Edna Tichenor

Edna Frances Tichenor (April 1, 1901 – November 19, 1965) was an American film actress whose career was most prominent in the silent film era of the 1920s, affecting an onscreen vamp persona. She is perhaps best recalled for three roles in director Tod Browning films: the 1923 drama Drifting, the silent horror film London After Midnight, and the drama The Show, both released in 1927.

Edna Tichenor
Edna Tichenor.jpg
Edna Frances Tichenor

(1901-04-01)April 1, 1901
DiedNovember 19, 1965(1965-11-19) (aged 64)
Alma materLong Beach Polytechnic High School
Years active1920–1934
Spouse(s)Robert J. Springer (1919–1930; divorced)
Henry West (19??–1965; her death)

Early lifeEdit

Tichenor was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Ira C. and Hattie Tichenor (née Craig). By 1904, the family relocated to Los Angeles, California, where her father worked as a real estate editor for the Los Angeles Examiner, then later as financial editor of the Salt Lake City Telegram in Utah, before returning to Los Angeles.[1]

Tichenor attended primary and secondary schools in Los Angeles and was a graduate of Long Beach Polytechnic High School. Shortly after her graduation, she married auto mechanic Robert J. Springer in 1919. The couple divorced in 1930.[1]


Tichenor's first known credited role was as Molly Norton in the 1923 Tod Browning directed drama film Drifting, starring Priscilla Dean, Matt Moore and Anna May Wong. It was produced and distributed by Universal Pictures.[2] The same year, she appeared in two more films; the small role of Dolly Baxter in the Harry Beaumont directed comedy The Gold Diggers (1923) for Warner Bros., and an uncredited role as Cleo in the romantic drama Maytime (1923), directed by Louis J. Gasnier and featuring Clara Bow in an early role.[3]

By the mid-1920s, Tichenor began affecting a somewhat sinister vamp onscreen persona; appearing in roles such as The Painted Lady in the Chester M. Franklin crime-drama The Silent Accuser (1924), and two roles in 1926 film shorts simply billed as The Vamp. Tichenor is possibly best recalled for roles in two 1927 films by directed by Tod Browning; the small role of Arachnida, a carnival sideshow performer who has the body of a spider and a woman's head, in the crime-drama The Show; and as Luna, The Bat Girl in Browning's lost horror film London After Midnight, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Lon Chaney.[4] The last known copy of the film known to exist was destroyed in the 1965 MGM vault fire.[5]

In all, Tichenor appeared in approximately twelve films before retiring from acting. Her last known film appearance was a small role in Tod Browing's 1928 mystery film West of Zanzibar, starring Lon Chaney and Lionel Barrymore.[4]

Personal life and deathEdit

Following her divorce from Robert J. Springer in 1930, Tichenor moved back in with her parents in Los Angeles. She later married Harry West. Tichenor died in 1965 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from a perforation of her cecum and blood poisoning with an intestinal obstruction following surgery to remove her uterus and ovaries, aged 64. She was cremated and her ashes were given to West.[1]

Selected filmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1923 Drifting Molly Norton
1923 The Gold Diggers Dolly Baxter
1923 Maytime Cleo Uncredited
1924 One Night in Rome Italian Maid
1924 The Silent Accuser The Painted Lady
1925 The Merry Widow Dopey Marie Uncredited
1927 The Show Arachnida - the Human-Spider Uncredited
1927 London After Midnight Luna, Bat Girl
1928 West of Zanzibar Dancing Girl in Zanzibar Club Uncredited, (final film role)


  1. ^ a b c Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 p. 12615. McFarland; 3 edition. 2016. ISBN 978-0786479924
  2. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Drifting". Silent Era. Retrieved August 9, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Hollywood.com Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide: Edna Tichnor. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b John T. Soister, Henry Nicolella, Steve Joyce (2014). American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929. McFarland & Company. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-786-48790-5.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ London After Midnight American Silent Feature Film Survival Database

External linksEdit