Women in silence

Log in to copy items to your own lists.
Mary Pickford
Actress, Coquette
Mary Pickford was born Gladys Louise Smith in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Elsie Charlotte (Hennessy) and John Charles Smith. She was of English and Irish descent. Pickford began in the theater at age seven. Then known as "Baby Gladys Smith", she toured with her family in a number of theater companies...
Gloria Swanson
Actress, Sunset Blvd.
Gloria Swanson was born Gloria May Josephine Svensson in Chicago, Illinois. She was destined to be perhaps one of the biggest stars of the silent movie era. Her personality and antics in private definitely made her a favorite with America's movie-going public. Gloria certainly didn't intend on going into show business...
Theda Bara
Actress, Cleopatra
Theda Bara was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, as Theodosia Goodman, on July 29, 1885. She was the daughter of a local tailor and his wife. As a teenager Theda was interested in the theatrical arts and once she finished high school, she dyed her blond hair black and went in pursuit of her dream. By 1908 she was in New York in search of roles...
Lillian Gish
Lillian Gish was born into a broken family where her restless father James Lee Gish was frequently absent. Mary Robinson McConnell a.k.a. Mary Gish, her mother, had entered into acting to make money to support the family. As soon as Lillian and her sister Dorothy were old enough, they became part of the act...
Dorothy Gish
Actress, The Cardinal
Dorothy Gish was born into a broken family where her restless father James Lee Gish was frequently absent. Mary Robinson McConnell a.k.a. Mary Gish, her mother, had entered into acting to make money to support the family. As soon as Dorothy and her sister Lillian Gish were old enough, they became part of the act...
Norma Talmadge
Norma Talmadge was born on May 26, 1895, in Jersey City, New Jersey. The daughter of an unemployed alcoholic and his wife, Norma did not have the idyllic childhood that most of us yearn for. Her father left the family on Christmas Day and his wife and three daughters had to fend for themselves. Her mother...
Clara Bow
Actress, Wings
Clara Gordon Bow, destined to become THE flapper of the 1920's, was born and raised in poverty in Brooklyn, New York, on July 29, 1905. Her family was also beset with violence. Her mother tried to slit Clara's throat when she attempted to enter the film industry. She won a photo beauty contest which launched her movie career that would eventually number 58 films...
Marion Davies
Actress, Show People
Marion Cecelia Douras was born in the borough of Brooklyn, New York on January 3, 1897. She had been bitten by the show biz bug early as she watched her sisters perform in local stage productions. She wanted to do the same. As Marion got older, she tried out for various school plays and did fairly well...
Pola Negri
Actress, The Wildcat
Pola Negri was born in Lipno, Poland, and moved to Warsaw as a child. Living in poverty with her mother, a teenage Pola auditioned and was accepted to the Imperial Ballet. Due to an illness that ended her dancing career, she soon switched to the Warsaw Imperial Academy of Dramatic Arts and became an actress...
Greta Garbo
Actress, Ninotchka
Greta Garbo was born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson on September 18, 1905, in Stockholm, Sweden, to Anna Lovisa (Johansdotter), who worked at a jam factory, and Karl Alfred Gustafsson, a laborer. She was fourteen when her father died, which left the family destitute. Greta was forced to leave school and go to work in a department store...
Norma Shearer
Actress, The Women
She won a beauty contest at age fourteen. In 1920 her mother, Edith Shearer, took Norma and her sister Athole Shearer (Mrs. Howard Hawks) to New York. Ziegfeld rejected her for his "Follies," but she got work as an extra in several movies. She spent much money on eye doctor's services trying to correct her cross-eyed stare caused by a muscle weakness...
Louise Brooks
Actress, Pandora's Box
Louise Brooks was one of the most fascinating personalities of Hollywood, always being compared with her most important characterization as protagonist: Lulu in Georg Wilhelm Pabst's Pandora's Box. Along with her beauty and talent she had an independent streak and refused to accept the restrictive role that women had in American society...
Alla Nazimova
Actress, Salomé
The grand, highly flamboyant Russian star Alla Nazimova of Hollywood silent films lived an equally grand, flamboyant life off-camera, though her legendary status has not held up as firmly as that of a Rudolph Valentino today. Alla Nazimova was born Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon in 1879, in Yalta, Crimea...
Mae Marsh
Mae Marsh's father was an auditor for the railroad who died when she was four. Her family moved to San Francisco, where her stepfather was killed in the 1906 earthquake. Her great-aunt then took Mae and her sister to Los Angeles. With her show business background, Mae's aunt took them to the various movie studios for work as extras...
