Clarine Seymour

Clarine E. Seymour (December 9, 1898 – April 25, 1920) was an American silent film actress.

Clarine Seymour
Clarine Seymour.png
Seymour in 1920
Born(1898-12-09)December 9, 1898
DiedApril 25, 1920(1920-04-25) (aged 21)
Resting placeGreenwood Union Cemetery
Years active1917–1920

Early lifeEdit

Seymour was the eldest of two children born to Albert V. Seymour and Florence Seymour in Brooklyn, a wealthy couple who were devout Methodists.[1][2] She had one younger brother.[3] Albert Seymour ran a prosperous ribbon manufacturing business. Seymour began appearing in "entertainments" at the family's church as a child.[2] In early 1916, Albert Seymour became ill and was forced to close his business.[4] The family moved to New Rochelle, New York where Seymour found work at the Thanhouser Film Company as a film extra to help support her family.[2][5] While at Thanhouser, she appeared in two shorts, Pots-and-Pans Peggy and It Happened to Adele.[3] As a result of her work through that company, she obtained work through Pathé in a Pearl White serial.[2]


Seymour circa 1917-1919

In 1917, Seymour appeared in Pathé's Mystery of the Double Cross opposite actress Mollie King. Hal Roach saw her performance and offered her a film contract with his Rolin Film Company. Seymour accepted and relocated to Los Angeles to perform as the leading lady in the Toto the Clown (played by Armando Novello) film comedy serials.[2] Throughout 1918, she appeared in the Toto serial and also had a supporting role in the comedy short Just Rambling Along (1918), opposite Stan Laurel.[6] The deal with Roach soon soured after Seymour claimed she was fired for refusing to do her own stunts. She filed suit against the company and was awarded $1,325 (approximately $23,000 today) in damages. While the case was pending, Seymour appeared in comedy shorts for Al Christie's comedy shorts.[3]

In 1918, Seymour met Victor Heerman. Heerman directed a screen test featuring Seymour and one of D.W. Griffith's Artcraft stock company actors Robert Harron.[5] Griffith was pleased with the pairing and with Seymour's knack for light comedy and hired her as member of his stock company.[6] Griffith cast Seymour with Harron, Richard Barthelmess and Carol Dempster in the drama The Girl Who Stayed at Home (1919). Although the film was not well received by critics, Seymour's performance was and the public interest in her began to grow. Later that year, she was paired with Robert Harron again in True Heart Susie (1919) which also featured Lillian Gish. Seymour followed with role in Scarlet Days (1919), also opposite Richard Barthelmess and Carol Dempster.[5] In 1920, Griffith cast Seymour in the lead role in The Idol Dancer. The film was not well received by audiences but they were taken by Seymour's performance.[7] Shortly after the film's release, Seymour was featured on the cover of Motion Picture Magazine.[5]


In early 1920 Griffith again cast Seymour, this time in Way Down East. Halfway through filming, on April 21, Seymour fell ill due to "intestinal strangulation". She was taken to Misericordia Hospital in New York City for treatment but her condition did not improve.[7] She underwent emergency surgery but died after developing pneumonia on April 25, 1920.[8][9][10] Seymour is buried in Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye, New York.

Actress Mary Hay was cast in Seymour's role for Way Down East and her part was reshot. Footage of Seymour in long shots can be seen in the finished film.[11] On September 26, a memorial service for Seymour, Ormer Locklear, Olive Thomas, and Robert Harron (who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound two days after the premiere of Way Down East) was held at the Robert Brunton Studios. All four had died that year and were eulogized by director William Desmond Taylor.[12] Taylor was murdered less than 18 months later; his killer was never caught.


Year Title Role Notes
1917 The Mystery of the Double Cross Serial
1917 Pots-and-Pans Peggy
1917 It Happened to Adele Mary
1918 A One Night Stand
1918 Fare, Please Short subject
1918 His Busy Day Short subject
1918 The Furniture Movers Short subject
1918 Fire the Cook Short subject
1918 Beach Nuts Short subject
1918 Do Husbands Deceive? Short subject
1918 Nipped in the Bud Short subject
1918 The Dippy Daughter Short subject
1918 Just Rambling Along Pretty Lady Short subject
1918 An Enemy of Soap Short subject
1918 Check Your Baggage Short subject
1919 Hustling for Health Mr. Spotless's Daughter Uncredited
Short subject
1919 Toto's Troubles Short subject
1919 The Girl Who Stayed at Home Cutie Beautiful Short subject
1919 True Heart Susie Bettina Hopkins Alternative titles: The Story of a Plain Girl
True Heart Susie the Story of a Plain Girl
1919 Scarlet Days Chiquita aka Little Flameheart
1920 The Idol Dancer Mary
1920 Way Down East Kate, the Squire's niece Footage removed/reshot


  1. ^ (Slide 1973, p. 136)
  2. ^ a b c d e Shannon, Betty (July 1920). "An Unfinished Story". Photoplay. Macfadden Publications. 18 (2): 81. ISSN 0732-538X.
  3. ^ a b c Bowers, Q. David (1995). "Seymour, Clarine - Actress (1916-1917)". Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  4. ^ (Lowe 2014, p. 1952)
  5. ^ a b c d (Slide 2010, p. 341)
  6. ^ a b (Okuda, Neibaur 2012, pp. 23–24)
  7. ^ a b (Golden 2001, p. 160)
  8. ^ (Vazzana 2001, p. 479)
  9. ^ "Real Chatter". The Pittsburgh Press. April 29, 1920. p. 12. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  10. ^ (Harper Fussell 1982, p. 120)
  11. ^ (Wagenknecht 2014, p. 192)
  12. ^ (Long 1991, pp. 148–149)


External linksEdit