Eleanor Boardman in 1924
August 19, 1898|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
December 12, 1991 (aged 93)|
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
(m. 1926; div. 1931)
Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast
(m. 1940; d. 1968)
Early life and career
Born in Philadelphia, Boardman was originally on stage; but after temporarily losing her voice in 1922, she entered silent films. There followed months of fruitless effort until one day Rupert Hughes saw her riding a horse and gave her a part in a film, and she quickly began to attract audiences. She was chosen by Goldwyn Pictures as their "New Face of 1922," through which she signed a contract with the company. After several successful supporting roles, she played the lead in Souls for Sale in 1923. That same year, Boardman's growing popularity was reflected by her inclusion on the list of WAMPAS Baby Stars.
She appeared in more than 30 films during her career, achieving her greatest success in director King Vidor's The Crowd (1928). Her performance in that film is widely recognized as one of the outstanding performances in American silent films. In 1932, after some success in sound films, she parted ways with MGM. Her final film was The Three Cornered Hat, which was made in Spain in 1935. After that production, she retired from acting and retreated from Hollywood. Her only subsequent appearance was in an interview filmed for Kevin Brownlow and David Gill's British documentary series Hollywood (1980).
Boardman was married to the film director King Vidor, with whom she had two daughters, Antonia (1927-2012) and Belinda (born 1930). Their marriage lasted from 1926 until 1931. Fellow actors John Gilbert and Greta Garbo had planned a double wedding with them, but Garbo broke off the plans at the last minute.
Boardman's second husband was Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast to whom she was married from 1940. She divided her time between the United States and their chateau in the Pyrenees Mountains. After her husband's death in 1968, she permanently relocated back to the United States, where she settled into Montecito, California, living in a house she designed herself.
Boardman died in her sleep at her Santa Barbara home on December 12, 1991, at the age of 93. Her ashes were scattered in Santa Barbara near her home.
|1922||The Strangers' Banquet||Jean McPherson|
|Vanity Fair||Amelia Sedley|
|Souls for Sale||Miss Remember Steddon|
|Three Wise Fools||Rena Fairchild / Sydney Fairfield|
|The Day of Faith||Jane Maynard|
|1924||True As Steel||Ethel Parry|
|Wine of Youth||Mary Hollister|
|Sinners in Silk||Penelope Stevens|
|The Turmoil||Mary Vertrees|
|The Silent Accuser||Barbara Jane|
|So This Is Marriage?||Beth Marsh|
|The Wife of the Centaur||Joan Converse|
|1925||The Way of a Girl||Rosamond|
|The Circle||Elizabeth Cheney|
|Exchange of Wives||Margaret Rathburn|
|The Only Thing||Thyra, Princess of Svendborg|
|The Auction Block||Lorelei Knight|
|Bardelys the Magnificent||Roxalanne de Lavedan|
|Tell It to the Marines||Nurse Norma Dale|
|1929||She Goes to War||Joan|
|1930||Mamba||Helen von Linden|
|1931||The Great Meadow||Diony Hall|
|The Flood||Joan Marshall|
|Women Love Once||Helen Fields|
|The Squaw Man||Lady Diana Kerhill|
|1935||The Three Cornered Hat||The Miller's Wife|
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