Ynez Seabury

Ynez Seabury (June 26, 1907 – April 11, 1973) was an American actress of the stage, silent and early sound film era. She began her career as a child actor, making her screen debut in D. W. Griffith's The Miser's Heart (1911). She went on to appear on Broadway, and continued to occasionally appear in films during the early sound era. Her last credited feature film appearance was in Cecil B. DeMille's North West Mounted Police (1940).

Ynez Seabury
Photo of actress Ynez Seabury
Seabury in 1922
Born(1907-06-26)June 26, 1907
DiedApril 11, 1973(1973-04-11) (aged 65)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California
Years active1911–1940
Walter William Costello
(m. 1928; div. 1929)
RelativesSamuel Seabury (great-great-grandfather)


Early lifeEdit

Ynez Seabury was born June 26, 1907[1] in Portland, Oregon to actors Charlotte and Forrest Seabury.[2] Her father was a prominent stage actor from Oakland, California, and a direct descendent of Samuel Seabury,[3] while her maternal great-grandfather, Louis Mario Peralta—a founder of the city of Oakland—was sent to San Francisco from his native Spain by King Charles III.[3]

Seabury had an itinerant childhood due to both of her parents' careers as performers.[2] At age two, Seabury won the prize for "Prettiest Baby" at the Scranton Times's baby show in Luna Park.[4]


Seabury (right) with Kate Bruce in The Sunbeam (1912)

Seabury was acting in motion pictures by the age of four, debuting as Little Kathy in D. W. Griffith's The Miser's Heart (1911). Seabury went on to appear in numerous films for Griffith between 1911 and 1912, including A Woman Scorned, The Voice of the Child, Billy's Stratagem, For His Son, The Sunbeam, A String of Pearls, and The Root of Evil. Also in 1912, she made her debut on Broadway in Racketty-Packetty House.[5] In June 1912, Seabury appeared opposite her father in a Portland-based stage production of Madame Butterfly for the Baker Stock Company.[6]

Due to her darker features, Seabury was frequently cast in ethnic roles, portraying Italians and Native Americans. In 1924, she starred as a Native American woman in Red Clay (1924), a film which starred William Desmond and Albert J. Smith. The plot was constructed around an Indian's education and his subsequent social ostracism. In her role as the Indian maid Miss Seabury earned acclaim for the "very fine emotional quality" of her work.

In March 1928, she subsequently participated in His Blossom Bride, a romantic drama of the stage produced by Richard Walton Tully and premiered at the Mason opera house in Los Angeles in March 1928. The scenery and lighting for the play showed an opening prologue in the Painted Desert of Arizona and the Hopi Indian reservation.[7] Members of the Hopi tribe were adopted by Seabury, who portrayed the Indian heroine. Seabury was revered by the Hopi because of her understanding of their lives and ambitions.[8] Before serving as background actors in the production, twenty-nine tribesmen and their chief toured Los Angeles in Cadillacs and La Salles.[8]

On November 3, 1928 Ynez wed broker Walter William Costello. The marriage culminated a romance of a year.[9]

In 1937 she was a member of the cast of the CBS Radio Theater dramatization of Brewster's Millions, which featured Jack Benny and Mary Livingstone.

Later years and deathEdit

Seabury died in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles on April 11, 1973. She is buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery in Glendale, California.[1]


Year Film Role Director Notes Ref.
1911 The Miser's Heart Little Kathy D. W. Griffith
1911 A Woman Scorned The Doctor's Child D. W. Griffith
1911 The Voice of the Child The Child D. W. Griffith
1912 Billy's Stratagem Billy's Sister D. W. Griffith
1912 For His Son Child at Soda Fountain D. W. Griffith
1912 The Sunbeam Little Sunbeam D. W. Griffith
1912 A String of Pearls Italian Shoemaker's Daughter D. W. Griffith
1912 The Root of Evil Granddaughter D. W. Griffith
1923 Slander the Woman Indian Girl Allen Holubar
1923 Thundergate Mey Wang Joseph De Grasse
1924 When A Girl Loves Fania Victor Halperin
1925 The Calgary Stampede Neenah Herbert Blaché
1925 Ship of Souls Annette Garth Charles Miller
1927 Red Clay Minnie Bear Paw Ernst Laemmle
1929 Dynamite Mrs. Johnson's daughter Cecil B. DeMille
1930 Madam Satan Babo Cecil B. DeMille
1932 The Drifter Yvonne William A. O'Connor
1936 The Invisible Ray Celeste Lambert Hillyer
1938 The Girl of the Golden West Wowkle Robert Z. Leonard
1940 North West Mounted Police Mrs. Shorty Cecil B. DeMille


  1. ^ a b Wilson, Scott (August 19, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (3rd ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p. 673. ISBN 978-1-476-62599-7.
  2. ^ a b "New Screen Star Hails From West". The Capital Times. December 20, 1922. p. 14 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b "Seabury Plays Judas". Hollywood. 11: 34–35. August 26, 1922 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "News of the Stock Companies". New York Dramatic Mirror: 8. July 23, 1909 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Ynez Seabury". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  6. ^ "Madame Butterfly at Orpheum". The Oregon Daily Journal. June 23, 1912. p. 34 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Indian's Social Problems Theme of Program Feature". Los Angeles Times. December 31, 1924. p. B12.
  8. ^ a b "Machines Take Hopis on Tour of Los Angeles". Los Angeles Times. March 18, 1928. p. G8 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Actress To Be Wedded To Broker". Los Angeles Times. November 2, 1928. p. A1.

Further readingEdit

  • Los Angeles Times, "From Old Family", December 2, 1925, Page III 17.
  • Los Angeles Times, "Years Roll Backward for Stage Actor", May 12, 1927, Page A9.
  • Los Angeles Times, "Tully Drama Is Polished", March 18, 1928, Page C13.
  • Los Angeles Times, "Brewster's Millions", February 15, 1937, Page A15.

External linksEdit