dead by 40

stars who died way too young
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1.
Mace Greenleaf
Mace Greenleaf began as a stage actor starring and supporting in many popular plays, perhaps his best known roles was as Herbert, the King's Forrester in 'The Prisoner of Zenda' in the 1890's and in 1898 played Mr. Hunston in Sir Arthur Wing Pinero's play 'Trelawny of the Wells' at the Lyceum Theatre in New York...
 
2.
Vedah Bertram
Vedah Bertram born Adele Buck in Massachusetts into a prominent Boston family, her father Jerome Buck, a wealthy newspaper publisher. Film cowboy star G.M. Anderson saw her photograph in a Boston society column, he decided to contact her and asked her to be his co-star in his Broncho Billy western series...
 
3.
“ silent screen actress with d.w griffith ” - adrian-dahl
 
8.
Sydney Ayres
Handsome, dark wavy-haired leading man who appeared on the New York stage, starred in early silent films (1-3 reelers) as well as directed and wrote scenarios. Worked for various studios including Edison, American, Powers, Rex, Big U (Universal), Laemmle, Nestor and Selig. Still working until the year of his death...
 
9.
Fred Mace
Mace was a dentist from Erie, Pennsylvania who at one point did some stage stock work for Mack Sennett. Heading west, he worked for Carl Laemmle and Thomas H. Ince before settling back with Sennett. After achieving success as the Chief of the Keystone Kops, he quit Sennett and opened his own company...
 
11.
Florence La Badie
Early information on Florence La Badie is sketchy. She is thought to have been born in New York City in 1888, and was either taken away from or given up for adoption by her birth mother. Florence was adopted by a married couple named LaBadie, who legally gave the child their last name. Her adoptive father...
 
13.
Eric Campbell
Campbell was born in Sale, Cheshire on 26th April 1880 and began acting as a boy. He married fellow music hall performer Fanny Gertrude Robotham on March 30, 1901 and was later hired by English music hall impresario Fred Karno for his "Fun Factory" comedy troupes that featured other comics like a young Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel...
 
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17.
S. Rankin Drew
Actor, The Reward
Silent film actor and director, son of Sidney Drew and his first wife, Mrs. Sidney Drew, and first cousin of actors John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, and Ethel Barrymore. Although his famous parents had hoped for him to choose another career than the theatre and sent him to military school, the draw of the family tradition was too strong...
 
18.
Lillian Peacock
While filming a comedy in 1918, Lillian fell while leaping from one running automobile to another. She suffered severe internal injuries but was able to appear before the cameras again later on. However, during a later filming, the injuries sustained in the previous accident, caused her to become incapacitated and eventually caused her untimely death...
 
20.
Lawrence Peyton
Lawrence Peyton born in Hartford, Kentucky in 1895. Handsome, wavy haired athletic star of many silent drama, comedy and westerns, first starred at the age of 18 in a short western 'The Range Deadline' made at the Nestor Film Company in 1913, followed with the Majestic Motion Picture Company in 1914...
 
22.
Harold Lockwood
Harold Lockwood born in Newark, N.J. in 1887. became one of the most popular matinee idols of the early film period during the 1910's. His father a horsetrainer and breeder. Harold was a very athletic teenager, he went on to become an expert horseman, excelled in track, swimming and football, he moved to Manhattan during his late teens...
 
28.
Clifford Bruce
Clifford Bruce born in Toronto, Canada in 1885, a well-built touch performer who supported in many American silent drama, westerns and action-serial's, first with the Selig Film Company in 1913, followed by Fox studios and later the Metro Film Company in the late 1910's, he's perhaps best remembered...
 
34.
Clarine Seymour
Clarine Seymour born to Albert and Florence Seymour in Brooklyn, New York in 1898. Her father ran a ribbon manufacturing business, in 1917 her father became so ill that he had no choice but to close his successful business and so Clarine secured work through the Thanhouser Film Company, which was located in New Rochelle...
 
36.
Robert Harron
Today screen actor Robert (Bobby) Harron is one of Hollywood's forgotten souls, although he was a huge celebrity in his time and graced some of the silent screen's most enduring masterpieces. A talented, charismatic star in his heyday, Bobby had everything going for him but died far too young to make the longstanding impression he certainly deserved...
 
