Anita Stewart

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Anita Stewart
Anitastewart.jpg
Anita Stewart in the late 1910s
Born Anna May Stewart
(1895-02-07)February 7, 1895
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died May 4, 1961(1961-05-04) (aged 66)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart attack
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
Education Erasmus Hall High School
Occupation Actress, film producer
Years active 1911–1932
Spouse(s) Rudolph Cameron (m. 1917; div. 1928)
George Peabody Converse (m. 1929; d. 1946)

Anita Stewart (February 7, 1895 – May 4, 1961) was an American actress and film producer of the early silent film era.[1]

Early years[edit]

Stewart was born in Brooklyn, New York as Anna May Stewart[citation needed][note 1][2] on February 7, 1895. Her two siblings, George and Lucille Lee, also acted in films.[2]

Career[edit]

Stewart began her acting career in 1911 while still attending Erasmus Hall High School[3] in extra and bit parts for the Vitagraph film studios at their New York City location.

Stewart was one of the earliest film actresses to achieve public recognition in the nascent medium of motion pictures and achieved a great deal of acclaim early in her acting career. Among her earlier popular roles were 1911's enormous box office hit adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities, directed by William J.Humphrey, and having an all-star cast including Maurice Costello, Florence Turner, Norma Talmadge and John Bunny, as well as roles in 1913's The Forgotten Latchkey and The White Feather.

Marriage to Cameron[edit]

In 1917, she married Rudolph Cameron and became the sister-in-law of film director and actor Ralph Ince, who began giving the young actress more prominent roles in films for Vitagraph. Throughout the 1910s and into the early 1920s, Anita Stewart was one of the silent screen's most popular actresses and was often paired in romantic roles with real-life husband, actor Rudolph Cameron. Stewart was also featured opposite such screen legends as Mae Busch and Barbara La Marr.

Joins Mayer[edit]

Stewart left her lucrative Vitagraph Studios career in 1918 to accept a contract with fledgling film mogul Louis B. Mayer by the terms of which she would head her own production company at the Mayer studios in Los Angeles.[4] It was alleged that Stewart was recovering from an illness in a Los Angeles hospital when Mayer convinced her to leave Vitagraph for an undisclosed but exorbitant sum of money.[citation needed] Between 1918 and 1919 Stewart produced seven moderately successful vehicles, starring in all of them. Throughout the 1920s, Stewart continue to be featured in prominent roles in silent films.

Marriage to Peabody[edit]

Following Stewart's divorce from Cameron in 1928, Stewart married George Peabody Converse the following year.[5] Like many of her silent film contemporaries, Stewart found the transition to sound film extremely difficult. After making just one musical short in 1932, The Hollywood Handicap, Stewart retired from the screen.

Writing[edit]

Stewart authored the murder mystery novel The Devil's Toy, which was published in New York in 1935 by E. P. Dutton. Though the book's dust jacket traded on the author's Hollywood connection, the plot concerned the killing of a stage actor and was set in San Francisco.[6]

Death[edit]

On May 4, 1961, Stewart died of a heart attack in Beverly Hills, California.[1]

Recognition[edit]

For her contribution to motion picture industry as an actress, Anita Stewart was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6724 Hollywood Boulevard.[7]

Selected filmography[edit]

The Combat (1916)
Year Title Role Notes
1911 Prejudice of Pierre Marie Credited as Anna Stewart
1912 Her Choice May - The Vain Niece
1912 Billy's Pipe Dream Pert Dawson
1913 The Swan Girl The Swan Girl
1914 The Girl from Prosperity Bessie Williams
1914 A Million Bid Agnes Belgradin
1915 The Awakening Jo
1916 My Lady's Slipper Countess Gabrielle de Villars
1916 The Suspect Sophie Karrenina
1916 The Daring of Diana Diana
1916 The Combat Muriel Fleming
1917 The Glory of Yolanda Yolanda
1917 Clover's Rebellion Clover Dean
1918 Virtuous Wives Amy Forrester
1919 The Painted World Yvette Murree
1919 Human Desire Bernice
1919 In Old Kentucky Madge Brierly
1920 The Fighting Shepherdess Kate Prentice Alternative title: Vindication
Producer
1921 Playthings of Destiny Julie Arnold Producer
1922 Rose o' the Sea Rose Elton Producer
1923 The Love Piker Hope Warner
1923 Mary of the Movies herself
1924 The Great White Way Mabel Vandegrift
1925 Never the Twain Shall Meet Tamea
1926 The Prince of Pilsen Nellie Wagner
1927 Wild Geese Lind Archer
1928 Sisters of Eve Beatrice Franklin

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Stewart's biography on the Women Film Pioneers Project website gives her birth name as Anna Marie Stewart.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Anita Stewart, Silent-Film Star. Actress, 65, Dies on Coast. Won Fame in 'Goddess'". New York Times. May 5, 1961. Retrieved 2014-01-11. Anita Stewart, a former star Of silent films, died today. She was 65 years old. Her sister, Lucille Stewart, found the one-time actress unconscious in a bedroom ... 
  2. ^ a b Neely, Hugh. "Profile: Anita Stewart". Women Film Pioneers Project at Columbia University. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2017. 
  3. ^ Eyman, Scott (2008). Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781439107911. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  4. ^ Albers, Patricia (1999). Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti. University of California Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN 9780520235144. Retrieved 30 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Anita Stewart Weds George P. Converse. Marriage of Film Actress and New York Banker Recorded in Sound and on Film". New York Times. July 25, 1929. Retrieved 2014-01-11. Anita Stewart, film actress, and George Peabody Converse, New York banker, were married at noon today in the patio of the Chateau Elysee Apartments on Franklin Avenue. ... 
  6. ^ https://www.yesterdaysgallery.com/pages/books/9866/anita-stewart/the-devils-toy
  7. ^ "Anita Stewart". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2017. 

External links[edit]