Carol Dempster, 89, who starred in a number of D.W. Griffith’s films, died Feb. 1 in La Jolla, Calif., after a long illness.

Born in Duluth, Minn., Dempster began her career as a dancer. She studied with Ruth St. Denis and toured the country as a Denishawn dancer. In 1918 the still photographer Hendrix Sartov introduced her to Griffith, who gave her a small part as a dancer in “The Girl Who Stayed Home.”

Larger roles followed in Griffith’s “Scarlet Days,” “A Romance Of Happy Valley,” “True Heart Susie” and “The Love Flower.” In the 1920s she had starring roles in the director’s “Dream Street,” “One Exciting Night,” “The White Rose,” “America,” “Isn’t Life Wonderful,” “Sally Of The Sawdust,” “That Royle Girl” and “The Sorrows Of Satan.”

She also appeared opposite John Barrymore in Albert Parker’s 1922 version of “Sherlock Holmes.”

In 1926 Dempster married financier Edwin Larsen and retired from the screen. Her husband died in 1978 and there are no immediate survivors.

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