Julia Faye

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Julia Faye
Julia Faye.jpg
Julia Faye in Stars of the Photoplay (1924)
Born Julia Faye Maloney
(1892-09-24)September 24, 1892
Richmond, Virginia U.S.
Died April 6, 1966(1966-04-06) (aged 73)
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Cancer
Resting place Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Other names Julia Faye Covell
Julia Faye Wallick
Julia Faye Merrill
Alma mater Illinois State University
Occupation Actress
Years active 1915–1963
Spouse(s) Harold Leroy Wallick
(1913–?; widowed)
Walter Anthony Merrill
(1935–1936; divorced)
Partner(s) Cecil B. DeMille

Julia Faye (September 24, 1892[1] – April 6, 1966) was an American actress of silent and sound films.[2] She was "famed throughout Hollywood for her perfect legs" until her performance in Cecil B. DeMille's The Volga Boatman (1926) established her as "one of Hollywood's popular leading ladies."[3]

Early life[edit]

Faye was born Julia Faye Maloney[4] at her grandmother's home near Richmond, Virginia.[5] Her father was R.J. Maloney (born c. 1865), a fireman.[6] Her mother, Emma Louise Elliott (1872-1955),[7] was from New Castle, Indiana.[8] Her parents had married in 1890 in Newton, Harvey County, Kansas.[9] Faye's father died sometime before 1901,[10] when her widowed mother married Cyrus Demetrios Covell (1862-1941)[11] in Indiana.

She had lived in St. Louis, Missouri prior to coming to Hollywood in 1916, to visit friends. She visited one of the film studios and was introduced to Christy Cabanne. The two reminisced about St. Louis and discovered that they had lived next door to one another there. Cabanne persuaded Faye's reluctant mother to allow her to be in motion pictures.[12]

She appeared in more Cecil B. DeMille films than any other actress. She appeared in many of his silent ones and in every one of his films from 1939's Union Pacific on. She was DeMille's mistress off-screen for quite some time and DeMille kept her employed in bit parts long after her career (and their relationship) was over, including his most famous film, The Ten Commandments (1956).[citation needed]


Faye as Gloria Swanson's maid in DeMille's Male and Female (1919)

Faye's first role for Cecil B. DeMille was featured in The Woman God Forgot (1917).[13] She continued working for DeMille in The Whispering Chorus, Old Wives for New, The Squaw Man and Till I Come Back to You (all 1918).

In 1919, Faye played the stenographer in Stepping Out. Cast with Enid Bennett, Niles Welch, and Gertrude Claire, Faye was complimented by a critic for playing her role with "class".[14] In DeMille's Male and Female (1919), she played Gloria Swanson's maid.

Her next film, It Pays To Advertise (1919), is a Paramount Pictures release adapted by Elmer Harris from the play of the same name by Rol Cooper Megrue and Walter Hackett. It was directed by Donald Crisp. Faye is among the actors with Lois Wilson depicting the leading lady.[15]

Faye was listed as a member of the Paramount Stock Company School in July 1922. Its noteworthy personalities included Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Betty Compson, Wallace Reid, Bebe Daniels, and Pola Negri.[16]

Faye with Charles de Rochefort, Pat Moore, and Theodore Roberts in The Ten Commandments (1923)

In 1923, she played The Wife of Pharaoh, one of her most famous roles, in the prologue of DeMille's The Ten Commandments.

Faye joined Raymond Griffith and ZaSu Pitts in the screen feature Changing Husbands (1924), a Leatrice Joy comedy adapted from a magazine story entitled Roles.[17]

When DeMille resigned as director general of Famous Players-Lasky, in January 1925, he became the production head of Cinema Corporation of America. He planned to direct two or three films per year and supervise the making of between ten and twenty more. Faye came along with him as did Joy, Rod La Roque, Florence Vidor, Mary Astor, and Vera Reynolds.[18]

