LAS 50 GRANDES ACTRICES DEL CINE MUDO

by titoexpedienteazul | created - 12 Apr 2011 | updated - 20 Jun 2012 | Public

1. Clara Bow

Actress | Wings

Clara Gordon Bow, destined to become THE flapper of the 1920's, was born on July 29, 1905 and raised in poverty and violence in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother tried to slit Clara's throat when she attempted to enter the film industry. She won a photo beauty contest which launched her movie career ...

8( 1905 - 1965 )

2. Nita Naldi

Actress | Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Nonna Dooley, the future silent screen star, began her career as a showgirl in a Shubert revue in the Winter Garden, later went on to the famed Ziegfeld Follies.

After a successful career on the stage with the Follies, Nita decided to try her hand with films in Hollywood. Her rise to fame was very ...

(1897 - 1961 )

3. Alla Nazimova

Actress | Eye for Eye

The grand, highly flamboyant Russian star Alla Nazimova of Hollywood silent films lived an equally grand, flamboyant life off-camera, though her legendary status has not held up as firmly as that of a Rudolph Valentino today.

Alla Nazimova was born Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon in 1879, in Yalta, ...

( 1879 - 1945 )

4. Anna May Wong

Actress | The Toll of the Sea

Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star, was born Wong Liu Tsong on January 3, 1905, in Los Angeles, California, to laundryman Wong Sam Sing and his wife, Lee Gon Toy. A third-generation American, she managed to have a substantial acting career during a deeply racist time when the ...

( 1905 - 1961 )

5. Marie Dressler

Actress | Min and Bill

Once you saw her, you would not forget her. Despite her age and weight, she became one of the top box office draws of the sound era. She was 14 when she joined a theater group and she went on to work on stage and in light opera. By 1892, she was on Broadway and she later became a star comedienne on...

( 1868 - 1934 )

6. Theda Bara

Actress | A Fool There Was

Theda Bara was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, as Theodosia Goodman, on July 29, 1885. She was the daughter of a local tailor and his wife. As a teenager Theda was interested in the theatrical arts and once she finished high school, she dyed her blond hair black and went in pursuit of her dream. By 1908 ...

(1885 - 1955 )

7. Florence Vidor

Actress | Chinatown Nights

Houston-born-and-bred Florence Vidor was one of the great beauties of early Hollywood. But while her photogenic looks went a long way, audiences would not get to enjoy or really experience her voice as she abruptly left the silver screen after her first disastrous attempt at a talking picture.

Born ...

( 1895 -1977 )

8. Corinne Griffith

Actress | The Divine Lady

Corinne Griffith was a popular star of the silent movies. She started her film career at Vitagraph in 1916 and later moved to First National, where she became one of that studio's biggest stars. At the height of her popularity she was known as the "Orchid Lady of the Screen." Black Oxen (1923) was ...

( 1894 - 1979 )

9. Colleen Moore

Actress | Lilac Time

Colleen Moore was born Kathleen Morrison in Port Huron, Michigan. Her father was an irrigation engineer and his job was good enough to provide the family a middle-class environment. She was educated in parochial schools and studied at the famed Detroit Conservatory. Colleen's family moved to ...

( 1900 1988 )

10. Claire Windsor

Actress | Grand Larceny

Silent-era star Claire Windsor was born Clara Viola Cronk in Cawker City, Kansas, the daughter of Ella and G.E. Cronk. She was educated at Broadway High School in Seattle, Washington, and Washburn Preperatory Academy in Topeka, Kansas. She studied voice and piano at Cohn's Conservatory of Music in ...

( 1897 - 1972 )

11. Barbara La Marr

Actress | The Three Musketeers

Reatha Watson (Barbara La Marr) is possibly most famous as supposedly being one of the first drug-related deaths in Hollywood, but while she had a serious drinking problem she in fact died of tuberculosis with complications of nephritis. She is notable for other reasons, among them her successes as...

( 1896 - 1926 )

12. Carol Dempster

Actress | Isn't Life Wonderful

Carol Dempster was born on December 9, 1901 in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. She was an actress, known for Isn't Life Wonderful (1924), One Exciting Night (1922) and The White Rose (1923). She was married to Edwin S Larsen. She died on February 1, 1991 in La Jolla, California, USA.

