Lionel Barrymore was an American actor of stage and radio as well as a film director. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in A Free Soul, remains best known to modern audiences for the role of villainous Mr. Potter in Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life, he is particularly remembered as Ebenezer Scrooge in annual broadcasts of A Christmas Carol during his last two decades. He is known for playing Dr. Leonard Gillespie in MGM's nine Dr. Kildare films, a role he reprised in a further six films focussing on Gillespie and in a radio series entitled The Story of Dr. Kildare, he was a member of the theatrical Barrymore family. Lionel Barrymore was born Lionel Herbert Blythe in Philadelphia, the son of actors Georgiana Drew Barrymore and Maurice Barrymore, he was the elder brother of Ethel and John Barrymore, the uncle of John Drew Barrymore and Diana Barrymore and the great-uncle of Drew Barrymore, among other members of the Barrymore family. He attended private schools including the Art Students League of New York.
While raised a Roman Catholic, Barrymore attended the Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia. Barrymore graduated from Seton Hall Preparatory School, the Roman Catholic college prep school, in the class of 1891, he was married twice, to actresses Doris Rankin and Irene Fenwick, a one-time lover of his brother, John. Doris's sister Gladys was married to Lionel's uncle Sidney Drew, which made Gladys both his aunt and sister-in-law. Doris Rankin bore Ethel Barrymore II and Mary Barrymore. Neither child survived infancy. Barrymore never recovered from the deaths of his girls, their loss undoubtedly strained his marriage to Doris Rankin, which ended in 1923. Years Barrymore developed a fatherly affection for Jean Harlow, born about the same time as his daughters; when Harlow died in 1937, Barrymore and Clark Gable mourned her. Reluctant to follow his parents' career, Barrymore appeared together with his grandmother Louisa Lane Drew on tour and in a stage production of The Rivals at the age of 15, he recounted that "I didn't want to act.
I wanted to draw. The theater was not in my blood, I was related to the theater by marriage only, he soon found success on stage in character roles and continued to act, although he still wanted to become a painter and to compose music. He appeared on Broadway in his early twenties with his uncle John Drew Jr. in such plays as The Second in Command and The Mummy and the Hummingbird, the latter of which won him critical acclaim. Both were produced by Charles Frohman, who produced other plays for Barrymore and his siblings and Ethel; the Other Girl in 1903–04 was a long-running success for Barrymore. In 1905, he appeared with John and Ethel in a pantomime, starring as the title character in Pantaloon and playing another character in the other half of the bill, Alice Sit-by-the-Fire. In 1906, after a series of disappointing appearances in plays and his first wife, the actress Doris Rankin, left their stage careers and travelled to Paris, where he trained as an artist. Lionel and Doris were in Paris in 1908 where their first baby, was born.
Lionel confirms in his autobiography, We Barrymores, that he and Doris were in France when Bleriot flew the English Channel on July 25, 1909. He did not achieve success as a painter, in 1909 he returned to the US. In December of that year, he returned to the stage in The Fires of Fate, in Chicago, but left the production that month after suffering an attack of nerves about the forthcoming New York opening; the producers gave appendicitis as the reason for his sudden departure. He was soon back on Broadway in The Jail Bird in 1910 and continued his stage career with several more plays, he joined his family troupe, from 1910, in their vaudeville act, where he was happy not to worry as much about memorizing lines. From 1912 to 1917, Barrymore was away from the stage again while he established his film career, but after the First World War, he had several successes on Broadway, where he established his reputation as a dramatic and character actor performing together with his wife, he returned to the stage in Peter Ibbetson with his brother John and achieved star billing in The Copperhead.
