Confession time! Name your silent movie crushes (no fainting!)

Rudolph Valentino? Louise Brooks? Richard Barthelmess? Clara Bow? Who are the silent stars who make your heart skip a beat?

This is about pure chemistry, not acting ability, though I certainly will not condemn you for choosing acting dynamos. Talent is very attractive, isn’t it?

My top silent movie crushes are a brooding bunch:

Conrad Veidt

last-performance-smug-veidtIvan Mosjoukine

michael-strogoff-ticked-off-mosjoukineSessue Hayakawa

cheat-sessue-hayakawa-silent-movie-animated-gif-courtroom-scowlAnd here is the random, chaotic element: Richard Arlen.

feel-my-pulse-prowling-squirrels-animated-gif-movies-silentlyOne of these things is not like the others. Clearly, I am dealing with some kind of weird issue. Arlen is far too normal.

Okay, I shared, now it’s your turn. There are no wrong answers, you like who you like and your crushes are your own.

Spill, my darlings! This will be fun.


  1. C Burrell

    Unusual choice this one, but Geraldine Farrar in Carmen. Wow! Her manner, her exquisitely unusual beauty, her gestures and facial expressions… My eyes were glued to the screen when she was on.
    Also, Miriam Cooper. She was IMO the best thing about the noxious Birth of a Nation, and was riveting in Intolerance as well. Her beauty is quite contemporary in my opinion, and her acting has stood up well.
    Clara Bow, of course.
    Anna May Wong – what beauty and screen presence!

  2. Ben Everett

    I just would like to clarify that my choices are idealized. They are based mainly on the work that these actresses did on screen and not on their respective personal lives.
    HavIng said that, in no particular order:

    Edna Purviance
    Jobyna Ralston
    Ossi Oswalda
    Leatrice Joy

    I can appreciate the appeal and talent of the more glamorous or “exotic” actresses, but (and please forgive me for sounding crass) they’ve always seemed too high-maintenance to me. I prefer charismatic charm and natural beauty with a side of feistiness, which were all possessed by the four ladies above.

    One more thing, say what you will about Mary Philbin as an actress, but I think she was cute as a button.

  3. Mick Travis

    I have seen my fair share of silent movies, and I have to say while I love Theda Bara, Jobyna Ralston, and Frances Marion (even if she only acted in one film), there is one silent star that I’m obsessed with, and that would be that Glorious Lady and Everybody’s Sweetheart, Olive Thomas, who died under scandalous circumstances while on her “honeymoon” in Paris (in respecting the Comment Policy I of course won’t include the details here!). Olive Thomas is to me what Jane Seymour is to Christopher Reeve in SOMEWHERE IN TIME; and the legendary portrait in question is Alberto Vargas’ Memories of Olive, painted on three days before she boarded the ship to Paris.

      1. Gloria Naldi

        This is cool! Here’s mine:
        Definitely Rudolph Valentino, no question for me, so handsome, talented, and a nice guy, he sounded like a gentleman and a good guy.
        I also like Ivor Novello in The Lodger (1927), Charlie Chaplin without the makeup, and Ronald Coleman.

  4. Gloria Naldi

    In a non romantic way, I always thought Olive Thomas was very pretty, also Natasha Rambova, I once tried to grow my hair like hers haha! I always wished I looked like either Olive, Gloria Swanson (same name as me!), or Agnes Ayres.

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