Sign in to follow this  
Guest Alix

Favorite Silent Actresses

258 posts in this topic

Guest Clara_Keaton

Don't forget Bobby Harron and his suicide, Marie Provost and her sickness (which WASN'T helped by her eating disorder!)....whew! It's crazy! To think that during this time, some of the best movies ever made was being filmed! :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

I **had** forgotten about those! Plus, how about Barbara LaMarr? The attractive actress known as "The Girl Who is too Beautiful." I believe she died at the young age of 26--was it drug related? Also, didn't Alma Reubens die from drug addiction?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Cacicia, Lisa

In fact Marion Davies helped and supported Alma Reubens in her last days. Paying all her expenses...etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

It's so depressing to think of all those great silent stars who ended up as suicides, broke, has-beens, etc. when the talkies finally came to stay. As I've mentioned before, the once great Mae Murray--the most popular movie star in the world during 1923-24, ended up a broke bag lady in New York before she was even 40! Her fake prince husband stole her great fortune and threw lavish parties while poor Mae slept on park benches in Central Park--just two blocks away where her husband's parties were held. Florence Lawrence, the "first" movie star in the world in l914, swallowed ant-poison and died a hideous death in l932. Anita Page was black-balled from major studios in l932 by the horrible louis b. mayer because she wouldn't play footsie with him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lorusso, Ed

Alma Rubens died at the US Grant Hotel in San Diego (I've stayed in her room there, supposedly. Rubens became famous again when Kenneth Anger published his Hollywood Babylon books and captioned a picture of Alma Rubens as "Doggy Dinner" because she was dead for many days before being found and her pooch got hungry. I've only seen one Barbara LaMarr film (a Fairbanks one, I think it was) and she was lovely. Marie Prevost at least lasted to do some talkies as a wisecracking girlfriend. She was notable in an early Stanwyck film and it seems there was a John Gilbert one where the homely Louis Wolheim was his brother!!! Leila Hyams was another middlin star of the late silents who hung around for talkies (to no great effect), but I always like her in Ruggles of Red Gap. Seems like she was in Way for a Sailor with John Gilbert. Outside of Garbo in Queen Christina, Gilbert never worked with a major female star in talkies. Ditto William Haines. The ab fab Marion Davies also secured a talkie role for pal Billie Dove (on the skids since talkies)in Blondie of the Follies, a good film that also boasted Robert Montgomery. TCM has shown this one like ONCE since it started. Anybody see the recent Cat's Meow, which tells the story of Thomas Ince's death in 1924 after an "accident" on the WR Hearst yacht? It's supposed to be good. Supposedly, Hearst shot Ince by mistake after aiming at Charlie Chaplin, who he suspected was dallying with Marion. Boy those 20s---my favorite decade. And don't forget Gloria Swanson's affair with Joseph Kennedy right under Rose's nose (especially one transatlantic crossing). Whew!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest k, sandy

Jery son-I read a novel last year called The Biograph Girl which was loosely based on Florence Lawrence. An interesting read for anyone who likes the silents. About the William Desmond Taylor murder-E! network's Mysteries and Scandals did an episode about it a couple of weeks ago. They came to the conclusion that Charlotte Selby, mother of Mary Miles Minter, did it and that she was such a shrewd money-manager that she was able to pay off the LAPD for years. As good a theory as any other. I'd like to read more about WDT if anyone has any book titles. I started a books about film folder but it has been axed! Frustrating, since the reason no one posted for a while was probably because of the bugs in this new format. I had to re-register under a new screen name to be able to post again. AND you can't open a new folder anymore! Sorry, I had to vent a little! Sandy K the former Sandman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

Sandy, I recently read one book about the forgotten and tragic Florence Lawrence who I always thought was fantastic. I've got a few of her short films on tape. She had a dazzling personality and that mysterious X factor that translates so well on film. Mary Miles Minter should have been added to my list of Hard Luck Blondes--her curls were identical to Mary Pickford (and she tried to act just like Pickford). I understand Minter died in poverty and never saw ANYONE! She reportedly became obese. Imagine all those stories she could tell. She was on the very verge of becoming a major star in l922 and signed a multi-million dollar contract. What a tragedy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

Sandy, look for "A Cast of Killers," another title about Wm. Desmond Taylor. It was researched by director King Vidor, who wanted to do a movie about the Taylor murder. Ultimately, he never did, but this author got ahold of his research and wrote the book. It is an interesting book, and the author is able to interview Mary Miles Minter about the murder. I won't say there is a "smoking gun" in the interview, but Mary makes a cryptic remark that seems to implicate Charlotte Shelby. The book is not currently available--I got mine off Ebay for a very reasonable amount. Also, there is an extensive website, Taylorology.com, that is devoted to the Taylor murder, scandal, and reprinting interviews and articles from that time period. It is very well done, and very extensive reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

Anyone know much about Alice White? She's been mentioned before (probably in the transtional folder) but I don't know anything about her. I've seen stills of her and she was beautiful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

I'm reading William Haines' biography "Wisecracker," and our favorite flapper, Anita Page, says he proposed to her! The author even interviewed Miss Page and she confirms it. She did turn him down, but says they remained friends and he never held the rejection against her. This book says they starred frequently together in movies. Anyone seen an Anita Page/William Haines movie? I bet they looked great together!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Leslie

Oh Ed, you answered my question from one of the other forums! I am just ACHING to see Chasing Rainbows (Jack Benny is in it too, btw). You would think they would show it for the Benny and Dressler names alone (I don't think Love or Charles King are as well known as those two), but I never got to see it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lorusso, Ed

