Pazar, Ocak 06, 2008

A Gallery of Picture Players: The Women

My wife's grandparents gave me an interesting Christmas gift this year: a book from 1914 (or earlier - there's no copyright page, only a pencilled inscription) called Gallery of Picture Players. It consists entirely of portraits, male and female, across hundreds of pages. They are stars of stage and screen, but almost all of them are forgotten today, apart from Charles Chaplin, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Lillian Gish, and a few others. Below I've created a gallery of some of the women. Essentially these are among the earliest Hollywood glamor photos, and while standards of beauty and fashion may have changed--and the idea of a bona fide "movie star" hadn't yet come to full fruition--within each picture you can see aspirations, ambition, and self-idealization written in the eyes. All the facts below were taken from the IMDB, so any inaccuracies can likewise be attributed to them.

Alice Joyce.

Starred in at least 199 films, by the IMDB's tally, beginning in 1910 and ending in 1930. She married three times, once to the director Clarence Brown (Flesh and the Devil, Anna Christie). There are numerous portraits of Ms. Joyce in the book, and she is quite ravishing.

A lengthy bio can be found here.

Dorothy Bernard
Starred in numerous films from 1918 to 1921.

Ethel Grandin.
Starred in films from 1911 to 1922.

Fan Bourke.

Her career ran steadily from 1914 to 1920, with an additional appearance in Lummox in 1930.

Irene Boyle.
No info on her date of birth or death, but the IMDB credits her in films falling between 1913 and 1923. I love this photo. She must have been very proud of her bearskin rug.

Leah Baird.

Appeared on the stage with Douglas Fairbanks (who also appears in this book), and had a short moment in the limelight of cinema.

Lillian Gish.

Easily one of the biggest stars of her era, and one of the first bona fide Hollywood celebrities. She appeared in Birth of a Nation, Intolerance, and Broken Blossoms for D.W. Griffith, and in later years was in Portrait of Jennie and The Night of the Hunter.

Louise Huff.

Her film career ran from 1913 to 1922.

Margaret Gibson,
aka Patricia Palmer, Marguerite Gibson.

Now we're in Kenneth Anger/Hollywood Babylon territory. Gibson was arrested for blackmail and extortion in 1923 (charges were later dropped), ran away to Singapore in the 30's, and on her deathbed confessed to the murder of actor/director William Desmond Taylor. There's a good bio at Wikipedia.

Marguerite Courtot.

Star of comedies, action films, and serials between 1913 and 1924.

Mildred Harris.

Charlie Chaplin's first wife - he married her when she was 17 and he was 29. A child star who grew up to appear in numerous films.

Rosetta Brice,
aka Betty Brice.

Valeska Suratt,
aka "The Vampire Woman."

Starred in The Immigrant and the original 1917 adaptation of H. Rider Haggard's She, as the title character. Seen here adhered to a vase.

Vivian Martin.

Appeared in "The Little Dutch Girl," "Jane Goes A-Wooing," "An Innocent Adventuress," and "Pardon My French." And look out boys, she cooks too!

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