Dora Dean

born: 22 February 1886
Hutchinson, Kansas,
United States of America
died: 06 July 1969
New York,
United States of America
(age 83)

American actress of stage and screen, who acted on Broadway under her given name of Georgia Empey; when she entered films in the mid-1920s, she changed her name to Dora Empey, then by 1926, to Dora Dean. Her sister was noted stage and vaudeville actress Cleo Mayfield (c. 1888-1954), who was married to noted actor, singer and songwriter Cecil Lean (1877-1935), whom Cleo often performed alongside; Georgia/Dora occasionally served as an understudy for her sister.
Her parents were Nellie [or Hester] (née Musick, 1864-1958) and Clarence B. Empey (1863-1914); Georgia and Cleo also had an older sister named Lulu [or Loula] (m. Barrett & Manley, 1885-1963). On 11 July 1906 in Jackson County, Missouri, she married tailor and clothing designer Frederick Alphonzo Weyant (1879-1957); they had a son, Calvin Empey Weyant (1907-1973), before divorcing sometime between 1918 and 1930.
The Enquirer (Cincinnati, OH), 02 August 1931, notes: "Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Lean are at 'Maylean,' Lake Sunapee, for the season. Mr. Lean, the former comic opera star, is writing in his lovely 'study,' or out of doors in shady nooks on the estate. Mrs. Lean, known to theatergoers as Cleo Mayfield, is entertaining her mother, Mrs. C. B. Empy [sic], and her sister, Miss Dora Empy [sic], known to the world as Dora Dean, in the Hal Roach comedies."
Georgia and her mother are living together in various apartments in the 1930, 1940, and 1950 Censuses. In 1930, they are residing at the St. Francis Hotel (5533 Hollywood Blvd.) in Los Angeles, with Georgia working as an actress on the stage. In 1940, they are living in an apartment building in Manhattan, New York, with Georgia still an actress in theatre. In 1950, they are now at the Ansonia Hotel in Manhattan, and are joined by the widowed Cleo; Georgia is now working as a receptionist (for whom or what is unspecified). Interestingly, while Georgia states (correctly) that she is divorced in the 1930 Census, she claims to be widowed in the 1940 and 1950 Censuses.
After her passing in 1969, Georgia Empey was buried at Hutchinson Eastside Cemetery in her hometown of Hutchinson, Kansas, alongside her parents, and later her son Calvin after his death four years later.
She is not to be confused with the Black vaudeville entertainer Dora Dean (c. 1872-1949).
Real name: Georgia Empey
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


Bouncing Babies
Mrs. Dean, Wheezer's mother

Acknowledgements: (1895 KS Census) (1906 marriage) (1906 marriage) (1906 marriage) (1910 Census) (1930 Census) (1940 Census) (1950 Census)
Georgia Empey, "New York State, U.S., Death Index, 1957-1970" ( (Social Security Death Index) (Find a Grave) (Hutchinson News, 11 Aug 1921) (Tampa Daily Times, 09 Jun 1925) (Variety, 05 May 1926) (Los Angeles Times, 09 May 1926) (Illustrated Daily News [Los Angeles, CA], 19 May 1926) (Hollywood Daily Citizen, 10 Feb 1927) (Hutchinson News, 22 Jan 1930) (The Enquirer [Cincinnati, OH], 02 Aug 1931) (Daily Home News [New Brunswick, NJ], 09 Nov 1954) (IBDb, as Georgia Empey) (1922 photo, as Georgia Empey) (undated photo, as Georgia Empey) (undated photo, as "Dora Deane [sic]")
1930 L.A. City Dir.: Dean Dora actor h6370 Franklin av
1930 L.A. City Dir.: Empy [sic] H E Mrs h6370 Franklin av
Jesse Brisson (extensive research and bio notes)

This page was last updated on: 26 September 2022