The Most Crush-Worthy Silent Movie Stars (as chosen by my readers) and a New Survey!

A while back, I asked my readers to share their silent movie crushes. A great time was had by all and so I decided to revisit our choices and find a way for all of us have a bit of fun our crushes.

First, I made these swell wordclouds with


But wordclouds didn’t seem like enough. How about a final showdown between the crushes to see who was top crush? Yeah! That’s more like it! I took the top four vote-getters in both ladies and gents categories and made a little survey.

I am asking everyone to vote for both the ladies and gents. Remember that for the purpose of this survey, a crush can mean either “I swoon at the sight of ’em or I wanna date ’em!” or “I think they’re gorgeous, love looking at ’em or wouldn’t mind looking like ’em!” so that should take care of just about everyone.

Instead of just picking one, this survey lets you move the names around with your favorite on the top and least favorite on the bottom. Have fun!

If the survey does not display below, here is a direct link.

Note: Because there was a tie for slot 4 in the gents’ category, I used a random selection tool to choose. Valentino emerged as the winner.


Here is the complete list of silent movie crushes, along with the number of commenters who named them as their choices. There are 91 names in all. Quite an impressive variety, I must say. Enjoy!

Comments Name
13 Louise Brooks
9 Clara Bow
8 Anna May Wong
7 Conrad Veidt
6 Marion Davies
5 Florence La Badie
5 Ramon Novarro
5 Richard Barthelmess
4 Bebe Daniels
4 Buster Keaton
4 Colleen Moore
4 Harold Lloyd
4 Jobyna Ralston
4 Rudolph Valentino
3 Greta Garbo
3 Ivor Novello
3 John Gilbert
3 Lillian Gish
3 Lon Chaney
3 Mary Pickford
3 Theda Bara
2 Charles Farrell
2 Dorothy Gish
2 Fay Wray
2 Florence Vidor
2 George O’Brien
2 Gloria Swanson
2 Ivan Mosjoukine
2 Janet Gaynor
2 Josephine Baker
2 Lars Hanson
2 Miriam Cooper
2 Musidora
2 Olive Thomas
2 Richard Arlen
2 Ronald Colman
2 Sessue Hayakawa
2 Sybil Seeley
2 Wallace Reid
1 Agnes Ayres
1 Al St. John
1 Alice Roberts
1 Alice White
1 Anita Loos
1 Anita Page
1 Anny Ondra
1 Antonio Moreno
1 Beatrice Lillie
1 Betty Amann
1 Betty Bronson
1 Betty Compson
1 Blanch Sweet
1 Bobby Vernon
1 Brigitte Helm
1 Buddy Rogers
1 Carole Lombard
1 Charlie Chaplin
1 Clive Brook
1 Constance Talmadge
1 Corinne Griffith
1 Dolores Costello
1 Doris May
1 Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
1 Edna Purviance
1 Enid Bennett
1 Frances Marion
1 Francesca Bertini
1 Francis X Bushman
1 Gary Cooper
1 Geraldine Farrar
1 Gerda Maurus
1 Gilbert Roland
1 John Martin-Harvey
1 Joseph Schildkraut
1 Leatrice Joy
1 Lucille Hutton
1 Mabel Normand
1 Marion Leonard
1 Mary Brian
1 Mary Duncan
1 Mary Philbin
1 Maurice Costello
1 Mildred Davis
1 Milton Sills
1 Natacha Rambova
1 Ossi Oswalda
1 Paulette Goddard
1 Phyllis Haver
1 Richard Dix
1 Thelma Todd
1 Zasu Pitts


  1. Birgit

    This is cool and i should have added Jetta Goudal since I love her photos…and Viola Dana. Anyhoo, this was fun to read about and the male list is exactly the way I would want it from first to last-didn’t have to change that one:)

  2. Donald Carr

    One vote for Francis X. Bushman? Scandalous! It does help explain why his memorabilia is so reasonably priced though.

  3. Gloria Naldi

    This is so fun, it’s neat to see who everyone picked, I’m glad to see Harold Lloyd got so many, I meant to mention him in mine. Also nice to see Florence La Badie getting some attention.

  4. Ian Chodikoff

    Interesting results. Greta Garbo gets so few votes? Shame. Well, I forgot to cast my vote and so perhaps this is a lesson to us all come Election Day! I wonder what Silent-era film star would have made the best President? Pickford? Hart? And the worst? Fatty Arbuckle (too prone to scandal)? Gustav von Seyffertitz (simultaneously the best and worst name–and a name that approaching to what Jon Stewart calls Donald Trump)?

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