Florence Deshon photographed by Margrethe Mather
July 19, 1893
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
|Died||February 4, 1922
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Other names||Florence Deschon|
Born in Tacoma, Washington to Samuel Danks and Flora Caroline Spatzer, of English and Austrian descent, Deshon appeared in more than twenty movies beginning in 1915 with The Beloved Vagabond. Florence played in features for Vitagraph until 1921. Her final film credit was in the role of Sally McTurk in The Roof Tree, directed by John Francis Dillon. She came to New York City from Los Angeles, California with her mother in December 1921. Deshon hoped to continue her work in films there.
On February 4, 1922, Deshon was found unconscious on the third floor of her apartment building at 120 West Eleventh Street. A window was open in her bedroom but illuminating gas flowed from an opened jet. A newspaperwoman, Minnie Morris, found Deshon when she returned to the building. An ambulance took Deshon to St. Vincent's Hospital, but attempts to revive her were unsuccessful. She died the following afternoon. She was 28 years old. Deshon's apartment had been subleased from Doris Stevens, who was married to Dudley Field Malone. The couple were honeymooning in Europe at the time of the actress' death. Deshon was listed as being a resident of both Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Los Angeles.
The New York Medical Examiner concluded Deshon's death was accidental. However, rumors persisted among her circle of friends and acquaintances that she might have committed suicide. An unsubstantiated comment from a neighbour had it that she had recently argued with a person who came to her apartment. Deshon was romantically involved with actor Charlie Chaplin and writer Max Eastman. Having recently broken off their relationship, Eastman claimed that Deshon had no reason to kill herself and that her death was accidental but other mutual friends believed that she did indeed commit suicide. Eastman came across her on the street on the afternoon before her death when they spoke briefly before going their separate ways. That evening, Eastman heard that she had been rushed to hospital whilst he was watching a theatre performance. He went to St. Vincent's and gave blood but the attempt to revive Deshon was futile.
- The Beloved Vagabond (1915)
- The Judgement House (1917)
- The Auction Block (1917)
- Just a Woman (1918)
- Love Watches (1918)
- The Loves of Letty (1919)
- The Cup of Fury (1920)
- Deep Waters (1920)
- New York Times, "Actress Dies Of Poison Gas", February 5, 1922, p. 3
- New York Times, "Eastman Denies Rift With Miss Deshon", February 6, 1922, p. 3
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