Loretta Russell

born: 14 October 1883
Cincinnati, Ohio,
United States of America
died: 11 January 1965
Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
(age 81)

American actress. Her newspaper birth announcement says "Born....to Adolph and Josephine Pitton, Oct. 14, at Schaller's farm, a daughter, Lauretta (sic) M., weighing 9 pounds." (her son at age 18 was 6'4" and 200 lbs: WWII Draft). Her parents were wealthy: her Mom (Josephine) from her share of the ($300,000)1888 estate of Grandpa Schaller and her Dad, Adolph Pitton owned a successful dye factory in Cincinnati.
In 1907 in KY, Loretta married Wesley R. Dunn, a "rubber salesman". They divorced before April 1916. In 1920 in Kansas City, she married Bernard Daniel Russell, a "wholesale paper / printing salesman". They moved to Los Angeles where he became a movie producer. In 1922 they had a stillborn daughter and in 1923 a son, Bernard Jr. who raised a family and died in 1992. The birth certificates name Bernard as the Father (movie producer) and "Loretta Pitton" as the mother (housewife).
In 1928, Bernard was treated for back problems at the Sawtelle Veterans' Hospital for back problems with Loretta named as his wife. By the time of the 1930 Census, they were living apart and divorced before 1940. The CA Death Index incorrectly gives her birth year as 1880. Other sources list 1884 as the year of birth.
Real name: Loretta Margaret Pitton
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography;
plus 1 film with Laurel & Hardy.



Poker At Eight
Nightclub patron on dancefloor

Townswoman/Trial spectator

Carnival patron

Sources: https://www.genealogybank.com ("Cincinnati Commercial Tribune" 1883 Oct. 28 p.4 birth announcement)
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/110832010/joseph-schaller (1812-1888) wealthy Grandpa's grave
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FWRQ-KQZ (1907 KY marriage to Wesley R. Dunn)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-91QX-JM?i=180&cc=1614804&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AXZLV-Y4T (1915 Sister Olivia marries C.A.Cottingham)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q21H-17JZ (1916 K City, MO: Wesley R Dunn marries Lou Eva Crawford)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N78K-R5D (1920 Chicago "Loretta M. Dunn" marries Bernard D. Russell)
"Kansas City Times" 1920 Nov 16 p.5 marriage announcement: ID's Olivia Cottingham as sister
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9SF-K18W?i=1405&cc=2001287 (1922 May: stillborn dau born to Bernard Russell (movie producer) and "Loretta Pitton")
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9SF-KBXY?i=2867&cc=2001287 (1923 Dec: son born to Bernard D. Russell and Loretta "Hun")
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V8M9-G5L (1928 disch from VA Hospital: wife Loretta Russell
1930 Census Los Angeles D. Bernard Russell (car salesman): "married": living alone as head of household
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MM8Z-N6K (1900 Census Cincinnati OH: "Soruto" Pitton b. Oct 1883: parents Adolph & Josephene (sic)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M21L-M8Q (1910 Census: St. Louis, MO
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/109515128:6061 (1920 Census Chicago: Bernard Russell: single: "salesman--wholesale paper house
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWYN-6MP (1920 Census Minneapolis: Wesley R Dunn: wf Lou Eva: salesman--mgr automobiles
Ancestry.com 1930 Census Los Angeles: D. Bernard Russell: married (sic): head of house: living alone: car salesman
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/73447011:2442 (1940 Census LA: Loretta Russell: actress: bc 1895 OH: w/ son Bernard D.: divorced)
Ancestry.com 1938 LA voter reg: "Mrs Loretta M. Russell": actress
Ancestry.com 1942 LA voter reg: "Mrs Loretta M. Russell": actress
"Chicago Tribune" 1946 Apr 21 p.24: "Col. Bernard d. Russell": obit: after WWI "moved to LA to promote movie and theatrical enterprises"
CADI 1965 Jan 11 LA death: Loretta M. Russell: "born OH 14 Oct. 1880" [sic]
Jack Tillmany (identification in Zenobia)
Jim Jarvis (research and information)
Jesse Brisson (identification in Poker At Eight, Honky-Donkey)

This page was last updated on: 02 June 2023