He retained star billing for the next 6 years in The Letter of the Law. Lionel gave a short-lived performance as MacBeth in 1921 opposite veteran actress Julia Arthur as Lady MacBeth, but the production encountered negative criticism, his last stage success was in Laugh, Laugh, in 1923, with his second wife, Irene Fenwick. He received negative notices in three productions in a row in 1925. After appearing in Man or Devil in 1926, he signed a film contract with MGM and after the advent of sound films in 1927, he never again appeared on stage. Barrymore joined Biograph Studios in 1909 and began to appear in leading roles by 1911 in films directed by D. W. Griffith. Barrymore made The Battle, The New York Hat and Three Friends. In 1915 he co-starred with Lillian Russell in a movie called Wildfire, one of the legendary Russell's few film appearances, he was involved in writing and directing at Biograph. The last silent film he directed, Life's Whirlpool, starred his sister, Ethel, he acted in more than 60 silent films
Counterfeit is a 1919 American silent detective drama film directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring Elsie Ferguson. The assistant director was C. Van Arsdale; the picture was the fourth film Fitzmaurice and Ferguson worked on and is now considered to be a lost film. As described in a film magazine, Virginia Griswold, whose family is in financial straits, resolves to remedy the situation by finding the source of distributed counterfeit bills, as a large reward is offered for the capture of the maker of the fake bills. A clue takes her to Newport where she poses as one of the idle rich and falls in love with Stuart Kent, a man of means, who returns her affection. Vincent Cortez, about whom little is known becomes enamored of Virginia and she accepts his affections, much to the consternation of Stuart, she offers no acceptable explanation to Stuart for this. And craftily she leads Vincent to the point of sharing confidences, although this course enrages Stuart and for a time threatens to bring open rupture of their relationship.
After Vincent admits he is the counterfeiter, Virginia brings Stuart to an understanding of the situation and a happy conclusion. Elsie Ferguson as Virginia Griswold David Powell as Stuart Kent Helen Montrose as Mrs. Palmer Charles Kent as Colonel Harrington Charles K. Gerard as Vincent Cortez Ida Waterman as Mrs. Griswold Robert Lee Keeling as Mr. Palmer Fred Jenkins as Uncle Ben Mrs. Robertson as Aunt Jemima Elizabeth Breen as Marinette, the Maid Counterfeit on IMDb Counterfeit synopsis at AllMovie Lobby card Lantern slide
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician and journalist, the leader of the National Fascist Party. He ruled Italy as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943. Known as Il Duce, Mussolini was the founder of Italian Fascism. In 1912, Mussolini had been a leading member of the National Directorate of the Italian Socialist Party, but was expelled from the PSI for advocating military intervention in World War I, in opposition to the party's stance on neutrality. Mussolini served in the Royal Italian Army during the war until he was wounded and discharged in 1917. Mussolini denounced the PSI, his views now centering on nationalism instead of socialism and founded the fascist movement which came to oppose egalitarianism and class conflict, instead advocating "revolutionary nationalism" transcending class lines. Following the March on Rome in October 1922, Mussolini became the youngest Prime Minister in Italian history until the appointment of Matteo Renzi in February 2014. After removing all political opposition through his secret police and outlawing labor strikes and his followers consolidated their power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship.
Within five years, Mussolini had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means and aspired to create a totalitarian state. In 1929, Mussolini signed the Lateran Treaty with the Vatican, ending decades of struggle between the Italian state and the Papacy, recognized the independence of Vatican City. After the Abyssinia Crisis of 1935–1936, Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in the Second Italo–Ethiopian War; the invasion was condemned by the Western powers and was answered with economic sanctions against Italy. Relations between Germany and Italy improved due to Hitler's support of the invasion. In 1936, Mussolini surrendered Austria to the German sphere of influence, signed the treaty of cooperation with Germany and proclaimed the creation of a Rome–Berlin Axis. From 1936 through 1939, Mussolini provided huge amounts of military support to Franco's forces in the Spanish Civil War; this active intervention further distanced Italy from Britain. Mussolini had sought to delay a major war in Europe, but Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, resulting in declarations of war by France and the UK and the start of World War II.
On 10 June 1940—with the Fall of France imminent—Italy entered the war on the side of Germany, though Mussolini was aware that Italy did not have the military capacity and resources to carry out a long war with the British Empire. He believed that after the imminent French armistice, Italy could gain territorial concessions from France, he could concentrate his forces on a major offensive in North Africa, where British and Commonwealth forces were outnumbered by Italian forces. However, the British government refused to accept proposals for a peace that would involve accepting Axis victories in Eastern and Western Europe. In October 1940, Mussolini sent Italian forces into Greece; the invasion failed and the following Greek counter-offensive pushed the Italians back to occupied Albania. The Greek debacle and simultaneous defeats against the British in North Africa reduced Italy to dependence on Germany. Beginning in June 1941, Mussolini sent Italian forces to participate in the invasion of the Soviet Union, Italy declared war on the United States in December.