37.
Olive Thomas
Actress, The Flapper
Oliva R. Duffy was born on October 20, 1894, in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. Ollie, as she was known to family and friends, did not have much of a childhood. Life in industrial Pittsburgh was depressing and grim, with its smoky factories and hard living. Olive's father died while she was still young, forcing her to leave school to help earn her keep...
 
38.
Virginia Rappe
Virginia Rappe's true birth date is unknown, but the tale she told gave it as New York, about 1894. Her (unmarried) mother died when Virginia was 11, and she lived for a time with some relatives in Chicago named "Rapp". By the age of 16 she had worked as an artist's model, which led her to Hollywood in the mid-teens...
 
39.
B. Reeves Eason Jr.
Master Breezy Reeves Jr born Reeves Barnes Easton also billed as Breezy Eason Jr was born in California in 1914, son of actor/film director B. (William)Reeves Eason and actress Jimsy Mayo. Handsome, cute blonde boy who starred in mostly westerns from the age of two, known as 'Universal's Littlest Cowboy' until the unthinkable happened...
 
40.
Florence Deshon
Florence Deshon born to Samuel and Florence C. Danks of Austrian and English descent. She began as a stage actress and appeared opposite Mary Boland in 'My Lady's Dress and in the comedy 'Seven Chances' prior to making her screen debut in 1915's 'The Beloved Vagabond' directed by Edward Jose for Pathe...
 
42.
Wallace Reid
The son of writer-theater producer-director-actor Hal Reid, Wallace was on stage by the age of four in the act with his parents. He spent most of his early years, not on the stage, but in private schools where he excelled in music and athletics. In 1910, his father went to the Chicago studio of "Selig Polyscope Company" and Wallace decided that he wanted to be a cameraman...
 
46.
Martha Mansfield
Stunning silent screen actress Martha Mansfield was a musical comedy star in New York City by the time she entered films in 1916 for Max Linder. Before long she advanced to second leads in features, including the role of Millicent Carew in the John Barrymore starrer Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which to this day remains her best known...
 
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48.
Lillian Drew
Actress, The Reaping
The beautiful Lillian Drew was born in Chicago in 1886. Lillian became a highly popular musical comedy theatre star from the mid 1900's, often appearing with her husband actor E.H. Calvert. Later Lillian a gorgeous brunette starred in more than 90 drama and comedy films and became known as Lily of the Essanay...
 
49.
Kamuela C. Searle
Samuel Cooper Seale was born to John Cooper and Sara Yates Seale in Waichinu, Kauai, Hawaii. He met Cecil B. DeMille on the beach at Waikiki in 1915, and took his advice to go to Hollywood where he appeared in at least two of DeMille's movies. He enlisted in the Army with the outbreak of World War I and was shipped to France...
 
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51.
J.B. Warner
Actor, Big Stakes
James Byron Warner was the younger brother of H.B. Warner and the son of Charles Warner, a prominent English stage actor, whose own father James Warner, whom J.B. was named after, was also a famous actor. Born in Nebraska in 1895, the handsome J.B. joined the Warner family profession, though--unlike his older brother--he never appeared on the Broadway stage...
 
52.
Lucille Ricksen
Lucille Ricksen was born Ingeborg Erickson on August 22, 1910, in Chicago, Illinois. She worked a child model and made her film debut at the age of five. Her parents separated and her mother took her to Hollywood in 1920. Ten year old Lucille was offered a contract with Samuel Goldwyn and starred in a series of short films...
 
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54.
Max Linder
Actor, Be My Wife
Although all too frequently neglected by fans of silent comedy, Max Linder is in many ways as important a figure as Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd, not least because he predated (and influenced) them all by several years and was largely responsible for the creation of the classic style of silent slapstick comedy...
 
55.
Lester Cuneo
A stage actor since his early teenage years, Lester Cuneo made his first film, a comedy short, in 1910. It was quite successful, and he soon began appearing in a series of comedy shorts, which he also directed. Tiring of comedies, he decided to make himself a cowboy star and turned to making westerns...
 
