I am working on my annual “Top Stars of 100 Years Ago…” article but I thought it would be fun to step further back in time and look at some stars who were considered at least a little famous back in 1912.
One thing I noticed about my 100 Years Ago series is that movie stars from before 1916 or 1917 or thereabouts are a lot less recognizable even to silent movie nerds. I have seen films from nearly everyone on the 1918 list but the 1913? Not so much.
Let’s test our collective knowledge with the eighteen stars featured in a random issue of Motion Picture Story magazine. Click on any image in the gallery to enlarge.
An interesting mix, no?
Poor Vedah Bertram passed away just days after this gallery was published. If dates of birth are to be believed, she was only twenty. She was Broncho Billy Anderson’s leading lady and I am sure I have seen her but I don’t have any firm memories.
Here are the stars I think I have seen in a significant role (not as an extra):
☐ Vedah Bertram
☐ Harold Shaw
☑Harry C. Myers (looks a lot like Bobby Harron, doesn’t he?)
☑ John Bunny
☐ Marshall P. Wilder
☐ Evelyn Selbie
☑ Florence La Vinci (you probably know her better as Jewel Carmen)
☑ Cleo Ridgely
☐ Margarita Fischer (I am pretty sure there is a typo in the magazine caption)
☐ Jennie Nelson
☐ Ruth Roland
☑ Augustus Phillips (original Frankenstein, as in doctor not ‘s monster)
☑ King Baggot
☐ Elenoria Courtan (could find almost no info on her)
☑ Beverly Bayne
☑ Gene Gauntier
☐ Eleanor Caines
☐ James Morrison (I’ve seen films listed in his filmography but I honestly do not remember him)
How about you? How many have you seen?
Isn’t this fun? It’s really an illustration of how little we know about films of this era. Now I have a list of players I need to keep my eye out for.
All clippings courtesy of the Media History Digital Library.
Like what you’re reading? Please consider sponsoring me on Patreon. All patrons will get early previews of upcoming features, exclusive polls and other goodies.