Friday, August 27, 2010

Mr. Antonio Moreno

When I first saw Antonio Moreno on screen in the movie It, my first thought was, "Who is the gorgeous man and why have I never seen him before?" This was a few years back when I was just beginning to dive into the world of silent film mind you. Mr. Moreno definitely had the dashing good lucks to rival even Valentino or Fairbanks in my opinion. I admit I still do swoon a bit when I watch It and he comes on screen.

Antonio Moreno was born Antonio Garrido Monteagudo on September 26, 1887 in Madrid, Spain.

When he was 14 years old, he moved to the U.S. He attended school in Massachusetts and it is here where he began his acting career.

In 1912, he moved to California to work in films. He signed with Vitagraph Studios and worked as an extra. He began to rise in star power when he appeared with Pearl White in her series The Perils of Pauline. He soon was sharing the screen with other big names like Gloria Swanson, Pola Negri, and Blanche Sweet. He was usually cast as the dark, Spanish lover because of his looks...much like Valentino.

Antonio didn't do so well when the talkies arrived. His heavy Spanish accent hindered his star power instead of help it like it did with Greta Garbo. Instead of slipping into depression or finding solace in a bottle, he chose to direct movies in Mexico. He directed four films between 1920 and 1933. These films are considered the best of that era in Mexico.

After his stint as a director, he returned to the states to make brief appearances in film, most notably in 1955's The Searchers with John Wayne. He retired from film soon after.

Antonio Moreno passed away of a heart attack on February 15, 1967 in Beverly Hills.

He was interred at Forest Lawn in Glendale, California.

Antonio only married once, in 1923 to Daisy Canfield Danziger. The marriage ended in 1933 when Daisy was killed in a car accident, although technically the two were separated at the time. They did not have any children.

Antonio and Clara Bow
"To see ourselves as others see us...this should doubtless be the way to write a story of one's own life. But it is so hard to know how others see us, even as a movie actor..." ~ Antonio Moreno

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Miss Clarine Seymour

I guess I am in the "silent film actresses who died very young" mode, because I am moving right along to Clarine Seymour. But, unlike fellow tragic actress Lucille Ricksen, there is very little information about Clarine out there. She was a cute innocent ingenue who sadly had her career cut short right when she was beginning to rise.

Clarine Seymour was born on December 9, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York.

Her family was well off until she was around 18 years old when her father had to sell his business due to an illness. So, in order to earn her and her family money, she approached the Thanhouser Film Company in order to get work in film.

From Thanhouser she moved to Pathe' where she appeared with Pearl White in one of her series's episodes. From Pathe', it was time to move to California!

She thought her career was over when the film company she was with sued her for not performing in the films she was assigned to. The truth was that the films weren't successful, so Clarine didn't want to be a part of them anymore. She won the case and thankfully her career was not over. Instead, she met the man himself, D.W. Griffith.

Lillian Gish and Clarine

She appeared in four Griffith pictures: The Girl Who Stayed Home, True Heart Susie, Scarlet Days, and The Idol Dancer. The pictures themselves were not well received, but Clarine's performances always garnered great reviews.

In early 1920 she began work on what would have been her fifth Griffith film, Way Down East. But, sadly she never got to complete the film and she was replaced by Mary Hay. Co-star Lillian Gish did later on say that Clarine can still be seen in the film in long shots.

Clarine Seymour died suddenly on April 25, 1920 from an intestinal condition. She was only 21 years old. Lillian Gish said she thought that Clarine had died from exposure due to the freezing cold weather while filming Way Down East. Either way, it was a tragedy.

She was buried in Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye, New York.

At the time of her death, she lived with her parents and a four year old brother in Hollywood.

"I think what people call luck is really, in reality, destiny. I don't think that there is such a thing as unpurposeful 'luck' in the world!" ~ Clarine Seymour

Miss Lucille Ricksen

It really isn't surprising that Lucille Ricksen is barely remembered today. After all, she was only 15 years old when she passed away. She did have a chance to make quite a few movies in the five years she was in pictures so she did accomplished quite a lot in such a short period of time. She was such a promising starlet, it would have been interesting to see how far she would have gone had she lived.
Since it is her birthday, we are going to remember Lucille today.

Lucille Ricksen was born Lucille Ericksen on August 22, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois.

Her parents started her acting and modeling early at age 4. She became a big draw and began being the main breadwinner for her family. She eventually caught the eye of Samuel Goldwyn, who brought Lucille and her mother to California to appear in the film The Adventures of Edgar Pomeroy.

During her relatively short career, she had the chance to appear along such big names as Claire Windsor, Jack Pickford, Louise Fazenda, Blanche Sweet, and Bessie Love.