Vilma Bánky
Actress, The Eagle
Vilma Bánky appeared in Hungarian, Austrian and French movies between 1920 and 1925, the year in which Samuel Goldwyn signed her, in Budapest, to a Hollywood contract. In Hollywood she was billed as the "The Hungarian Rhapsody". In the mid and late 1920s she was Goldwyn's biggest money maker, especially playing with Ronald Colman...
Blanche Sweet
Born into a family of show people, Blanche first appeared on the stage when she was 18 months old. Blanche was a dancer by the time she was four and a talented actress by 1909 when she started work at Biograph with D.W. Griffith. At 14, she was two years younger than Mary Pickford, but her maturity and appearance soon lead to leading roles...
Alice Terry
Actress, The Magician
Alice started as an extra in films at age 15. She worked in "Inceville" and would appear as several characters in 'Civilization (1916)'. In 1917, she would meet director Rex Ingram and they would marry in 1921. It was also in 1921 that Alice would gain acclaim as Marguerite in 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)'...
Colleen Moore
Actress, Ella Cinders
Her father was an irrigation engineer. She was convent-educated and studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory. D.W. Griffith brought her to Hollywood in 1917, returning a favor to her uncle, 'Walter C. Howey , the Chicago Examiner editor who helped him clear The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages through the censors...
Renée Adorée
Renee Adoree was born Jeanne de la Fontein in Lille in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, on September 30, 1898. She had what one could call a normal childhood. Her background is, perhaps, one of the most difficult to find information on any actress in existence. What we do know that her interest in acting surfaced during her teen years with minor stage productions in France...
Mary Astor
Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized Mary's beauty and knowing if they played their cards right...
Laura La Plante
Laura La Plante was 15 years old when she entered films as a Christie Comedy Bathing Beauty. By 1921, she had played a number of roles including a Tom Mix Western called The Big Town Round-Up for Fox and The Old Swimmin' Hole for First National. Laura, now 17, next signed with Universal, where she appeared in shorts...
Dolores del Rio
Dolores del Rio was the first Mexican movie star with international appeal and had a meteoric career in 1920s Hollywood (an extraordinary accomplishment for an Hispanic female on those years). She came from an aristocratic family in Durango. In the Mexican revolution of 1916, however, the family lost everything they had and emigrated to Mexico City...
Betty Compson
A mining engineer's daughter, blond, blue-eyed Betty Compson began in show business playing violin in a Salt Lake City vaudeville establishment for $15 a week. Following that, she went on tour, accompanied by her mother, with an act called 'the Vagabond Violinist'. Aged eighteen, she appeared on Alexander Pantages Theatre Circuit...
Florence Lawrence
Florence Lawrence was the first film player whose name was used to promote her films and the studio (Independent Moving Pictures Company [IMP]) for which she worked. Before her, actors and actresses worked anonymously, partly out of fear that stage managers would refuse to hire them if they were found...
Florence Turner
Actress, College
Widely publicized as "The Vitagraph Girl," dark-haired silent film actress Florence Turner was one of the screen's first celebrities to be called by the term "movie star." Born in New York City in 1885, she was pushed into the business at age 3 by an overzealous stage mother, performing on the vaudeville stage as Eugenie Florence...
Florence Vidor
Houston-born-and-bred Florence Vidor was one of the great beauties of early Hollywood. But while her photogenic looks went a long way, audiences would not get to enjoy or really experience her voice as she abruptly left the silver screen after her first disastrous attempt at a talking picture. Born Florence Arto on July 23...
Zasu Pitts
Classic comedienne Zasu Pitts, of the timid, forlorn blue eyes and trademark woebegone vocal pattern and fidgety hands, was born to Rulandus and Nellie (Shay) Pitts, the third of four children on January 3, 1894. Her aged New York-native father, who lost a leg back in the Civil War era, had settled the family in Kansas by the time ZaSu was born but relocated to Santa Cruz...
Eleanor Boardman
Actress, The Crowd
Philadelphia-born Eleanor Boardman had always wanted to be an actress, and as soon as she graduated high school she headed for New York to conquer Broadway. When Broadway proved not quite ready to be conquered yet, she took whatever jobs she could find, including one as an artist's model. In that capacity she heard that the Selwyn Organization...
