After some minor works, Dvorak was introduced to the famous Howard Hughes. Subsequently, she begun to be noticed by the studios, and a potential career in film became a reality. Her talent and dramatic abilities were recognized, and she eventually went on to star in several successful films, becoming a highly sought-after actress. In 1930 alone, Dvorak has participated in fourteen movies, and in the next year, she was in eight. Though this were mostly uncredited appearances, she became widely noticed in the industry, and in 1932, she starred in the iconic movie Scarface as Cesca Camonte. In this period of her life, she became extremely active professionally, and always had work in excess. Both Dvorak herself and Hollywood took advantage of her youth and exotic appearance; in her early twenties, she became a star on the rise.
In the next year, she starred as Bonnie Haydon, in the musical Sweet Music – another movie directed by Alfred E. Green –, Jean Morgan in the crime drama film G Men, directed by William Keighley, where she acted alongside American screen legend James Cagney, Fay Wilson, in the drama Bright Lights, directed by Busby Berkeley, Josephine Gray, in the crime film Dr. Socrates, directed by William Dieterle and as Sally Mason, in the musical Thanks a Million, directed by Roy Del Ruth. In the forties, Dvorak slowed down, reducing her workload to two films per year. She would break this pattern only in 1950, one year before her retirement, participating in four films.
Mostly active in the thirties and forties, Dvorak retired in 1951 – only forty years old –
after her last movie, The Secret of Convict Lake. In total, between short movies and full length features, Dvorak made almost ninety films, in twenty-two years in the movie industry (although becomes twenty-four, if we add her two years as a child actress).
In 1959, forty-eight years old, Dvorak decided to move to Honolulu, Hawaii, with her third husband, Nicholas Wade, to live a quiet and peaceful life there. They married in 1951 – precisely when Dvorak retired from the movie industry – and remained married until his death, in 1975. Previously, Dvorak was married to Igor Dega, from 1947 until 1951. Her first marriage was to Leslie Fenton, a well-known actor and filmmaker, that coincidentally retired from the industry about the same time as Dvorak.
Dvorak died of cancer, sixty-eight years old, in Hawaii, in December 10, 1979. Despite her decades long absence from the screen, she remains one of the most iconic and significant actresses from the first half of the twentieth century American cinema. Her legacy remains as one of the most relevant for classic movies enthusiasts, and for the cinematic arts as a whole.