Here’s another North Dakota native who became a famous entertainer

In today's "Neighbors" column, Bob Lind discusses another famous entertainer who was born in North Dakota but might not be as commonly known as Lawrence Welk or Peggy Lee.

North Dakota native Dorothy Adams (right) in a scene with Carl Betz and Dolores Mann from the Broadway play "My Three Angels" in 1954. Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons / Special to The Forum

Most everybody knows of area people who became famous entertainers: North Dakota’s Lawrence Welk and Peggy Lee and Minnesota’s Judy Garland and The Andrews Sisters, for instance. But how many know about Dorothy Adams?

Dorothy, who retained her given name rather than adopting a stage name, was born in 1900 in Hannah, N.D., near the Canadian border northwest of Langdon, N.D.

Her family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where Dorothy received her education.

She became a member of a theater group in the 1920s, then got into movies and appeared in many, including “The Best Years of Our Lives” in 1946 and “The Ten Commandments” in 1956.

She specialized in downtrodden roles, often appearing as a servant, maid or hardworking pioneer. She played a slave in “The Ten Commandments.”


She also was in several TV shows, including “Gunsmoke” with Minneapolis’ James Arness, “Dragnet,” “Perry Mason” and “Leave It to Beaver.”

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She married character actor Byron Foulger in 1921. They had one child, Rachel Ames, who became a soap opera actress.

Dorothy and Byron acted together at the Pasadena (Calif.) Playhouse.

She was an acting instructor at UCLA in the 1960s.

Byron died in 1970. Dorothy died in 1988 in Los Angeles.

And there you have some information about another regional native who did well in the world of entertainment.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email


Bob Lind
Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist. The Forum

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