Aileen Pringle
Aileen Pringle's favorite film was a mid-1920s silent based on a book by Elinor Glyn: Three Weeks, sort of a "Lady Chatterly's Lover". She recalled in a 1980 telephone conversation: "The film was in good taste; some people thought the book was trashy". Anita Loos wrote in "A Girl Like I"...
Marie Prevost
Marie Prevost was born Mary Bickford Dunn in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, on November 8, 1898. She broke into films when she was 18 years old in Unto Those Who Sin. Finding work in films was difficult in the early days, just as it is today. Marie found herself doing odd jobs until 1917, when she made another film...
Betty Bronson
Betty Bronson's discovery reads like a Hollywood dream. As a New Jersey teenage bit-player, she was rocketed from obscurity when she was chosen to play the part of Peter Pan in 1924's Peter Pan. She was hand-selected by author J.M. Barrie and beat several Hollywood superstars to the part, most notably Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford...
Bebe Daniels
Actress, 42nd Street
Bebe Daniels already had toured as an actor by the age of four in a stage production of "Richard III". She had her first leading role at the age of seven and started her film career shortly after this in movies for Imperial, Pathe and others. At 14 she was already a film veteran, and was enlisted by Hal Roach to star as Harold Lloyd's leading lady in his "Lonesome Luke" shorts...
Myrna Loy
Myrna Williams, later to become Myrna Loy, was born on August 2, 1905 in Radersburg, Montana. Her father was the youngest person ever elected to the Montana State legislature. Later on her family moved to Helena where she spent her youth. At the age of 13, Myrna's father died of influenza and the rest of the family moved to Los Angeles...
Jean Arthur
This marvelous screen comedienne's best asset was only muffled during her seven years' stint in silent films. That asset? It was, of course, her squeaky, frog-like voice, which silent-era cinema audiences had simply no way of perceiving, much less appreciating. Jean Arthur, born Gladys Georgianna Greene in upstate New York...
Louise Dresser
This knowing, plump-framed, strong-willed actress went on to play the gamut of emotions, from downtrodden, drunken ex-stars to self-controlled dowager empresses, in both silent pictures and early talkies. Grandly supporting the huge stars of her day (including Rudolph Valentino and Will Rogers), she...
Janet Gaynor
Actress, Sunrise
Janet Gaynor was born Laura Gainor on October 6, 1906, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a child, she & her parents moved to San Francisco, California, where she graduated from high school in 1923. She then moved to Los Angeles where she enrolled in a secretarial school. She got a job at a shoe store for the princely sum of $18 per week...
Fay Wray
Actress, King Kong
She was born Vina Fay Wray near Cardston, Alberta, Canada, on September 15, 1907. Fay was from a large family that included five siblings. She moved to Arizona when she was still small in order for her father to find better work than what was offered in Alberta. After moving again to California, her parents divorced...
Corinne Griffith
Corinne Griffith was a popular star of the silent movies. She started her film career at Vitagraph in 1916 and later moved to First National, where she became one of that studio's biggest stars. At the height of her popularity she was known as the "Orchid Lady of the Screen." Black Oxen was one of her most popular films...
Lya De Putti
Actress, The Informer
The daughter of a Hungarian baron and countess, Lya De Putti went on to perform classical ballet in Berlin, Germany, after a brief stint in Hungarian vaudeville. She later made several films at the German UFA studios, most notably Variety, before going to Hollywood in 1926. While in America she starred in several movies, mostly in vamp roles.
Marie Dressler
Once you saw her, you would not forget her. Despite her age and weight, she became one of the top box office draws of the sound era. She was 14 when she joined a theater group and she went on to work on stage and in light opera. By 1892, she was on Broadway and she later became a star comedienne on the vaudeville circuit...
Dolores Costello
Dolores Costello was once known as the Goddess of the Silent Screen but is probably best remembered today as Drew Barrymore's grandmother. She was born in 1905 to actors Maurice Costello and Mae Costello. Her father began his film career in 1908. He would soon become the most popular matinée idol of his day...
Mary Duncan
Actress, City Girl
Mary Duncan went to Hollywood after critics praised her acting in the lead in "The Shanghai Gesture" on Broadway. While making Five and Ten (1931), she became friends with the film's lead, Marion Davies. The two attended a polo match, where Davies introduced Duncan to Stephen "Laddie" Sanford, an international polo star and director of the Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Company...