( 1901 - 1991 )

13. Blanche Sweet

Actress | The Unpardonable Sin

Born into a family of show people, Blanche first appeared on the stage when she was 18 months old. Blanche was a dancer by the time she was four and a talented actress by 1909 when she started work at Biograph with D.W. Griffith. At 14, she was two years younger than Mary Pickford, but her maturity...

( 1896 - 1986 )

14. Billie Dove

Actress | The Black Pirate

In her silent heyday, this ravishing and highly photogenic star, known for her voluptuous femininity on the silent screen, rivaled that of Mary Pickford, Marion Davies and Clara Bow in popularity. She retired after only a few years into the talking picture era, however, and is not as ...

( 1903 - 1997 )

15. Betty Compson

Actress | Mr. & Mrs. Smith

A mining engineer's daughter, blond, blue-eyed Betty Compson began in show business playing violin in a Salt Lake City vaudeville establishment for $15 a week. Following that, she went on tour, accompanied by her mother, with an act called 'the Vagabond Violinist'. Aged eighteen, she appeared on ...

( 1897 - 1974 )

16. Estelle Taylor

Actress | Don Juan

A former typist, Estelle Taylor married a banker at age 14 and, after leaving him, moved to New York to study dramatic acting. She also modeled for artists and appeared in the chorus of a couple of Broadway shows. In the early 1920s she came to Hollywood and was noted as one of the film colony's ...

(1894 - 1958 )

17. Pearl White

Actress | The Perils of Pauline

Born on her father's farm in Green Ridge, Missouri, the youngest of five children. Moved with her family to Springfield, Missouri, where she grew up. Joined the Diemer Theatre Company during her second year of high school, and went on the road with a touring stock company at age 18, in 1907. Signed...

(1889 - 1938 )

18. Billie Burke

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Billie Burke was born Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke on August 7, 1885 in Washington, D.C. Her father was a circus clown, and as a child she toured the United States and Europe with the circus (before motion pictures and after the stage, circuses were the biggest form of entertainment in the...

( 1885 - 1970 )

19. Mae Busch

Actress | Sons of the Desert

Mae Busch can certainly claim career versatility, having successfully played Erich von Stroheim's mistress, Lon Chaney's girlfriend, Charley Chase's sister, James Finlayson's ex-wife and Oliver Hardy's wife! She was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1891; her parents were in the theater and when she...

( 1891 - 1946)

20. Sara Allgood

Actress | How Green Was My Valley

Dublin-born Sara Allgood started her acting career in her native country with the famed Abbey Theatre. From there she traveled to the English stage, where she played for many years before making her film debut in 1918. Her warm, open Irish face meant that she spent a lot of time playing Irish ...

( 1879 - 1950 )

21. Elissa Landi

Actress | The Count of Monte Cristo

Elissa Landi was born in Venice, Italy, on December 6, 1904. From an early age, Elissa wanted to be an actress and a writer. Her acting career started at the Oxford Repertory Company and on London's West End performing with actors such as Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud. She played Desdemona in ...

( 1904 - 1948 )

22. Mae Marsh

Actress | Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages

Mae Marsh's father was an auditor for the railroad who died when she was four. Her family moved to San Francisco, where her stepfather was killed in the 1906 earthquake. Her great-aunt then took Mae and her sister to Los Angeles. With her show business background, Mae's aunt took them to the ...

( 1894 - 1968 )

23. Margaret Dumont

Actress | Duck Soup

Margaret Dumont would probably consider it a tragedy that she is best-known for her performances as the ultimate straight woman in seven of the Marx Brothers' films (including most of their best). By all accounts she never understood their jokes (offscreen and on), which is of course a major reason...

( 1882 - 1965 )

24. Bebe Daniels

Actress | 42nd Street

Bebe Daniels already had toured as an actor by the age of four in a stage production of "Richard III". She had her first leading role at the age of seven and started her film career shortly after this in movies for Imperial, Pathe and others. At 14 she was already a film veteran, and was enlisted ...

( 1901 - 1971 )

25. Marie Prevost

Actress | The Racket

Marie Prevost was born Mary Bickford Dunn in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, on November 8, 1898. She broke into films when she was 18 years old in Unto Those Who Sin (1916). Finding work in films was difficult in the early days, just as it is today. Marie found herself doing odd jobs until 1917, when she...

