Louise Lester

Louise Lester (August 8, 1867 – November 18, 1952) was an American silent film actress. She was the first female star of Western films.

Louise Lester
Louise Lester.jpg
Born(1867-08-08)August 8, 1867
DiedNovember 18, 1952(1952-11-18) (aged 85)
Spouse(s)Frank Beal (?-1934) (his death) 3 children
Jack Richardson (?-1914) (divorce)
Children3, including Scott Beal


Lester was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 8, 1867.[1]

In 1884, Lester headed the Louise Lester Opera Company.[2]

Lester came to California in 1910 with one of the first companies assembled to make motion pictures.[citation needed] She made her debut in movies as a member of the Flying A Company in Santa Barbara, California[3] after a career on stage. She starred in over 150 films before her retirement in 1935.

Lester is most famous for starring as Calamity Anne in a series of films based around the character. She also starred with William Garwood in films such as The Oath of Pierre.

The actress' married name was Louise Lester Beal. She was the widow of Frank Beal, a film director.[3] She was also married to actor Jack Richardson.[1]

On November 18, 1952,[3] Lester died at the Motion Picture Country Home, aged 85. Her funeral was conducted in the chapel of the Utter-McKinley Strouthers Mortuary, 6240 Hollywood Boulevard. The services were conducted by the Baháʼí Faith.[4] Her interment was in the Inglewood, California Park Cemetery.[citation needed]

Calamity AnneEdit

Lester created the Calamity Anne character and was dramatist for the series.[5] She starred as Calamity Anne in a series of fifteen short films based around the character, playing the lead role in films such as Calamity Anne's Inheritance, Calamity Anne's Vanity, Calamity Anne's Beauty, and Calamity Anne, Heroine – all in 1913. The series continued for another four years, with the final film being Calamity Anne's Protégé, released in 1917.

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ a b Katchmer, George A. (20 May 2015). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. pp. 207–208. ISBN 978-1-4766-0905-8. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Opera at Houck's to-night". The Cincinnati Enquirer. June 19, 1884. p. 11. Retrieved October 20, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b c "Louise Beal dies at 85". The New York Times. November 19, 1952. p. 29. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
  4. ^ "Services set for actress Louise Lester". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 20 Nov 1952. p. 53. Retrieved Sep 25, 2016.
  5. ^ "Louise Lester Is Well-Known as Writer of Photoplays Which She Also Stages and Helps Enact". The Sacramento Bee. November 14, 1914. p. 27. Retrieved October 20, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.

External linksEdit