In 1943, Italy suffered one disaster after another: by February the Red Army had destroyed the Italian Army in Russia. As a consequence, early on 25 July, the Grand Council of Fascism passed a motion of no confidence for Mussolini. After the king agreed the armistice with the allies, on 12 September 1943 Mussolini was rescued from captivity in the Gran Sasso raid by German paratroopers and Waffen-SS commandos led by Major Otto-Harald Mors. Adolf Hitler, after meeting with the rescued former dictator put Mussolini in charge of a puppet regime in northern Italy, the Italian Social Republic, informally known as the Salò Republic. In late April 1945, in the wake of near total defeat and his mistress Clara Petacci attempted to flee to Switzerland, but both were captured by Italian communist partisans and summarily executed by firing squad on 28 April 1945 near Lake Como, his body was taken to Milan, where it was hung upside down at a service station to publicly confirm his demise. Mussolini was born on 29 July 1883 in Dovia di Predappio, a small town in the province of Forlì in Romagna.
During the Fascist era, Predappio was dubbed "Duce's town" and Forlì was called "Duce's city", with pilgrims going to Predappio and Forlì to see the birthplace of Mussolini. Benito Mussolini's father, Alessandro Mussolini, was a blacksmith and a socialist, while his mother, was a devout Catholic schoolteacher. Owing to his father's political leanings, Mussolini was named Benito after liberal Mexican president Benito Juárez, while his middle names Andrea and Amilcare were from Italian socialists Andrea Costa and Amilcare Cipriani. Benito was the eldest of his parents' three children, his siblings Arnaldo and Edvige fol
Barbara La Marr
Barbara La Marr was an American film actress and screenwriter who appeared in 27 films during her career between 1920 and 1926. La Marr was noted by the media for her beauty, dubbed as the "Girl Who Is Too Beautiful," as well as her tumultuous personal life. Born in Yakima, Washington, La Marr spent her early life in the Pacific Northwest before relocating with her family to California when she was a teenager. After performing in vaudeville and working as a dancer in New York City, she moved to Los Angeles with her second husband and became a screenplay writer for Fox Film, writing several successful films for the company, she was "discovered" by Douglas Fairbanks who gave her a prominent role in The Nut cast her as Milady de Winter in his production of The Three Musketeers. After two further career-boosting films with director Rex Ingram, La Marr signed with Arthur H. Sawyer to make several films for various studios, including The Hero, Souls for Sale, The Shooting of Dan McGrew, the first and last of which she co-wrote.
During her career, La Marr became known as the pre-eminent vamp of the 1920s. In 1924, her health began to falter after a series of crash diets for comeback roles further affected her lifestyle, leading to her death from pulmonary tuberculosis and nephritis at age 29, she was posthumously honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to the film industry. La Marr was born in 1896 as Reatha Dale Watson to William Wallace and Rosana "Rose" Watson in Yakima, Washington, her father was an editor for a newspaper, her mother, a native of Corvallis, Oregon had one son, born in 1878, a daughter, born in February 1881, from a previous marriage. William and Rose had wed some time during 1884, had a son, William Watson, Jr. born in June 1886, three years before La Marr was born. Through her mother, La Marr was of English descent. In the 1920s, Watson became a vaudeville comedian under the stage name of Billy Devore; the Watsons lived in various locations in Oregon during La Marr's formative years.
By 1900, she was living with her parents in Portland, with her brother William, her half-sister Violet Ross, Violet's husband Arvel Ross. As a child, La Marr performed as a dancer in vaudeville, made her acting debut as Little Eva in a stage production of Uncle Tom's Cabin in Tacoma, Washington in 1904. By 1910, La Marr was living in Fresno, with her parents; some time after 1911, the family moved to Los Angeles, La Marr worked at a department store. La Marr appeared in burlesque shows. In January 1913, La Marr's half-sister, now going by the name of Violet Ake, took her 16-year-old sister on a three-day automobile excursion with a man named C. C. Boxley, they drove up to Santa Barbara, but after a few days, La Marr felt that they were not going to let her return home. Ake and Boxley let La Marr return to Los Angeles after they realized that warrants were issued for their arrests, accusing them of kidnapping; this episode was published in several newspapers, La Marr testified against her sister, but the case was dropped.
La Marr's name appeared in newspaper headlines during the next few years. In November 1914, she came back to California from Arizona and announced that she was the newly widowed wife of a rancher named Jack Lytell and that they were married in Mexico, she stated that she loathed the name Reatha and preferred to be called by the childhood nickname "Beth." After marrying and moving in with her third husband, vaudevillian Ben Deely, to New York City, La Marr, who at one time had aspirations of being a poet, found employment writing screenplays at Fox studios using the name Folly Lyell. She wrote numerous scenarios for studio shorts at Fox and United Artists, many of which she based on her life, earning over $10,000 during her tenure at the studios, she was credited as writer Barbara La Marr Deely on the films The Mother of His Children, The Rose of Nome, Flame of Youth, The Little Grey Mouse, The Land of Jazz. La Marr continued to write short screenplays for the studio and supported herself by dancing in various cities across the country, including New York City, New Orleans, at the World's Fair in San Francisco.
