Gertrude Astor

Gertrude Astor (born Gertrude Irene Eyster; November 9, 1887 – November 9, 1977)[1] was an American motion picture character actress, who began her career playing trombone in a woman's band.

Gertrude Astor
Gertrude Astor 1922.jpg
Astor in Beyond the Rocks (1922)
Born
Gertrude Irene Eyster

(1887-11-09)November 9, 1887
DiedNovember 9, 1977(1977-11-09) (aged 90)
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
OccupationActress
Years active1915–1966

Early yearsEdit

Gertrude Irene Eyster was born in Lakewood, Ohio, to a working-class family of German descent.[citation needed] Her father was Glen Eyster, an assistant fire chief in Lima, Ohio.[2]

CareerEdit

Astor joined a woman's band as a trombone player and toured the states. In New York she left the band to obtain film work and got a job as an extra before her career took off.

In 1915, Astor gained a contract with Universal Studios.[3] Between then and 1962, she appeared in over 250 movies. Her first known credit is in a Biograph short in 1915. She then became a contract player at Universal. A tall, angular and beautiful woman, Astor frequently towered over the leading men of the era; thus, she was frequently utilized in comedy roles as aristocrats, gold-diggers, and "heroine's best pal".[4]

 
Gertrude Astor (center) with Herbert Barrington and Al Ernest Garcia

Her best-known silent appearances were as the visiting stage star in Stage Struck (1925) with Gloria Swanson,[5] then as the vamp who plants stolen money on Harry Langdon in The Strong Man (1926), and as (Aunt Susan's) Flora Finch's niece, and later the traveling companion in The Cat and the Canary (1927).

 
Gertrude Astor, Colleen Moore and Richard Dix filming The Wall Flower (1922)

Astor performed at Hal Roach studios with such headliners as Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang, and especially Charley Chase. She also acted with Columbia Pictures' short subjects unit.

She continued to play bits in feature films throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. She was briefly glimpsed as the first murder victim in the Sherlock Holmes adventure The Scarlet Claw and was among the ranks of dress extras in 1956's Around the World in Eighty Days. Her last appearance was in John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

Later yearsEdit

In her later years, Astor was a welcome guest at several gatherings of the Laurel and Hardy fan club, The Sons of the Desert, and became an honorary member of the Way Out West tent.

DeathEdit

Astor died on her 90th birthday in Woodland Hills, California, from a stroke.[3] She is interred in the Abbey of Psalms at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.[citation needed]

Selected filmographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Silent Film Necrology, 2nd Edition c.2001 by Eugene M. Vazzana ISBN 0-7864-1059-0
  2. ^ "Lima Born Girl Plays Big Part In Newest Film". The Lima Gazette and The Lima Republican. Ohio, Lima. April 16, 1926. p. 7. Retrieved November 15, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b "Gertrude Astor, 90, an Actress In Silent Films and the Talkies". The New York Times. Associated Press. November 12, 1977. p. 24. ProQuest 123278276. Retrieved November 15, 2020 – via ProQuest.
  4. ^ Gertrude Astor bio by Bruce Elder; allmovie.com
  5. ^ "Stage Struck: Gloria Swanson Before the Pictures Got Small". Guardian. May 18, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2021.

External linksEdit