woman to design for the Folies Bergère.

In 1926 she moved to the United States, first working in New York where she created the costumes for the 1928 Broadway play Diamond Lil starring Mae West. She then went to Hollywood where she was involved in designing for 175 American films, firstly for Fox Studios (1929-1931) and then for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1931-1942), mainly as a designer of dresses, among others alongside Adrian. In 1931 while working at Fox Studios she met and married the American Naval officer Thomas Kimes. Although the marriage was a happy one but his career in the Navy kept them apart and they divorced in 1940. After her divorce Tree began to drink heavily which lead to her leaving MGM in 1942 and returning to Fox Studios where she married her second husband Don E. Whiteford. However, this marriage also did not work and they quickly divorced, which drove Tree further into alcoholism. Her second divorce, her heavy drinking and the death of her father in 1942 lead to her becoming increasing unreliable and losing her job.

Personal Info

Known For Costume & Make-Up

Gender Female

Known Credits 58

Birthday 1899-03-17

Day of Death 1962-05-17

Place of Birth Bristol, England, UK

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Dorothy Marian Isbell

Costume & Make-Up TV ShowsMovies

1942 Thunder Birds Costume Design
1942 The Loves of Edgar Allan Poe Costume Design
1942 Tales of Manhattan Costume Design
1942 Ten Gentlemen From West Point Costume Design
1941 Billy the Kid Costume Design
1941 The Bad Man Costume Design
1941 The Trial of Mary Dugan Costume Design
1940 Go West Costume Design
1940 I Love You Again Costume Design
1940 We Who Are Young Wardrobe Designer
1940 Sporting Blood Costume Design
1940 20 Mule Team Costume Design
1940 Congo Maisie Wardrobe Supervisor
1939 At the Circus Costume Design
1939 They All Come Out Wardrobe Designer
1939 On Borrowed Time Costumer
1939 Stronger Than Desire Wardrobe Designer
1939 6,000 Enemies Wardrobe Supervisor
1939 The Kid From Texas Costume Design
1939 Stand Up and Fight Costume Design
1938 Too Hot to Handle Costumer
1938 Lord Jeff Wardrobe Supervisor
1938 Yellow Jack Wardrobe Designer
1938 The First Hundred Years Wardrobe Designer
1937 Rosalie Costume Design
1937 Navy Blue and Gold Wardrobe Designer
1937 Madame X Costume Design
1937 Big City Wardrobe Designer
1937 Night Must Fall Costumer
1937 The Good Old Soak Costume Design
1937 Espionage Costume Design
1936 After the Thin Man Costumer
1936 Fury Costume Design
1936 Trouble for Two Wardrobe Supervisor
1936 The Unguarded Hour Wardrobe Designer
1936 Exclusive Story Costume Design
1935 Kind Lady Costumer
1935 A Night at the Opera Costume Design
1935 Rendezvous Costume Design
1935 It's in the Air Costume Design
1935 Woman Wanted Costume Design
1935 Mad Love Costume Design
1935 Escapade Costume Design
1935 Times Square Lady Wardrobe Designer
1935 David Copperfield Costume Design
1934 The Gay Bride Wardrobe Designer
1934 A Wicked Woman Wardrobe Supervisor
1934 Straight Is the Way Costume Supervisor
1934 The Thin Man Costume Design
1934 Manhattan Melodrama Costume Design
1934 You Can't Buy Everything Wardrobe Designer
1932 She Wanted a Millionaire Costume Design
1931 Transatlantic Costume Design
1931 Bad Girl Costume Design
1931 Sporting Blood Costume Design
1931 Annabelle's Affairs Costume Design
1930 Just Imagine Costume Design

Acting

1915 Love in a Wood

By signing up for an account on TMDb, you can post directly to Twitter and Facebook.

You need to be logged in to continue. Click here to login or here to sign up.

Global

s focus the search bar
p open profile menu
esc close an open window
? open keyboard shortcut window

On media pages

b go back (or to parent when applicable)
e go to edit page

On TV season pages

(right arrow) go to next season
(left arrow) go to previous season

On TV episode pages

(right arrow) go to next episode
(left arrow) go to previous episode

On all image pages

a open add image window

On all edit pages

t open translation selector
ctrl+ s submit form

On discussion pages

n create new discussion
w toggle watching status
p toggle public/private
c toggle close/open
a open activity
r reply to discussion
l go to last reply
ctrl+ enter submit your message
(right arrow) next page
(left arrow) previous page