Her most notable role was in 1923's Human Wreckage, which was produced by Dorothy Davenport. The film dealt with the effects of drug addiction, something Davenport knew all too well since she had recently lost her husband, silent screen star Wallace Reid, to morphine addiction (I would LOOOVE to see this film!)

In 1924, at only 14 years old, Lucille was named a WAMPAS Baby Star. One of her fellow WAMPAS winners was Clara Bow.

Later that year, Lucille fell ill. She continued working in around 10 films until early the next year when she was finally diagnosed with tuberculosis and was unable to work. She was bedridden for the last few months of her life.
Unfortunately, the end of her life was filled with heartbreak. Lucille's mother Ingeborg was so stricken with grief by her daughter's illness, that she kept a vigil by her bed all day and night. In February of 1925, Ingeborg suffered a heart attack, and collapsed and died on her daughter.

For the few weeks following her mother's death, Lucille was cared for by friends in the movie industry, including actress Lois Wilson.

Lucille Ricksen passed away on March 13, 1925. She was only 15 years old. Supposedly her last words were "Mother is waiting."

I can't find where she was buried, if she was cremated...anything. Any information would be great!
Some sources claimed that Lucille died from being overworked by her parents. People began advocating against "stage mothers," using Lucille's death as an example of what could happen to these child stars (I don't know about this. Tabloids weren't rampant back then, so it's hard to say if Ingeborg Ericksen was really a stage mother type. There were a lot of people during that time who were killed by tuberculosis, the flu was just what was going on at that time unfortunately).

For some reason, when Lucille became sick, her father disappeared. I could see how that could make people think that her parents were only interested in their daughter to make money, but that was just one parent. I don't know what happened to him, or even what his name was. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Lucille's older brother Marshall appeared in a few movies as well. He passed away in 1975. I have read somewhere also that he was supposedly an invalid, but I am not sure whether that is true or not.

"The Little Blonde Butterfly"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Miss Alice White

My oh my it has been a long time! I don't know why honestly. Just haven't had the time or...I don't know. Anyways, never fear! I am back!

So, back to business. Alice White. I sadly have not had a chance to see any of her movies, because I can't find any that are available. That seems to be my downfall, loving stars whose movies are rare or lost. Maybe that is what makes them so appealing. What I do love about Alice White is that she was such a cute lady! To me, she is the blonde Clara Bow. I am still hoping to see one of her movies sometime before I die, so if you have a copy or know where they are available, let me know! Thanks!!

Alice White was born Alva White on August 24, 1904 (HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY!) in Paterson, New Jersey. Her mother Marion was at one time an actress, but unfortunately she passed away when Alice was three. Alice and her grandmother eventually moved out west (Her father's name was James, but not much more is said about him).

She went to secretarial school after moving to California and eventually began working as a script girl for director Josef Von Sternberg. Unfortunately, the two had a few spats and she left him and began working for Charlie Chaplin. It was he would decided that Alice should be working in front of the camera rather than behind it. 

Although she was a fun flapper type, her career didn't really soar like her predecessors Clara Bow and Colleen Moore. She did however make a smooth transition into sound, but that could have been because she wasn't such a huge star and didn't have everything riding on her transition like other actors. One of her most famous screen roles was that of Dixie Dugan who later became famous in a comic strip.

She appeared in the 1928 version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The film is considered lost, which sucks because this would be such a great one to watch! Alice White, Ford Sterling, Mack Swain, Chester Conklin, Trixie Friganza...oh to go back and time and watch this!

In 1933, she was plagued by scandal. Her then boyfriend Jack Warburton beat her in public at a party. A few days after this, a couple men beat up Warburton and claimed that they were hired by Alice and her future husband Sydney Bartlett. Although the charges were dropped, Alice's image didn't recover from the scandal. You know, whether or not she hired them...that guy deserved to get his ass kicked in my opinion.

She made her last film appearance in 1949 in Flamingo Road with Joan Crawford. She could have gone on to make more, but an accident she suffered at home prevented this. She was injured in a fall and was blind in her left eye for about a year.

Alice White died of a stroke on February 19, 1983 in Los Angeles. She was cremated and her ashes were scattered at sea.

Alice was married three times. First to William Hinshaw, but the dates of which are unknown. Second was to the infamous Sydney Bartlett from 1933 to 1937. Her final marriage was to Jack Roberts from 1941 to 1949. She never had children.

Interesting bit to watch out the movie The Purse Snatcher, co-star James Cagney was supposed to fake punch Alice in a scene. But, Cagney actually ended up really hitting her in the face. He still felt awful about it years later. (I would have loved to get hit by Cagney!)

She was such a beautiful girl. Another silent actress who deserves to be remembered always.