Alice White hit it big in the late silent period as a blonde flapper. She made the transition to talkies in several good films like Show Girl in Hollywood. I love this film, which also features a wonderful performance by another silent legend--Blanche Sweet--as a fading Hollywood star. White was a terrific comic actress and like so many other silent stars, should have had better luck with talkies. Part of her problem was that because of the vogue for musicals, they put her in several so-so musicals. Her musical talent was modest at best, but there is a sweetness about her that makes it impossible to dislike her. She has a number called (I think) I've Got My Eye on You, which I find myself humming even now. Alice White quickly descended to co-star parts but was still alwasy good as the smart-**** friend or girl from the other side of the tracks. She was sort of an early Barbara Nichols. As I've mentioned before, White's best talkie role may have been in Employees' Entrance with Warre William and Loretta Young. TCM shows it pretty often. It is a great unknown film. After the mid 30s, White played bit parts and often got no billing (like Betty Compson, Mae Marsh, etc.). She kept plugging away, but Hollywood had long since turned its back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

Alix, I also was thrilled to read the parts about Anita Page in "Wisecracker." I was simply stunned by her delightful personality and beauty in "Broadway Melody." I was going through her folder at the Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts here in Manhattan recently. There was a tremendous build-up for Anita during the premieres of "Broadway Melody" and you should see her in flapper finery: a beautiful ermine-lined cape, sequined white frock. She was actually Mexican and one picture spread showed her at home with her family. They were all so dark-skinned and Anita was so fair! Her life story would make a great movie. Louis B. Mayer blackballed her in l931, just as he destroyed Mae Murray, John Gilbert, etc. etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lorusso, Ed

The IMDB lists about 6 films that Anita Page and William Haines made togther, so they were certainly friends. I know nothing about Page's personal life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

Anita did indeed marry (who wouldnt' want to marry this glorious, golden-haired beauty). Her first marriage was to one of the men who wrote the songs for "Broadway Melody." His name was Nacio Brown. They divorced later. Anita then married a military official and "retired" from movies in the mid-30s. She really had no other choice. Louis Mayer, to torture her, began to offer her "maid" roles and "walk-on roles" that typically went to extras. The only roles she could get outside of MGM were in Grade-Z movies like "Jungle Bride." Louis Mayer forced every respectable studio to bar Anita from playing even a secondary role. Believe it or not, Anita was being groomed to star in the roles that Joan Crawford eventually got. Mayer, instead, gave these roles--"Possessed," "Grand Hotel," etc. to Crawford.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lorusso, Ed

Just saw Male and Female (1919) again. Gloria Swanson was like 22 and was gorgeous. She had a memorable scene in which she is mauled by lions. Pretty good film version of The Admirable Crichton, also boasted a hunky Thomas Meighan as well as Lila Lee and Bebe Daniels. Some nice sets and special effects. Anyone else see this one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lorusso, Ed

Also recently rented Morocco, marlene Dietrich's American debut (with Gary Cooper and Adolphe Menjou). Story was ok, but Dietrich was a little softer than I would have guessed. Her musical numbers (blah) were timid. Of course the film is remembered for her wearing a tux, kissing a woman, and marching off into the desert in high heels. Oddly, this was Dietrich's one Oscar nomination. Comments?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

Haven't seen MALE & FEMALE recently, but I very clearly remember the lion scene. I remember holding my breath the whole time. I can't believe they didn't have a double! I've read that the director wanted to (Wasn't it deMille?) but that Swanson insisted on doing it herself. She said she could feel the lion's breath on her back and it made the hairs on her neck stand on end! Thomas Meighan--older hunk, but good looking. Bebe Daniels--always delightful. It's fun to watch one of her early movies. She always was lovely!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

Thanks Ed, I will look them up. I wonder if TCM every plays any of them. I'd love to see Anita & William together. BTW...finished his bio. It was definitely worth the time, and it's made me hungry to see more of his films. Especially BROWN OF HARVARD, the one that made him a star. Come on TCM, I'm waiting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest son, jery

"Male and Female" is lots of fun. I love the way everyone play their parts so seriously. Gloria gives a great star performance. And ooo lala, that Thomas Meighan is another hunk-a-rama that I thought was so classy. You all should definitely read Swanson's memoirs, "Swanson on Swanson," because she goes into great detail about making this movie. I think "Morocco" is fabulous because it stars two incredibly gorgeous immotals. Marlene and Gary Cooper. He's even prettier than she is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

Yep, Gary Cooper is one of the top babe-a-licious hunks--of all time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Clara_Keaton

Oh yeah!!! Has anyone checked out his brief appearance in "It"? I'm not telling anyone where he appears, you must look for him yourself. But he's droolworthy, baby!!! And ever so young!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Alix

The first time I saw IT, I wondered if that was him! And he certainly does look young! I always thought he and Clara Bow would have been dynamite together. Talk about sex appeal! Plus, the two of them had a romance at one point, so that off screen chemistry would have been likely to have oozed onscreen as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lorusso, Ed

Colleen Moore... I remember reading her biography years ago. Anyone ever see one of her silents? Lilac Time with Gary Cooper was a big hit and TCM has it. She was never really a flapper but usually wore her hair like Louise Brooks and looked very 20s. I'd sure like to see Lilac Time or any other Moore film. TCM email tells me the site is back up again!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us