In the 1920's there were many popular actors and actresses. This page will give you many of the excellent entertainers of this time and a lot of information.
Greta Garbo, whose real name was Greta Gustafsson, was born in Stockholm, on September 18, 1905 and died in 1990. She was born into a poor family. In the early 1920’s a director named Mauritz Stiller dreamt of creating a new, sophisticated, astounding woman underneath the beauty, glitz, and glam. He made her change her last name to Garbo to give her a better more memberable name. She did three silent films. Her last silent film was “The Kiss” in 1929.
Lillian Gish was born in Springfield, Ohio, on October 14, 1896 and died in 1993. She was in movies with her sister Dorothy and her mother whose name it does not say. She gave one of the most remember able performances in silent films history. She was in “The Scarlet Letter” in 1926 the first movie that she was in with sound was “One Romantic Night” in 1930.
Mary Pickford whose real name was Gladys Smith was born in Toronto, Canada, on April 8, 1893 and died in 1979. She was five years old when she was in her first movie. The movie was called “The Silver Key.” The success she had made it a family affair. Her mother, brother, and sister were all hired along with her for $20 a week. She started acting on Broadway and was in “The Warrens of Virginia.” After the show was a bust her and her family were nothing bigger in movies than extras, not because of the talent but because D.W. Griffiths thought she was too short and too fat. She started getting bigger roles and soon was earning over $100 a week. In 1918 she was earning $675,000 a year. She was in her first movie with sound in 1929. The movies name was “Coquette.” She married Douglas Fairbanks in 1920.
Gloria Swanson was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 27, 1897 and died in 1983. When she started acting she was nothing more than an extra in movies. She then starred in a silent romantic comedy series. She was in eight dramatic movies. She signed with Paramount and starred in six more films. Her first film with sound was “The Trespasser.”
Janet Gaynor, whose real name was Laura Gainor, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 6, 1906 and died in 1984. She went to Hollywood right after graduating high school in the early 1920’s. She was just an extra in movies for four years, before she was in a Hal Roach series that was a comedy western. Her first big role was “The Johnstown Flood” in 1926 for Fox. She was suddenly one of the biggest stars for the studio. She won an Oscar for Best Actress and was also the first to win this award.
Douglas Fairbanks whose real name was Douglas Ulman, was born in Denver, Colorado, on May 23, 1883 and died in 1939. He got his start on Broadway which was successful and led him to his first film called “The Lamb” in 1915 which was kind of like one of the plays he performed on Broadway. He had already started his own production company by the end of 1916. He married Mary Pickford in 1920 and made the 13th film he had starred in. The movie’s name was “The Mark of Zorro.” He made a film which he made with his own money in 1922 it was called “Robin Hood.” The budget for this movie was $1 million dollars. Most of the money was spent on making a Nottingham Castle. He made his last silent film in 1929. It was “The Iron Mask.”
Buster Keaton whose real name was Joseph Keaton, was born in Piqua, Kansas, on October 4, 1895 and died in 1966. He began acting as a kid. He was in his parents vaudeville act. He perfected complete flexibility. His very first movie was at Fatty Arbuckle’s Comicque studios in the film “The Butcher Boy.” Between the years 1919 and 1923 he directed and starred in the film “One Week” which was in 1920 and “The Boat” which was in 1921.
Laurel and Hardy
Stan Laurel whose real name was Arthur Jefferson was born in Ulvertson, England on June 16, 1890 and died in 1965. Hardy was born in Harlem, Georgia on January 18, 1892 and died in 1957. He was at first just an extra. Just someone to play an extra football player or a boxer ect. He was a very big man and quite the comedian people noticed. After a while just as a stand-in he joined Hal Roach’s Comedy All-Stars. Laurel graduated the English Music Hall who had come to America in 1910 and 1913. He worked for Bronco Billy Anderson. He made over 50 shorts with Hal Roach. The two were put together by Roach in a film called “Putting Pants on Phillip” which was in 1927 and was the first official Laurel and Hardy film. Laurel was the creativity of the two and earned twice as mush as Hardy.
Charlie Chaplin was born in London, on April 16, 1889 and died in 1977. He had a horrible childhood. His father was always drunk and his mother was always in an insane asylum which put him in an orphanage. He first appeared on stage at the age 7 as a dancer . He toured America twice while in a vaudeville act. His first film was the “Kid Auto Races At Venice” in 1914. By his twelfth film he was directing his own films which he starred in. He was dubbed “The World’s Greatest Comedian” he started after that making $1,250 a week. After the film “The Tramp” in 1915, he was making $10,000 a week plus a $150,000 bonus. He made 12 films between May 1916 and October 1917.
Gary Cooper whose real name was Frank Cooper, was born in Helena, Montana, on May 7, 1901 and died in 1961. When he first started in his silent movies he was just the dreamy handsome kind of guy. As he got older he became a more honest hero. His parents were both British and he was taught in Britain before World War I. He was nothing more than a man who worked on a ranch before joining his family in Los Angeles. He was very good at horse riding and put this skill to good use by appearing in many Westerns. After appearing as an extra he got an agent who persuaded him to change his first name to “Gary” after her home town in Indiana. When he failed miserably in a Ronald Coleman film he kicked his agent to the curb. He was then taking over. He died in Coleman’s arms in a film which was a brilliant performance to critics. He was then signed by Paramount and was a star in all the movies he appeared in.
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5 March 2009. Legendary Actors and Actresses: 1920's - 1930's. 3 May 2009. 3 May 2009. http://www.sbxandmore.com/legends/frame1_left.html