The New York Public Library Digital Gallery
|Born||George Gaston Bell
September 27, 1877
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
|Died||December 13, 1963
Woodstock, New York, U.S.A.
|Occupation||Stage and screen actor|
(divorced c. 1919)
George Gaston Bell (September 27, 1877 – December 13, 1963) was an American stage and film actor active over the early decades of the twentieth century.
Early life and career
Bell was born in 1877 at Boston, Massachusetts to George and Elizabeth Bell. His acting career began in 1902 as a member of Charles Frohman’s theatrical organization shortly after his graduation from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. In 1903 Bell toured in Hall Caine’s The Christian as Horatio Drake with a troop headed by Lionel Adams and Bianca West. The following year he supported Harry Beresford in Charles T. Vincent’s Our New Man, and in the spring of 1905 he replaced William Courtenay as Little Billee in Trilby at New York’s New Amsterdam Theatre. The next season Bell played one of the three suitors in Clara Lipman’s Julie Bonbon. and on New Year’s Eve, 1906 he began a long run on Broadway and on the road playing Horace Pettingill in Brewster's Millions. In 1910 Bell toured with the Columbia Stock Company performing in such plays as Clyde Fitche’s Girls as the misanthrope Frank Loot, and the supporting role Bryce Forrester in Caught in the Rain by William Collier, Sr. and Grant Stewart. Bell’s last known Broadway performance was in the comedy Seven Sisters which ran for 32 performances at the Lyceum Theatre in February and March 1911 before embarking on its road tour.
Film career and later life
Bell entered film around 1912 with the Majestic Motion Picture Company, appearing that year in at least two short films, Opportunity and A Warrior Bold. The following year Bell made several short films for Kinemacolor Film Company before joining the Lubin Manufacturing Company to play in films written by playwright Charles Klein. In 1915 he played John Froment II opposite Theda Bara in the William Fox silent film, Destruction. His last known motion picture was the 1919 film, The Heart of a Gypsy by Charles Miller Productions. By late 1918 Bell was back on the road touring in The Naughty Wife by Fred Jackson and the next year with the Max Marcin comedy, Cheating Cheaters. Around this time his ten-year marriage to Adelaide (née Cronley) Bell ended in a Reno, Nevada courtroom. Bell later retired to Woodstock, New York to manage an inn, write plays and serve as the first director of the Woodstock Community Players. He died there in December 1963, aged 86.
References and Notes
- George Gaston Bell - September 27, 1877 – World War I Draft Registration; Ancestry.com
- Vazzana, Eugene Michael; Silent Film Necrology; 2001; pg. 39; Gaston Bell - September 27, 1877; Boston
- Briscoe, Johnson - The Actor’s Birthday Book; 1907; pg. 212 accessed August 21, 2012
- Julia Bonbon, – Internet Broadway Database accessed August 21, 2012
- Brewster’s Millions – Internet Broadway Database accessed August 22, 2012
- Girls – Internet Broadway Database accessed August 22, 2012
- At Washington's Theaters - The Washington Times (Washington, District of Columbia) May 10, 1910; Page 9
- At the Theaters - Washington Post (Washington, District Of Columbia) Sunday, June 19, 1910: pg. 55
- Seven Sisters - Internet Broadway Database accessed August 21, 2012
- Browne, Walter E., Koch, De Roy - Who’s Who on the Stage; 1908; pg. 34 accessed August 21, 2012
- Gaston Bell Joins Lubin - The Moving Picture World; Vol. 18; Issues 8-13; 1913; Pg. 1545 accessed August 23, 20112
- Gaston Bell; Internet Movie Database accessed August 23, 2012
- Advertisement (The Naughty Wife ) - Middletown Times Press (Middletown, New York); Monday, December 23, 1918; pg. 6j
- New York Drama Coming to Spencer - Spencer Reporter (Spencer, Iowa); Wednesday, November 19, 1919; pg. 5
- 1910 US Census George G. and Adelaide Bell; Manhattan; Ancestry.com
- No Heading - Reno Evening Gazette; December 17, 1918; pg. 4
- Community Players Formed at Woodstock - Kingston Daily Freeman (Kingston, New York) Wednesday, November 06, 1935; pg. 7
- Gaston Bell is Writing Plays -Kingston Daily Freeman (Kingston, New York); Thursday, June 20, 1940; pg. 5
- Retired Actor Dies – Press Telegram (Long Beach, California); December 15, 1963; pg. C7; Ancestry.com