Constance Adams DeMille

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Constance Adams DeMille
Born Constance Adams
(1874-04-27)April 27, 1874
East Orange, New Jersey
Died July 17, 1960(1960-07-17) (aged 86)
Los Angeles, California
Cause of death Pneumonia
Occupation Actress
Spouse(s) Cecil B. DeMille
(1902–1959; his death)

Constance Adams DeMille (April 27, 1873 – July 17, 1960) was an American actress and wife of filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille.

Early life[edit]

Constance was born the daughter of Judge Fredrick Adams,[1] New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals, and Ella Adams, Frederic’s first wife. Constance was raised in East Orange, NJ with her siblings John King Adams (b. January 23, 1878 Physician), Ellis Adams (b. March 4, 1880 Real Estate Broker), Rebecca Appleton Adams (b. October 21, 1881 Librarian and Occupational Therapist), Frederick Atherton Adams (b. December 11, 1889 Bond Broker with International Trust Company of Denver and Founder of the Young America League 1927 in Denver). Judge Frederic Adams married a second time to a woman also named Ella. Therefore, both women in Constance’s life were named Ella, her mother and her stepmother (who was also her cousin), Ella King Adams. Daughter Nancy Adams (b. Dec 17, 1905) of Judge Frederic Adams and his second wife Ella King Adams, was her half sister.


After graduating from school, Constance headed for the stage. She appeared briefly in Hearts are Trumps in Washington, DC and on Broadway, starring in the play, The Man on the Box, from October 1905 to January 1906. She appeared in only one film, playing the part of 'Mrs. Rowland' in Where the Trail Divides(1914). In 1920 while still associated with Famous Players-Lasky, her husband formed his own new company Cecil B. DeMille Productions with his lawyer, Constance and his sister in law Ella King Adams who also worked as his script reader.

Personal life[edit]

While performing, she met and later married Cecil Blount DeMille. Their wedding took place at noon, on August 16, 1902, at her parents home 77 Washington Street, East Orange, New Jersey. The bride's sister Rebecca Appleton Adams was her Maid of Honor. Cecil's brother William C. DeMille, was his Best Man. The residence (later replaced by a 1925-built home at the same 77 Washington Street address) was decorated with flowers and palms. Following a reception there, the DeMilles went on honeymoon, before latter setting up a residence in New York City. The DeMilles first met in Washington, D.C. where she had joined the company of the play Hearts are Trumps. For Cecil this play marked his first appearance on stage and it had played for many months in NY before it went on the road. Her father was not enthusiastic about the match for his daughter, hence a small wedding at home. Their marriage lasted 56 years, until Cecil’s death. They had one daughter by birth, Cecilia, and adopted Katherine, John and Richard. Richard DeMille was raised as their adopted son but was in fact the son of Cecil's brother William and Lorna Moon. Constance outlived her husband by a year and a half, dying in the summer of 1960. She is buried in Hollywood and is remembered by a memorial banyan tree she planted in 1933 along Hilo, Hawaii's Banyan Drive.