The Volga Boatman (1926) is directed by DeMille and named for the noted Russian song. William Boyd, Elinor Fair, and Faye have primary roles in a production DeMille called "his greatest achievement in picture making."[19] Faye's depiction of a "tiger woman" is esteemed as the most captivating of her career, to this point.[20] Before this role she had been known for "silken siren roles". Theodore Kosloff played opposite her as a stupid blacksmith.[21]

Faye played Martha in The King of Kings (1927). Christ, portrayed by H.B. Warner, is introduced with great majesty in the DeMille photodrama. A blind child searches for the Lord and the producer/director turns the camera gradually down to the child's eyes. The viewer sees Christ initially like the blind child whose sight is restored.[22] Faye traveled to New York City for personal appearances in association with The King of Kings and to address a sales convention in Chicago, Illinois.[23]

She won critical acclaim for her leading performance in the comedy Turkish Delight (1927), directed by Paul Sloane.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Faye married Harold Leroy Wallick on August 2, 1913, in Manhattan.[25] Wallick predeceased her, and she is listed as a widow in the 1930 census.[26]

She married actor, author, and scenarist[27] Walter Anthony Merrill on October 24, 1935, in Los Angeles.[28] In April 1936, Faye announced that she had obtained a Nevada divorce from Merrill.[27]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Julia Merrill - United States Social Security Death Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  2. ^ The Army of Ushers, New York Times, February 17, 1924, pg. X5.
  3. ^ Thomas, Dan (June 19, 1927). "Some Stars Break in Movies By Legs and Backs". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Julia Fay Malony - United States Census, 1900". FamilySearch. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Miss Julia Faye, Actress, In City But Companions Didn't Recognize Her. Guest At Club.". The Free Lance-Star. June 7, 1934. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ "An event long to be remembered in railroad circles was the marriage of Fireman R. J. Maloney to Miss Emma Elliott on Wednesday night, at the home of the groom's parents. The attendance of invited guests was large, the entertainment of the evening jovial, the supper splendid and the presents rare and costly. Both of the parties are well known nere, and have already commeneed house keeping on West Seventh street.". The Topeka Daily Capital. August 10, 1890. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Louise Elliott Covell - California Death Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Emma Louise Covell - United States Passport Applications". FamilySearch. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  9. ^ "R J Malony Or Maloney mentioned in the record of R J Malony Or Maloney and Lou E Or L E Elliott". FamilySearch. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Emma Maloney mentioned in the record of Cyrus Covel and Emma Maloney". FamilySearch. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Cyrus Demetrios Covell California - Death Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Beauty's Visit Here Starts Film Career", Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1926, p. C32
  13. ^ DeMille, Cecil B. (1959). The Autobiography of Cecil B. DeMille. Prentice Hall. p. 188. 
  14. ^ The Screen, September 22, 1919, New York Times, p. 8
  15. ^ Written On The Screen, New York Times, November 9, 1919, p. XX5
  16. ^ "Pictures Plays And People", New York Times, July 30, 1922, p. 81
  17. ^ Around the Movie World, May 11, 1924, p. X5
  18. ^ "DeMille Organizes A New Film Concern", New York Times, February 6, 1925, p. 14
  19. ^ "DeMille's 'Volga Boatman'", New York Times, April 12, 1926, p. X5
  20. ^ "[Faye] Plays Vivid Role In De Mille Opus", Los Angeles Times, May 12, 1926, p. A9
  21. ^ "Julia Faye Has Comedy Role in Volga Boatman", Los Angeles Times, May 14, 1926, p. A8
  22. ^ "Christ's Life Filmed", New York Times, November 21, 1926, pg. X7.
  23. ^ "De Mille, La Rocque Make Up", Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1927, p. A10.
  24. ^ Thomas, Dan (June 17, 1927). "Julia Faye's Willingness To Help Brings Her To Stardom". The Evening Independent. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Julia Faye Covell mentioned in the record of Harold Leroy Wallick and Julia Faye Covell". FamilySearch. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Julia Faye - United States Census, 1930". FamilySearch. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "Julia Faye Gets Divorce". The Milwaukee Journal. April 19, 1936. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Julia Covell Wallick mentioned in the record of Walter Anthony Merrill and Julia Covell Wallick". FamilySearch. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 

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