Tag Archives: Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Classic Hollywood #28

Norma Talmadge

portraits Norma Talmadge on set

Norma Talmadge, was one of the biggest stars of the silent film era. She was born on May 26, 1894 in Jersey City, NJ, and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Norma had two sisters, Constance Talmadge, also a major star, who was in 83 films and Natalie Talmadge who appeared in nine films.

Norma appeared in over 200 silent pictures, most of which are now considered lost films. In 1916, Norma married film producer Joseph Schenck who became head of United Artists and would go on to become the chairman of 20th Century Fox.

As with many of the silent stars, Norma’s career ended with the advent of sound. By 1928 her career had already stalled to one film per year. There was talk in 1928 of reissuing her favorite film Smilin’ Through (1922), but Norma was staunch in her refusal to re-release it. Norma said, “I thought it was a lovely picture and the fans liked it. Why reissue it? I would rather people only had the peasant memory of it.” This attitude was similar to the screen’s biggest star Mary Pickford, who had said she would never allow any of her films to be released again.

Norma made two sound films, New York Nights (1929) and Du Barry, Woman of Passion (1930). The Du Barry film was widely panned by critics and public alike. Norma then waited for the right script for her next movie. She said she was “favoring playing a comic role.” She never appeared in another film.

Instead, Norma Talmadge travelled the world and invested wisely in real estate, becoming very wealthy.

Legend has it that Norma Talmadge has the distinction of being the first to leave her handprints, footprints and signature at the would famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The apocryphal story Continue reading

Beauties Of The Past – Maude Fealy

Stage and Silent Star Maude Fealy

Maude Fealy 1861u pc Rotary

A new feature of our web site: photos and short biographies of glamor girls of the past.

These are women that were more than just beautiful, they were talented and were able to cut out successful careers for themselves during an era when men dominated the entertainment industry. Of course with the passage of time, many of these stars have dimmed and are now distant memories. We hope to bring them to light again to a wider audience.

Maude Fealy 1149 pc Davidson

Maude at age 8 with mother Margaret Fealy.

Maude at age 8 with mother Margaret Fealy.

Maude Fealy (born Maude Hawk) in Memphis, Tennessee, started her career at the age of 3 in the legitimate theater with her mother, actress Margaret Fealy. Margaret divorced Maude’s father, James Hawk and then went by her maiden name of Fealy and Maude also adopted her mother’s maiden name.

Fealy’s exact birth date was never clearly established and contemporary reports range from March 4, 1881 to 1886. The Social Security Death Index lists her birthday as March 3, 1882

Maude Fealy 3093C pc Philco Maude Fealy 3107D pc philco 1906

Fealy hit the big time just before the turn of the century when theatre impresario Augustin Daly discovered her playing Juliet and signed her to a five year contract. Daly died in 1899, effectively canceling the contract and Fealy was then courted by all the major playwrights to appear in their productions. Fealy quickly became a star in many Broadway and London productions. Among the many plays she appeared in were: Quo Vadis, Sherlock Holmes, The Professor’s Love Story, Heart’s Courageous, The Truth Tellers and On the Quiet. She cemented her reputation as a fine actress by playing the female lead in several of the first British actor ever knighted, Sir Henry Irving’s plays including, Becket, The Lyons Mail, Waterloo and Louis XI.  Continue reading