Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Miss Shirley Mason

Well, I figure since I did one sister, might as well do the other. Now, for me...Shirley was just hott! One of the first pictures of silent film actresses I saw was of her and I just loved it! I wanted the hair, the dress...just the look in general! Unlike her sister Viola, I have not seen Shirley in a film, which is unfortunate. I hope to one of these days.

The funny/interesting thing about Shirley is that if you do a search of her name through Google or any search engine, you get hits for another woman by the same name...a woman who is probably more famous than the actress Shirley Mason. Name doesn't ring a bell? Well, she was better known to everyone as Sybil, the woman who suffered from multiple personality disorder. Sally Field starred in the film about her in the 1970s. Both Shirley's were intriguing in their own ways. I only want to be like one of them though...

Shirley Mason was born Leonie Flugrath on June 6, 1900 in Brooklyn, New York. She joined older sisters Edna and Virginia (who later became Viola Dana). All three sisters were actresses...their mother pushed hard for this.

She made her film debut at age 11 in At the Threshold of Life.

It seemed at first that her career wasn't going to go anywhere, but she started to gain some momentum around 1915. And in 1917, she was cast in over 13 films.

All in all, she appeared in around 110 films.

She, like her sister Viola, made her final film appearance in 1929 in The Flying Marine.

Shirley Mason passed away on July 27, 1979 of cancer in Los Angeles, California.

She was interred at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

I actually thought until very 20 minutes ago, that all three Flugrath sisters were interred together. And, I was wrong. It turns out that only Edna and Viola are at Hollywood Forever, while Shirley is over at Westwood buried with her husband. Learn something new everyday!

She was married twice. The first husband was actor Bernard Durning who she married in 1917. Shirley actually first met him when she was 13, but they didn't get married until she was 16. The two remained married until 1923 when Durning died of typhoid. Her second husband was director Sidney Lanfield who she married in 1927. The couple remained married until Lanfield passed away of a heart attack in 1972.

Shirley and her sister Viola Dana as Natacha Rambova and Rudolph Valentino

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