Some of La Marr's dance partners included Clifton Webb. La Marr's dance routines attracted the attention of publisher William Randolph Hearst, who featured her and a dance partner in as series of articles published in the San Francisco Examiner around 1914. While working in the writers' building at United Artists, La Marr was approached by Mary Pickford, who embraced her and said "My dear, you are too beautiful to be behind a camera. Your vibrant magnetism should be shared by film audiences." Her association with filmmakers led to her returning to Los Angeles and making her film debut in 1920 in Harriet and the Piper. Though a supporting part, the film garnered her attention from audiences. La Marr made the successful transition from writer to actress with her supporting role in The Nut, playing a femme fatale; the same year, she was hired by Douglas Fairbanks to play the substantial part of Milady de Winter in The Three Musketeers. Over the next several years, she acted in films, became known to the public as "The Girl Who Is Too Beautiful", after Adela Rogers St. Johns, a Hearst newspaper feature writer, saw a judge
At Bay is a 1915 American silent drama film directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring Florence Reed. It is produced by the Shuberts. On stage, Reed's starring part was played by Chrystal Herne; the film is lost. Florence Reed as Aline Graham Frank Sheridan as District Attorney Graham Lyster Chambers as Joe Hunter DeWitt Jennings as Judson Flagg Charles Waldron as Captain Holbrook At Bay on IMDb Synopsis at AllMovie
George Fitzmaurice was a French-born film director and producer. Fitzmaurice's career first started as a set designer on stage. Beginning in 1914 until his death in 1940, he directed over 80 films, including several successful movies such as The Son of the Sheik, Mata Hari, Suzy. At the beginning of his directorial career, Fitzmaurice was astute at directing stage actresses in their initial films with the first wave of great Broadway stars that migrated to motion pictures during the World War I era, including Mae Murray, Elsie Ferguson, Fannie Ward, Helene Chadwick, Irene Fenwick, Gail Kane, Edna Goodrich; the Son of the Sheik is his most famous extant silent film, no doubt aided by the sudden death of its star, Rudolph Valentino. Lilac Time is a classic war/romance film. Fitzmaurice, directed scores of silent films of which the majority of them are lost to the ravages of decomposition. Recent discoveries in Gosfilmofond in Russia include 1919's Witness for the Defense with Elsie Ferguson and 1922's Kick In with Bert Lytell.
A restoration of his 1928 part-talkie hybrid The Barker is winning praise from many film buffs. Rumors of other Fitzmaurice films in Gosfilmofond include 1920s Idols of Clay and Three Live Ghosts with Norman Kerry, Anna Q. Nilsson, Cyril Chadwick, Edmund Goulding, he was married at one time to Ouida Bergere the wife of Basil Rathbone. His second wife was a sister of actress Lois Wilson. With Kane, he had two daughters Sheila Fitzmaurice born in 1929, Patricia Fitzmaurice Baxter born in 1931; the Avalanche - Ben-Hur - Chariot Race Spectator George Fitzmaurice on IMDb George Fitzmaurice at Find a Grave George Fitzmaurice at Virtual History Some production stills with George Fitzmaurice and crews
The Avalanche (1919 film)
The Avalanche is an American silent film about gambling directed by George Fitzmaurice who served as the film's art director. William Scully was the assistant director to Fitzmaurice; the film stars Warner Oland. This is the first film that teamed director star Ferguson. Ferguson's gowns were by the designer'Callot'; the film is now considered a lost film. Elsie Ferguson - Chichita,Madame Delano, Helene Lumsden Hare - Price Ruyler Zeffie Tilbury - Mrs Ruyler Fred Esmelton - John Harvey William Roselle - Ferdie Derenforth Grace Field - Sybil Price Warner Oland - Nick Delano Harry Wise -? George Dupre -? List of lost films The House That Shadows Built, 1931 Paramount promotional film. A possibility that the Elsie Ferguson clip shown is from The Avalanche; the Avalanche on IMDb The Avalanche at SilentEra AllMovie.com Elsie Ferguson and Lumsden Hare in a still photo from The Avalanche lantern slide