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Bess Flowers (November 23, 1898 – July 28, 1984) was an American actress. By some counts considered the most prolific actress in the history of Hollywood, she was known as "The Queen of the Hollywood Extras," appearing in over 700 movies in her 41 year career.
Born in Sherman, Texas, Flowers's film debut came in 1923, when she appeared in Hollywood. She made three films that year, and then began working extensively. Many of her appearances are uncredited, as she generally played non-speaking roles.
By the 1930s, Flowers was in constant demand. Her appearances ranged from Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford thrillers to comedic roles alongside of Charley Chase, the Three Stooges, Leon Errol, Edgar Kennedy, and Laurel and Hardy.
She appeared in the following five films which won the Academy Award for Best Picture: It Happened One Night, You Can't Take it with You, All About Eve, The Greatest Show on Earth, and Around the World in Eighty Days. In each of these movies, Flowers was uncredited. Including these five movies, she had appeared in twenty-three Best Picture nominees in total, making her the record holder for most appearances in films nominated for the award. Her last movie was Good Neighbor Sam in 1964.
Flowers's acting career was not confined to feature films. She was also seen in many episodic American TV series, such as I Love Lucy, notably in episodes, "Lucy Is Enceinte" (1952), "Ethel's Birthday" (1955), and "Lucy's Night in Town" (1957), where she is usually seen as a theatre patron.
Outside her acting career, in 1945, Bess Flowers helped to found the Screen Extras Guild (active: 1946-1992, then merged with SAG), where she served as one of its first vice-presidents and recording secretaries.