Famous as one of the women employed by director Mack Sennett to appear in comedy films as a swimsuit-clad 'Bathing Beauty,' Rea is also remembered for her on-screen work with actor and 'Keystone Cop' Ford Sterling.
Over the course of her four-year Hollywood career, she appeared in close to thirty films. Her earliest credits include roles in the 1918 film The Summer Girls and the 1917 feature A Clever Dummy.
She had a tragic personal life: In 1936, she was abducted and assaulted by three men, and she committed suicide less than a year later.
She lived in Nebraska until the age of nine, at which point she relocated to California. Her first marriage -- to Henry Page Wells -- lasted from 1918 until 1922, and her second marriage (to Edwin J. Wilkinson) began in 1936 and ended with her death the following year.
She and fellow comedic actress Louise Fazenda both appeared in a 1919 short film titled "Why Beaches Are Popular."