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Marion Shilling began her career as a silent film ingenue for MGM and went on to play heroines in Westerns of the 1930s. Stage actress Esther Muir made the transition from Broadway to Hollywood just as talkies became popular. Hugh Allan was a leading man in the last years of the silents only to leave the film business in 1930 because of the uncertainty surrounding his transition to sound films and his disgust with studio politics. These three performers and thirteen others (Barbara Barondess, Thomas Beck, Mary Brian, Pauline Curley, Billie Dove, Edith Fellows, Rose Hobart, William Janney, Marcia Mae Jones, Barbara Kent, Anita Page, Lupita Tovar, and Barbara Weeks) reminisce here about Hollywood and the movie business as it made the transition.
Mae Murray (1885--1965), popularly known as the girl with the bee-stung lips, was a fiery presence in silent-era Hollywood. Renowned for her classic beauty and charismatic presence, she rocketed to stardom as a dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies, moving across the country to star in her first film, To Have and to Hold, in 1916. An instant hit with audiences, Murray soon became one of the most famous names in Tinseltown. However, Murray's moment in the spotlight was fleeting. The introduction of talkies, a string of failed marriages, a serious career blunder, and a number of bitter legal battles left the former star in a state of poverty and mental instability that she would never overcome. In this intriguing biography, Michael G. Ankerich traces Murray's career from the footlights of Broadway to the klieg lights of Hollywood, recounting her impressive body of work on the stage and screen and charting her rapid ascent to fame and decline into obscurity. Featuring exclusive interviews with Murray's only son, Daniel, and with actor George Hamilton, whom the actress closely befriended at the end of her life, Ankerich restores this important figure in early film to the limelight.
This is a collection of 23 original interviews with stars of the silent screen, with biographical information and a filmography included for each. Interviewed are Lew Ayres, William Bakewell, Lina Basquette, Madge Bellamy, Eleanor Boardman, Ethlyne Clair, Junior Coghlan, Joyce Compton, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Dorothy Gulliver, Maxine Elliott Hicks, Dorothy Janis, George Lewis, Marion Mack, Patsy Ruth Miller, Lois Moran, Baby Marie Osborne, Muriel Ostriche, Eddie Quillan, Esther Ralston, Dorothy Revier, David Rollins and Gladys Walton.