( 1898 - 1937 )

26. Mae Murray

Actress | Peacock Alley

Dubbed "The Girl with the Bee Stung Lips", silent-era screen star Mae Murray began her career on stage partnered with ballroom dancing extraordinaire Vernon Castle in the 1906 Broadway show "About Town." Born the daughter of émigrés, she began studying dance at a young age. Two years later she ...

( 1889 - 1965 )

27. Agnes Ayres

Actress | The Sheik

Extremely popular silent star of the 1920s. Her popularity was enhanced when she co-starred with Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik (1921) and The Son of the Sheik (1926). She made her screen debut at Essanay Studios in 1915. While she was popular in the 1920s (thanks to the patronage of her lover, ...

( 1898 - 1940 )

28. Anna Q. Nilsson

Actress | Sunset Blvd.

Anna Quirentia Nilsson, popularly known as "Anna Q", who was born on March 30th, 1888, in Ystad, Sweden, emigrated to the United States in 1905. The 5'7" Nilsson used her blonde beauty to become a famous model for well-known fashion photographers and fine artists. In 1907 she was chosen the most ...

( 1888- 1974 )

29. Bessie Love

Actress | The Broadway Melody

Bessie Love was born in Texas. Her cowboy father moved the family to Hollywood, where he became a chiropractor. As the family needed money, Bessie's mother sent her to Biograph Studios, hoping she would become an actress. D.W. Griffith saw she was pretty and had some acting talent, and put her in ...

( 1896 - 1986 )

30. Renée Adorée

Actress | The Big Parade

Renee Adoree was born Jeanne de la Fontein in Lille in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, on September 30, 1898. She had what one could call a normal childhood. Her background is, perhaps, one of the most difficult to find information on any actress in existence. What we do know that her interest in ...

( 1898 - 1933 )

31. Madge Bellamy

Actress | White Zombie

Madge got her start in theater working with a stock company in Denver. Put under a personal contract by a Broadway producer, Madge got her big break when she replaced Helen Hayes in the Broadway play "Dear Brutus". Her success as a stage actress led to her being signed by Fox Pictures. After ...

( 1899 - 1990 )

32. Gloria Swanson

Actress | Sunset Blvd.

Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket (1915). From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in...

( 1899 - 1983 )

33. Pola Negri

Actress | Die Bergkatze

Pola Negri was born in Lipno, Poland, and moved to Warsaw as a child. Living in poverty with her mother, a teenage Pola auditioned and was accepted to the Imperial Ballet. Due to an illness that ended her dancing career, she soon switched to the Warsaw Imperial Academy of Dramatic Arts and became ...

( 1894 -1987 )

34. Lita Grey

Actress | The Devil's Sleep

Lita Grey began working for Charles Chaplin at his Hollywood studio when she was 12, doing bit parts in a couple of movies of his. Three years later, at 15, she met Chaplin again, became pregnant by him and they were married in 1924, when she was 16 and he was 35. They had two sons before their ...

( 1908 - 1995 )

35. Marion Davies

Actress | The Patsy

Marion Cecelia Douras was born in the borough of Brooklyn, New York on January 3, 1897. She had been bitten by the show biz bug early as she watched her sisters perform in local stage productions. She wanted to do the same. As Marion got older, she tried out for various school plays and did fairly ...

( 1897 - 1961 )

36. Norma Talmadge

Actress | Smilin' Through

Norma Talmadge was born on May 26, 1895, in Jersey City, New Jersey. The daughter of an unemployed alcoholic and his wife, Norma did not have the idyllic childhood that most of us yearn for. Her father left the family on Christmas Day and his wife and three daughters had to fend for themselves. Her...

( 1893 - 1957 )

37. Constance Talmadge

Actress | Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages

She was blonde; star sister Norma Talmadge was brunette. She was buoyant and a comedienne; Norma was introspective and a tragedienne. Nicknamed "Dutch" by her stage mother Peg as she looked like a cherubic Little Dutch Boy, silver screen star Constance Talmadge was one of silent pictures' most ...

( 1898 - 1973 )

38. Dorothy Gish

Actress | Nell Gwyn

Dorothy Gish was born into a broken family where her restless father James Lee Gish was frequently absent. Mary Robinson McConnell a.k.a. Mary Gish, her mother, had entered into acting to make money to support the family. As soon as Dorothy and her sister Lillian Gish were old enough, they became ...

