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|Born||Olga Edna Purviance
October 21, 1895
Paradise Valley, Nevada, United States
|Died||January 11, 1958
Hollywood, California, United States
|Cause of death||Throat cancer|
|Resting place||Grand View Memorial Park Cemetery|
|Spouse(s)||John P. Squire (m. 1938; d. 1945)|
Edna Purviance (/ /; October 21, 1895 – January 11, 1958) was an American actress during the silent movie era. She was the leading lady in many of Charlie Chaplin's early films and in a span of eight years, she appeared in over 30 films with him.
Olga Edna Purviance was born in Paradise Valley, Nevada, to English immigrant Louisa Wright Davey and American vintner to the western mining camps Madison (Matt) Gates Purviance. When she was three, the family moved to Lovelock, Nevada, where they assumed ownership of a hotel. Her parents divorced in 1902, and her mother later married Robert Nurnberger, a German plumber. Growing up, Purviance was a talented pianist.
She left Lovelock in 1913, and moved in with her married sister Bessie while attending business college in San Francisco.
In 1915, Purviance was working as a secretary in San Francisco when actor and director Charlie Chaplin was working on his second film with Essanay Studios, working out of Niles, California, 45 km southeast of San Francisco, in Southern Alameda County. He was looking for a leading lady for A Night Out. One of his associates noticed Purviance at a Tate's Café in San Francisco and thought she should be cast in the role. Chaplin arranged a meeting with her and, although he was concerned that she might be too serious for comedic roles, she won the job.
Chaplin and Purviance were romantically involved during the making of his Essanay, Mutual, and First National films of 1915 to 1917. Purviance appeared in 33 of Chaplin's productions, including the 1921 classic The Kid. Her last film with him, A Woman of Paris, was also her first lead role. The film was not a success and effectively ended Purviance's career. She went on to appear in two more films: The Sea Gull, also known as A Woman of the Sea (which Chaplin never released) and Éducation de Prince, a French film released in 1927, just before she retired from acting. She has been credited as an extra in Chaplin's final two American movies, Monsieur Verdoux and Limelight. Chaplin kept her on his payroll until her death in 1958.
Although she was romantically involved with Charlie Chaplin for several years, Purviance eventually married John Squire, a Pan-American Airlines pilot, in 1938. They remained married until his death in 1945.
On January 11, 1958, Purviance died from throat cancer at the Motion Picture Country Hospital in Hollywood. Her remains are interred at Grand View Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
In popular culture
|1915||A Night Out||The Headwaiter's Wife|
|1915||The Champion||Trainer's Daughter|
|1915||In the Park||Nursemaid|
|1915||A Jitney Elopement||Edna|
|1915||The Tramp||Farmer's Daughter|
|1915||By the Sea||Man in Top Hat's Sweetheart|
|1915||A Woman||Daughter of the House|
|1915||The Bank||Edna, a Secretary|
|1915||Shanghaied||Daughter of the Shipowner|
|1915||A Night in the Show||Lady in the Stalls with Beads|
|1915||Burlesque on Carmen||Carmen|
|1916||The Floorwalker||Manager's secretary|
|1916||Police!||Daughter of the House|
|1916||The Vagabond||Girl Stolen by Gypsies|
|1916||The Count||Miss Moneybags|
|1916||Behind the Screen||The Girl|
|1916||The Rink||The Girl|
|1917||Easy Street||The Mission Worker|
|1917||The Cure||The Girl|
|1917||The Adventurer||The Girl|
|1918||A Dog's Life||Bar Singer|
|1918||Shoulder Arms||French Girl|
|1918||The Bond||Charlie's Wife|
|1919||A Day's Pleasure||Mother|
|1921||The Idle Class||Neglected Wife|
|1922||Pay Day||Foreman's Daughter|
|1923||The Pilgrim||Miss Brown|
|1923||A Woman of Paris||Marie St. Clair|
|1926||A Woman of the Sea||Joan||Unreleased film
|1927||Education de Prince|
|1947||Monsieur Verdoux||Garden Party Guest||Uncredited|
- Toll, David W. (2002). The Complete Nevada Traveler: The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guidebook to the Most Interesting State in America. University of Nevada Press. p. 12. ISBN 0-940-93612-7.
- Monush, Barry, ed. (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the silent era to 1965, Volume 1. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 612. ISBN 1-557-83551-9.
- This is not the way Purviance met Chaplin, according to Gerith von Ulm’s Charlie Chaplin – King of Tragedy, pp. 90-91.
- Toll 2002 p.13
- "Edna Purviance". The Montreal Gazette. January 16, 1958. p. 35. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland & Company Incorporated Pub. p. 104. ISBN 0-786-40983-5.
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