May McAvoy
Silent-screen star May McAvoy was born in an upscale area of New York City. Her well-to-do family owned and operated a large livery stable situated where the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel now stands. She initially wanted to be a teacher but became intrigued with show business after watching a friend rehearse a show at a nearby vaudeville theater...
Constance Talmadge
She was blonde; star sister Norma Talmadge was brunette. She was buoyant and a comedienne; Norma was introspective and a tragedienne. Nicknamed "Dutch" by her stage mother Peg as she looked like a cherubic Little Dutch Boy, silver screen star Constance Talmadge was one of silent pictures' most popular and enduring stars of romantic comedy...
Brigitte Helm
Actress, Metropolis
After her role in Metropolis she made a string of movies in which she almost always had the starring role, easily making the transition to sound films. Her last film was Ein idealer Gatte (An Ideal Spouse) in 1935.
Lil Dagover
A prominent German film actress born on 30 September 1887 at Madiven, Java, the daughter of a forest ranger in the service of the Dutch authorities. Sent at the age of ten to Baden-Baden to study, she later entered the cinema thanks to her marriage in 1917 to the actor Fritz Dagover who was 25 years her senior...
Marguerite Clark
In the 1910s, waifs and child-women like Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish and Mary Miles Minter were dominant forces at America's box offices. Audiences welcomed Marguerite Clark into this group, especially those who preferred her dark brown hair and large brown eyes to the blonde-haired, blue-eyed looks of Pickford...
Ruth Roland
Actress, Reno
Ruth Roland was, along with Pearl White, the queen of the early movie serials. She came from a show-business family, her father being a San Francisco theater manager and her mother a professional singer. Ruth made her acting debut at age 3-1/2, and soon became a professional actress and singer. Her parents divorced...
Clara Kimball Young
Actress, Eyes of Youth
Clara Kimball Young was born Clarisa Kimball on September 6, 1890, to Edward Kimball and the former Mrs. E.M. Kimball, traveling stock company actors with the Holden Co. Though she claimed Chicago as her birthplace, there are no records of her being born in Cook County--which includes Chicago--and she may have been born on one of her parents' tours...
Henny Porten
Actress, Anna Boleyn
Henny Porten was born January 7, 1890, in Magdeburg, Germany. She had one of the longest careers of any German actress and was highly sought after because of her wonderful thespian skills. Henny's career would stretch over six decades, from 1906 to 1955. Her first film was in Apachentanz, making her one of the earliest film actresses anywhere in the world...
Billie Dove
In her silent heyday, this ravishing and highly photogenic star, known for her voluptuous femininity on the silent screen, rivaled that of Mary Pickford, Marion Davies and Clara Bow in popularity. She retired after only a few years into the talking picture era, however, and is not as well-remembered in today's film circles as the aforementioned...
Marian Nixon
Actress, Tango
Marian Nixon was born on October 20, 1904, in Superior, Wisconsin. Her career started in 1923 when she played Agnes Evans in Cupid's Fireman. She was nineteen. Marian always gave a good account for herself when she appeared in films and was much in demand throughout the 1920s. Marian was one of those fortunate actresses who made the successful transition to the "talkie" era...
Priscilla Dean
Her parents were both stage actors, so Priscilla Dean began her career as an infant in their productions. She made her film debut at age 14 in a series of one-reelers for Biograph and several other studios. In 1911 she was hired by Universal Pictures and soon gained popularity as the female lead in the comedy series of Eddie Lyons and Lee Moran...
Alice Brady
Alice Brady was born in New York City on November 2, 1892. She was interested in the stage from childhood, as her father was famed Broadway producer William A. Brady. After a few stage productions, Alice was discovered by movie producers in New York, since this was the film capital at the time. Her first film was at the age of 22 when she starred in As Ye Sow...
Claire Adams
Claire Adams was born in Winnipeg, Canada (her brother was prolific screenwriter Gerald Drayson Adams), and after her education in that country she was sent to a private school in England, where she studied drama. At the outbreak of World War I, however, she joined the nursing corps and spent the war years as a nurse...
Evelyn Brent
Petite, sultry leading lady of the 1920's and 30's, who was born and schooled in Tampa, Florida, until the age of ten when she lost her mother. She moved to New York with her dad and started modelling while still in her teens. Her original intention was to go into the teaching profession. Instead, she...
Madge Bellamy
Actress, White Zombie
Madge got her start in theater working with a stock company in Denver. Put under a personal contract by a Broadway producer, Madge got her big break when she replaced Helen Hayes in the Broadway play "Dear Brutus". Her success as a stage actress led to her being signed by Fox Pictures. After appearing in a number of movies in the early 20's...
