Marconi wireless telegram sent to Dorothy Gibson from Jules E. Brulatour reads: “Will be worried to death till I hear from you what awful agony”
Telegram sent to Jules E. Brulatour from Dorothy Gibson reads: “Safe picked up by Carpathia dont worry”
Gibson, was a silent film actress, returning to New York on the Titanic from a 3 week tour through Europe. At the time of the sinking, both Jules, 42, (a wealthy and prominent figure in the early movie industry) and Dorothy, 23, were married to other people, having a secret affair. Dorothy had hoped the trip to Europe would be enough to make her lover realize his feelings for her and be ready to marry her.
Exactly one month after the sinking, produced by Brulatour, the first Titanic film was released, starring none other than Dorothy Gibson. The film was a silent one reel film, in which Dorothy plays a fictional version of herself, wearing the same dress she wore the actual night of the sinking. During the making of the film, Gibson had a nervous breakdown on set. The 10 minute film no longer survives today.
Soon after the release of the film, Saved from the Titanic, Dorothy walked away from the film industry. In Spring of 1913, Dorothy was involved in a fatal car accident in which she lost control of her car and hit a married couple walking on the sidewalk, killing the woman’s husband and causing severe injuries to the woman. Dorothy paid the woman the amount of $4,500 as a court ruling.
On 6 July 1917, Dorothy and Jules were both legally separated from their former attachments, and married. But their marriage was short lived and they divorced only a few years later. Jules remarried in 1923, humiliating Dorothy, causing her to take an indefinite trip to Europe. She thoroughly enjoyed herself for years, up until World War II, during which she regretfully allied herself with the Fascist movement. Free travel was now difficult and even though she could, she never wanted to make the return trip to America due to her still present fears of the night of the sinking.
In 1944 she was arrested and taken to a Nazi concentration camp. She was later smuggled out by a double agent, who passed her off as a Nazi sympathizer and spy. She was interrogated by the American consul, and deemed “too stupid to have been a genuine spy”.
In 1946, after years of traumatic experiences and high blood pressure, Dorothy Gibson died of a heart attack at the Ritz hotel in Paris on February 17.