56.
Mrs. Sidney Drew
Lucille McVey was a writer at Vitagraph when she met Sidney Drew shortly after his wife's death. They married almost immediately although he was more than twice her age. She scripted and he directed a number of domestic comedies, said to be more subtle and wholesome than those previously filmed. After his death she lost interest in films. She died in 1925 after a lingering illness.
 
58.
Lottie Lyell
Lottie Lyell has been called Australia's first movie star - which makes it all the more tragic that little of her work survives. That which does provides ample proof of her prodigious and versatile talent. The actress called the `gladsome centaur' by one critic (for her formidable talent as a horsewoman) acted...
 
59.
Mary Thurman
Actress, Leap Year
Mary Thurman was born Mary Christiansen on April 27, 1895, in Richfield, Utah. She was one of seven children raised in the Mormon faith. Sadly her father passed away when she was nine. Mary attended the University of Utah and got a job as a teacher. In 1915 she took a trip to Hollywood. A talent scout saw her and she became one of the famous Mack Sennett bathing beauties...
 
60.
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...
 
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63.
Joe Moore
Brother of actress Mary Moore.
 
64.
Rudolph Valentino
Actor, The Eagle
Born in 1895 to a French mother and Italian father Rudolph Valentino grew up in Italy. His father died while he was young, and his mother spoiled him. He did poorly in school, and eventually ended up studying agriculture. After a stint in Paris he returned to Italy broke. Many times Valentino referenced something he did being the cause of being sent away...
 
69.
Robert McKim
Married to actresses Dorcas Matthews and Ottie Ardine, George got his start at 14 years of age, as a singing and dancing waiter in Chicago. McKim began a long career on the stage with the Alcazar stock company in San Francisco. In vaudeville, he teamed for many years with Johnny Cantwell. He later worked...
 
72.
Ward Crane
American actor of silent films. A native of Albany, New York, the son of a railroad engineer, he began a career in government, serving as confidential stenographer and then secretary to Governor William Sulzer of New York. Sulzer's impeachment and removal from office left Crane without a job, and he obtained a commission in the U.S...
 
73.
Larry Semon
Slapstick comedian known for his charming, white-painted face and clownish smile, mugged his way to being a very highly paid and popular actor. His career was marred by personal problems, and his fortune was lost to high spending. By the time he died, he'd already been hospitalized for a nervous breakdown and was penniless. He was 39 years old.
 
74.
Fred Thomson
All but forgotten today, Fred Thomson was a silent movie westerner who at one time rivaled 1920s heroes Tom Mix and Hoot Gibson in popularity. Unlike the early, myth-inducing demise of a Rudolph Valentino or Jean Harlow, Fred's untimely death of tetanus prevented the actor, who was at one time billed "The World's Greatest Western Star," from creating a durable Hollywood legacy...
 
75.
Gladys Brockwell
Actress, 7th Heaven
The daughter of actress Billie Brockwell, Brockwell first appeared on the stage at the age of three. She made her screen debut in Philadelphia for the Lubin Company in 1913, later working with D.W. Griffith. Joining Fox Studios, Brockwell was one of the busiest actresses in town and easily made the transition to sound films...
 
76.
Jeanne Eagels
Actress, The Letter
Jeanne Eagels, one of the most intriguing stars of late silent films and the early talkies, was born Amelia Jean Eagles on June 26, 1890 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Edward and Julia Sullivan Eagles. Young Jean was part of an impoverished family of eight, with three brothers and two sisters. She likely stopped going to school when she was 11 years old...
 
77.
Mabel Normand
Mabel Normand was one of the comedy greats of early film. In an era when women are deemed 'not funny enough' it seems film history has forgotten her contributions. Her films debuted the Keystone Cops, Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the pie in the face gag. She co-starred with both Chaplin and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle in a series of shorts...
 
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80.
Alma Rubens
Actress, Humoresque
Alma Rubens was born Alma Genevieve Reubens in San Francisco, California. She was interested in entertaining at an early age. Like most young girls, she enjoyed fantasy play acting and by the time she was 19 had become a full-fledged star. She didn't have to wait long like some of the starlets who haunted casting offices continually...
 