Sue Carol
Sue Carol was born Evelyn Jean Lederer on October 30, 1906 in Chicago, Illinois, to Caroline (Schmidt) and Samuel Lederer. Her parents were Jewish immigrants (from Bohemia and Germany). She was 20 years old when she entered film work. Her first role was a bit part in Soft Cushions in 1927. Directors...
Marguerite De La Motte
Marguerite de la Motte was trained as a dancer, reputedly by the great ballerina Anna Pavlova, and entered films in 1918. She played opposite Douglas Fairbanks in many of his productions. Like many performers of the silent era, however, she was not able to sustain her career with the coming of talkies, and was soon relegated to smaller roles in minor productions.
Marceline Day
Actress, The Cameraman
The younger sister of actress Alice Day, Marceline Day achieved stardom in the mid-'20s, appearing opposite such stars as John Barrymore and Lon Chaney. Adept at comedy, she also starred with such top comics as Buster Keaton and Harry Langdon. Her career faltered in the early '30s, however, and she was soon reduced to appearing in low-budget thrillers and action pictures...
Louise Glaum
Actress, Sex
Carmelita Geraghty
The daughter of screenwriter Tom Geraghty and sister of writers Maurice Geraghty and Gerald Geraghty, Carmelita Geraghty was a graduate of Hollywood High School, where she was in charge of the school calendar. Voted a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1924, she spent most of her career as a leading lady, playing with Reed Howes and Estelle Taylor's husband, former heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey...
Hedda Hopper
Actress, Sunset Blvd.
Her father was a butcher. In 1913 she met and married matinée idol DeWolf Hopper Sr. and in 1915 they moved to Hollywood, where both began active film careers. He became a star with Triangle Company, she began in vamp parts and turned to supporting roles. After her divorce she appeared in dozens of films...
Mae Busch
Mae Busch can certainly claim career versatility, having successfully played Erich von Stroheim's mistress, Lon Chaney's girlfriend, Charley Chase's sister, James Finlayson's ex-wife and Oliver Hardy's wife! She was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1891; her parents were in the theater and when she was six years old the family moved to the US...
Doris Kenyon
The daughter of a poet, Doris Kenyon made her stage and screen debuts in 1915. She was often cast as a pleasant heroine in many silent films. She co-starred with popular silent-era actors like Rudolph Valentino and her future husband Milton Sills. Due to her stage experience she made a smooth transition to sound films. She could still be seen on television in the mid-'60s.
Natalie Kingston
Actress, Street Angel
She traced her lineage back to the first Spanish governor of California. Her great-grandfather on her mother's side was Hungarian-born Agoston Haraszthy, dubbed the father of Californian viticulture. Leggy, olive-complexioned Natalia Ringstrom grew up and was educated in the San Francisco Bay area. Little is known of her early years...
Lila Lee
A performer since childhood (she was widely known then as "Cuddles"), pert and pretty, raven-haired Lila Lee was brought to Hollywood by Paramount mogul Jesse L. Lasky and debuted in a starring role with The Cruise of the Make-Believes as a poor girl supported by a rich admirer. Following her appearance as a servant wench in Cecil B. DeMille's Male and Female...
Barbara La Marr
Barbara La Marr was born in Yakima, Washington, on July 28, 1896, as Reatha Watson. Her childhood was mostly uneventful, mainly because Yakima--today a medium-sized city with a population of over 50, 000-wasn't exactly a beehive of activity. Her parents eventually moved to the Los Angeles area, where she began to explore the show business lifestyle in whatever form she could...
Carmel Myers
Though she is little remembered today, silent screen star Carmel Myers had a high-flying career in her heyday and was ranked among the screen's most glamorous and enticing vamps. She was born at the turn of the century in San Francisco, the daughter of immigrant parents. Her father, a rabbi, emigrated from Australia and her mother from Austria...
Pauline Frederick
Pauline Frederick was born Pauline Beatrice Libby in Boston, Massachusetts on August 12, 1883. She was fascinated with show business from an early age and throughout her childhood, she was bred for a career in music. It has been said she had a terrific soprano voice, but Pauline also dabbled a bit in acting...
Viola Dana
Viola Dana (real name Virginia Flugrath) was born in Brooklyn, NY, on June 26, 1897. She was the middle sister of three sisters (the other two were Edna Flugrath and Shirley Mason). She made her film debut in 1914 in Molly the Drummer Boy. The following year she received top billing playing "Gladiola Bain" in Gladiola...
Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas, to Anna Belle (Johnson) and Thomas E. LeSueur, a laundry laborer. By the time she was born, her parents had separated, and by the time she was a teenager, she'd had three stepfathers. It wasn't an easy life; Crawford worked a variety of menial jobs...
Dorothy Mackaill
Actress, Safe in Hell
Dorothy Mackaill was 11 when her parents separated; she then lived with her father. A rebellious teenager, Dorothy -- who had long wanted a career in the theater -- ran away to London and finally persuaded her father to pay for her board and lessons. Her first job was in the chorus; she then traveled to Paris...
Nita Naldi
Nonna Dooley, the future silent screen star, began her career as a showgirl in a Shubert revue in the Winter Garden, later went on to the famed Ziegfeld Follies. After a successful career on the stage with the Follies, Nita decided to try her hand with films in Hollywood. Her rise to fame was very quick...
Gertrude Olmstead
Actress, The Boob
Gertrude Olmstead was born in Chicago, IL, on Nov. 13, 1897. She entered the film business early, making her film debut in The Fox at 17 years of age. The next year she appeared in the hit The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. She stayed busy throughout the 1920s, appearing in a total of 41 films. At age 25, however...
Dorothy Phillips
A former stage actress, Dorothy Phillips was married to actor/director/producer Allen Holubar. They were known as two of the screen's most prominent players--her the star, he the director/producer. Dorothy was well known in Hollywood as one of the most warm-hearted, approachable stars in the business...
Edna Purviance
Actress, The Kid
Edna Purviance began working as a stenographer in San Francisco. Charles Chaplin invited her to join him at Essanay Studio in 1915, the year of her film debut in Chaplin's His Night Out. Over the next seven years she appeared as his leading lady in over 20 Chaplin films made by Essanay, Mutual, and First National...
Irene Rich
Born Irene Luther on October 13, 1891, silent-screen femme Irene Rich came from a once well-to-do family in Buffalo, New York. Her father had a reversal of fortune while she was quite young and the family subsequently had to move to California. Following her education, Irene pursued a career as a realtor...
Lillian Rich
English silent screen siren Lillian Rich was 19 when she arrived in New York, courtesy of her Canadian husband Lionel Edward Nicholson. The couple had met while "Leo" was on active duty as a fighter pilot with the Royal Naval Air Service during World War I. He came from a well-to-do middle-class family and was both able and keen to bankroll Lillian's entry into Hollywood with a stake of $1000...
Lilyan Tashman
Actress, Manhandled
Lilyan Tashman was born on October 23, 1896, in Brooklyn, New York, to Rose (Cook) and Morris Tashman. Her parents were Jewish immigrants, her father from Bialystok, Poland, and her mother from Germany. After toying with some stage work, she made her film debut with Experience. That was her only film of that year...
Leni Riefenstahl
Leni Riefenstahl's show-biz experience began with an experiment: she wanted to know what it felt like to dance on the stage. Success as a dancer gave way to film acting when she attracted the attention of film director Arnold Fanck, subsequently starring in some of his mountaineering pictures. With Fanck as her mentor, Riefenstahl began directing films...
Alma Rubens
Actress, Humoresque
American actress of the silent period. Born in San Francisco, she studied and performed from her youth, and at the age of nineteen became a star. She appeared in a score of films within the next four years, then began to work on the theatrical stage as well, in musical comedy and drama. A beautiful and popular actress...
Mary Philbin
Mary Philbin's life should be a lesson to domineering parents. Mary was born on July 16, 1903, in Chicago, Illinois, to John Philbin and his first wife and namesake, Mary. The child was regarded as a little beauty from an early age and her mother was exceedingly proud of her and loved to show her off...
Leatrice Joy
Making her film debut as an extra in 1917, Leatrice Joy soon graduated to playing opposite comics Billy West and Oliver Hardy. Director Cecil B. DeMille took her under his wing and starred her in several of his films. Often playing career girls dressed in mannish suits, or sophisticated society girls...
Estelle Taylor
Actress, Cimarron
A former typist, Estelle Taylor married a banker at age 14 and, after leaving him, moved to New York to study dramatic acting. She also modeled for artists and appeared in the chorus of a couple of Broadway shows. In the early 1920s she came to Hollywood and was noted as one of the film colony's most beautiful women...