Ruth Chatterton (December 24, 1892 - November 24, 1961) was an American actress, novelist, and early aviatrix. Chatterton was born in New York City, on Christmas Eve 1892, to Walter Smith and Lillian Reed Chatterton. She was of English and French extraction, and a descendant of the English poet Thomas Chatterton. Her parents separated while she was still quite young. In order to help support her family financially, she left school at fourteen and began her career on Broadway. Chatterton started off as a chorus girl in a stage play and by the age of eighteen had become a star of the American stage. Her greatest success onstage came in 1914 when she starred in the play Daddy Long Legs, adapted from the novel by Jean Webster.
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