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|Born||Mae Elizabeth Hampton
February 19, 1897
|Died||January 23, 1982(aged 84)|
|Other names||"Hopeless Hampton"(*see text)
|Spouse(s)||Jules Brulatour(1923 to 1946, his death)|
|Children||at least one child, circa 1920, father might or might not be Brulatour|
Hope Hampton (Mae Elizabeth Hampton) (19 February 1897 - 23 January 1982) was an American silent motion picture actress and producer, who was noted for her seemingly effortless incarnation of siren and flapper types in silent-picture roles during the 1920s. She also at one time was an aspiring opera singer.
Texas-born, Philadelphia-bred beauty-contest winner Hampton, was discovered by U.S. silent cinema pioneer Jules Brulatour while working as an extra for director Maurice Tourneur. She made her screen debut in 1920's A Modern Salome, and went on to feature prominently in several Brulatour-financed films. In 1923, Hampton wed her manager Brulatour, and they remained married until his death in 1946.
After retiring from motion pictures at the dawn of sound, Hampton turned to opera and made her debut with the Philadelphia Opera in Manon. The idea that she ever toured with the Metropolitan Opera is belied by a look at the company's online archives. She returned to the screen in The Road to Reno (1938), a film directed by her husband. Later she was known as The Duchess of Park Avenue, a leading member of New York's social set.
In 1978, she was coronated Queen of the Beaux Arts Ball. She presided with King Arthur Tracy.
She died of a heart attack at the age of 84.
Hampton and Brulatour took a honeymoon trip to Egypt, there a Sheikh offered Brulatour £10,000 British pounds to buy his wife. Brulatour smiled at the Sheikh and told him that Mrs. Brulatour's jewels were worth more than that.
Known as "Hopeless Hampton" to the disparaging, because of her seeming lack of acting ability in her films, there are some who say she was the model for the no-talent wife, Susan Alexander Kane, in Citizen Kane (1941). Other sources say the Susan Alexander role is a composite of Hampton, Marion Davies, Dorothy Gibson, Ganna Walska, mistress and later wife of Chicago heir Harold Fowler McCormick—who arranged for Walska to take the lead in a production of Zaza at the Chicago Opera in 1920—and Samuel Insull, who built the Chicago Civic Opera House in 1929 for his daughter, who hoped to sing for the Metropolitan Opera.
- The Bait (1921)
- The Light in the Dark (1922)
- Hollywood (1923) (*herself;cameo)
- The Gold Diggers (1923)
- Fifty-Fifty (1925)
- Byrd Kennedy aka Hope Hampton 1919 passport information
- The Opera Singer and the Silent Film by Paul Fryer, c.2005
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hope Hampton.|
- Hope Hampton at the Internet Movie Database
- Hope Hampton at the Internet Broadway Database
- Hope Hampton: Broadway Photographs(Univ. of South Carolina)