( 1898 - 1968 )

39. Lillian Gish

Actress | The Night of the Hunter

Lillian Diana Gish was born on October 14, 1893 in Springfield, Ohio. Her father James Lee Gish was an alcoholic who caroused around, was rarely at home and left the family to more or less to fend for themselves. To help make ends meet, Lillian, her sister Dorothy Gish and their mother Mary Gish ...

( 1893 - 1993 ? el nacimiento de una nacion

40. Vilma Bánky

Actress | The Son of the Sheik

Vilma Bánky appeared in Hungarian, Austrian and French movies between 1920 and 1925, the year in which Samuel Goldwyn signed her, in Budapest, to a Hollywood contract. In Hollywood she was billed as the "The Hungarian Rhapsody". In the mid and late 1920s she was Goldwyn's biggest money maker, ...

( 1901 - 1991 )

41. Mary Pickford

Actress | Coquette

Mary Pickford was born Gladys Louise Smith in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Elsie Charlotte (Hennessy) and John Charles Smith. She was of English and Irish descent. Pickford began in the theater at age seven. Then known as "Baby Gladys Smith", she toured with her family in a number of theater ...

( 1893 - 1979 )

42. Mabel Normand

Actress | Mickey

Mabel Normand was one of the comedy greats of early film. In an era when women are deemed 'not funny enough' it seems film history has forgotten her contributions. Her films debuted the Keystone Cops, Charlie Chaplin's tramp and the pie in the face gag. She co-starred with both Chaplin and Roscoe "...

( 1895 - 1930 )

43. Fanny Brice

Actress | The Great Ziegfeld

Fanny Brice was a popular and influential American comedienne, singer, theatre and film actress, who made many stage, radio and film appearances but is best remembered as the creator and star of the top-rated radio comedy series, The Baby Snooks Show. Thirteen years after her death, she was ...

( 1891 - 1951 )

44. Ethel Barrymore

Actress | None But the Lonely Heart

Ethel Barrymore was the second of three children seemingly destined for the actor's life of their parents Maurice and Georgiana. Maurice Barrymore had emigrated from England in 1875, and after graduating from Cambridge in law had shocked his family by becoming an actor. Georgiana Drew of ...

( 1879 - 1959 )

45. Zasu Pitts

Actress | Greed

Classic comedienne Zasu Pitts, of the timid, forlorn blue eyes and trademark woebegone vocal pattern and fidgety hands, was born to Rulandus and Nellie (Shay) Pitts, the third of four children on January 3, 1894. Her aged New York-native father, who lost a leg back in the Civil War era, had settled...

( 1894 - 1963 )

46. Louise Brooks

Actress | Die Büchse der Pandora

Mary Louise Brooks, also known by her childhood name of Brooksie, was born in the midwestern town of Cherryvale, Kansas, on November 14, 1906. She began dancing at an early age with the Denishawn Dancers (which was how she left Kansas and went to New York) and then with George White's Scandals ...

( 1906 - 1985 )

47. Janet Gaynor

Actress | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

Janet Gaynor was born Laura Gainor on October 6, 1906, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a child, she & her parents moved to San Francisco, California, where she graduated from high school in 1923. She then moved to Los Angeles where she enrolled in a secretarial school. She got a job at a shoe ...

( 1906 - 1984 )

48. Brigitte Helm

Actress | Metropolis

After her role in Metropolis (1927) she made a string of movies in which she almost always had the starring role, easily making the transition to sound films. Her last film was Ein idealer Gatte (1935) (An Ideal Spouse) in 1935.

( 1906 - 1996 )

49. Lya De Putti

Actress | Manon Lescaut

The daughter of a Hungarian baron and countess, Lya De Putti went on to perform classical ballet in Berlin, Germany, after a brief stint in Hungarian vaudeville. She later made several films at the German UFA studios, most notably Variety (1925), before going to Hollywood in 1926. While in America ...

( 1897 - 1931 )

50. Thelma Todd

Actress | Horse Feathers

Thelma Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an industrial city near the New Hampshire state line. She was a lovely child with good academic tendencies, so much so that she decided early on to become a schoolteacher. After high school she went on to college but at her mother's insistence ...

( 1906 - 1935 )