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Anita Stewart (February 7, 1895 – May 4, 1961) was an American actress and film producer of the early silent film era.[1]

Anita Stewart
Anitastewart.jpg
Anita Stewart in the late 1910s
Born
Anna Marie Stewart

(1895-02-07)February 7, 1895
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedMay 4, 1961(1961-05-04) (aged 66)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
OccupationActress, film producer
Years active1911–1932
Spouse(s)
Rudolph Cameron
(m. 1917; div. 1928)

George Peabody Converse
(m. 1929; died 1946)

Early yearsEdit

Stewart was born in Brooklyn, New York as Anna Marie Stewart[2] on February 7, 1895. Her two siblings, George and Lucille Lee, also acted in films.[2]

CareerEdit

Stewart began her acting career in 1911 while still attending Erasmus Hall High School[3] in extra and bit parts for the Vitagraph film studios at their New York City location.

Stewart was one of the earliest film actresses to achieve public recognition in the nascent medium of motion pictures and achieved a great deal of acclaim early in her acting career. Among her earlier popular roles were 1911's enormous box office hit adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities, directed by William J.Humphrey, and having an all-star cast including Maurice Costello, Florence Turner, Norma Talmadge and John Bunny, as well as roles in 1913's The Forgotten Latchkey and The White Feather.

Marriage to CameronEdit

In 1917, she married Rudolph Cameron and became the sister-in-law of film director and actor Ralph Ince, who began giving the young actress more prominent roles in films for Vitagraph. Throughout the 1910s and into the early 1920s, Anita Stewart was one of the silent screen's most popular actresses and was often paired in romantic roles with real-life husband, actor Rudolph Cameron. Stewart was also featured opposite such screen legends as Mae Busch and Barbara La Marr.[2] Her two siblings, George and Lucille Lee, also acted in films.[2]

Joins MayerEdit

Stewart left her lucrative Vitagraph Studios career in 1918 to accept a contract with fledgling film mogul Louis B. Mayer by the terms of which she would head her own production company at the Mayer studios in Los Angeles.[4] It was alleged that Stewart was recovering from an illness in a Los Angeles hospital when Mayer convinced her to leave Vitagraph for an undisclosed but exorbitant sum of money.[citation needed] Between 1918 and 1919 Stewart produced seven moderately successful vehicles, starring in all of them. Throughout the 1920s, Stewart continue to be featured in prominent roles in silent films.

Marriage to PeabodyEdit

Following Stewart's divorce from Cameron in 1928, Stewart married George Peabody Converse the following year.[5] Like many of her silent film contemporaries, Stewart found the transition to sound film extremely difficult. After making just one musical short in 1932, The Hollywood Handicap, Stewart retired from the screen.

WritingEdit

Stewart authored the murder mystery novel The Devil's Toy, published in New York in 1935 by E.P. Dutton. Though the book's dust jacket traded on the author's Hollywood connection, the plot concerned the killing of a stage actor and was set in San Francisco.[6]

DeathEdit

On May 4, 1961, Stewart died of a heart attack in Beverly Hills, California.[1]

RecognitionEdit

For her contribution to motion picture industry as an actress, Anita Stewart was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6724 Hollywood Boulevard.[7]

Selected filmographyEdit

 
The Combat (1916)
Year Title Role Notes
1911 Prejudice of Pierre Marie Credited as Anna Stewart
Lost film
1912 Her Choice May - The Vain Niece
1912 Billy's Pipe Dream Pert Dawson Lost film
1913 The Swan Girl The Swan Girl Lost film
1914 The Girl from Prosperity Bessie Williams Lost film
1914 A Million Bid Agnes Belgradin Lost film
1915 The Awakening Jo Lost film
1916 My Lady's Slipper Countess Gabrielle de Villars Lost film
1916 The Suspect Sophie Karrenina Lost film
1916 The Daring of Diana Diana Lost film
1916 The Combat Muriel Fleming Lost film
1917 The Glory of Yolanda Yolanda Lost film
1917 Clover's Rebellion Clover Dean Lost film
1918 Virtuous Wives Amy Forrester Lost film
1919 The Painted World Yvette Murree Lost film
1919 Human Desire Bernice
1919 In Old Kentucky Madge Brierly
1920 The Fighting Shepherdess Kate Prentice Alternative title: Vindication
Producer
1921 Playthings of Destiny Julie Arnold Producer
1922 Rose o' the Sea Rose Elton Producer
Lost film
1923 The Love Piker Hope Warner Lost film
1923 Mary of the Movies herself Incomplete
1924 The Great White Way Mabel Vandegrift Lost film
1925 Never the Twain Shall Meet Tamea Lost film
1926 The Prince of Pilsen Nellie Wagner Lost film
1927 Wild Geese Lind Archer Lost film
1928 Sisters of Eve Beatrice Franklin Lost film
1928 Romance of a Rogue Charmain

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Anita Stewart, Silent-Film Star. Actress, 65, Dies on Coast. Won Fame in 'Goddess'". The New York Times. May 5, 1961. Retrieved January 11, 2014. Anita Stewart, a former star Of silent films, died today. She was 65 years old. Her sister, Lucille Stewart, found the one-time actress unconscious in a bedroom ...
  2. ^ a b c d Neely, Hugh. "Profile: Anita Stewart". Women Film Pioneers Project at Columbia University. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  3. ^ Eyman, Scott (2008). Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781439107911. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  4. ^ Albers, Patricia (1999). Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti. University of California Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN 9780520235144. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  5. ^ "Anita Stewart Weds George P. Converse. Marriage of Film Actress and New York Banker Recorded in Sound and on Film". The New York Times. July 25, 1929. Retrieved January 11, 2014. Anita Stewart, film actress, and George Peabody Converse, New York banker, were married at noon today in the patio of the Chateau Elysee Apartments on Franklin Avenue. ...
  6. ^ www.bibliopolis.com. "The Devil's Toy by Anita STEWART on Yesterday's Gallery and Babylon Revisited Rare Books". Yesterday's Gallery and Babylon Revisited Rare Books.
  7. ^ "Anita Stewart". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017. Retrieved July 30, 2017.

External linksEdit