82.
Robert Williams
It's fair to say that if 'Frank Capra (I)' hadn't cast Robert "Bobby" Williams in his 1931 film Platinum Blonde the actor would be entirely forgotten today. When the movie was made available on video in the 1980s the promotional copy on the video box emphasized the names most buffs would recognize: actresses Jean Harlow and Loretta Young...
 
83.
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.
 
85.
Peg Entwistle
Peg Entwistle's birth certificate states she was born as Millicent Lilian Entwistle on (Wednesday) February 5th, 1908, in Port Talbot, Wales, United Kingdom. Her parents, Robert and Emily Entwistle, were English and actually lived in West Kensington, just outside of London (they had been visiting Emily's family in Port Talbot at the time of her birth)...
 
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87.
Jack Pickford
Nepotism certainly has had its advantages in Hollywood, none more so than in the film career of Jack Pickford, whose famous older sis, "America's Sweetheart" Mary Pickford, saw to it that Jack had all the advantages her star weight could muster. Born in Toronto, Canada, in 1896, Jack was prompted by his actress/mother...
 
88.
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...
 
89.
Lillian Hall-Davis
Actress, The Ring
Lilian Hall Davis was born June 23, 1898, in Mile End, London, England, the daughter of a London cab driver. For publicity purposes, she changed the spelling of her name to to the tonier Lillian Hall-Davis and reported her birthplace as the more fashionable Hampstead, London. She began acting in films in 1917 and by the early 1920s...
 
90.
Hugh Trevor
Educated at Collegiate Prepitory-Columbia Extension Institute, Hugh Trevor-Thomas was planning an altogether different future for himself until following the advice of his distant relative, producer William Le Baron. He left New York where he had successfully begun his own insurance company (Thomas and Blomer...
 
91.
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...
 
92.
Dorothy Dell
Dorothy Dell was born to Elbert and Lillan Goff in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on January 30, 1915. She won the most beautiful baby in Hattiesburg beauty contest when she was thirteen months old. She lived in New Orleans from the age of ten. She attended the Sophie Wright High School for girls. Winning the Miss New Orleans title...
 
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94.
Francelia Billington
Francelia Billington was born in Dallas, TX, and raised on a ranch. She became an expert horseman, and was on stage from an early age. The pretty young Texan made the journey to Hollywood and became a star of westerns and melodramas, first working with the Kalem Film Co. in 1912 and then moving on to Reliance-Majestic and Thanhouser the following year...
 
95.
Junior Durkin
Quiet, benign, blue-eyed, rangy-framed child/teen actor Junior Durkin, who was an absolute natural on film and possessed major "down home" appeal, showed strong promise in just the few 1930s films he appeared in. A fatal roadster accident quickly ended the dreams of this young "Henry Fonda" type just as he was about to transition into grownup-roles...
 
96.
Marjorie White
Actress, Woman Haters
Pretty-as-a-picture Marjorie White was a charming comedienne, and although she was never the star, she stole many scenes from stars. She co-starred with some of the leading comediennes of the day, such as Wheeler and Woolsey, the Three Stooges, and Joe E. Brown, and brought smiles to the faces of moviegoers and theatergoers alike. It's easy to tell she was a favorite in the 1930s...
 
97.
Edith Roberts
Edith Roberts was born in New York City on September 17, 1899. She was a starstruck 19-year-old when she made her debut in The Deciding Kiss. Although she didn't get the acclaim that her more successful counterparts did, she remained very busy throughout the decade and into the 1920s. After The Wagon Master...
 
99.
Thelma Todd
Thelma Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an industrial city near the New Hampshire state line. She was a lovely child with good academic tendencies, so much so that she decided early on to become a schoolteacher. After high school she went on to college but at her mother's insistence entered several beauty contests (apparently her mother wanted her to be more than just a "schoolmarm")...
 
100.
John Gilbert
John Gilbert was born into a show-business family - his father was a comic with the Pringle Stock Company. By 1915 John was an extra with Thomas H. Ince's company and a lead player by 1917. In those days he was assistant director, actor or screenwriter. He also tried his hand at directing. By 1919 he was being noticed in films and getting better roles...