Margery Wilson

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Two screen shots of Margery Wilson from D.W. Griffith's 1916 film Intolerance.

Margery Wilson (October 31, 1896 – January 21, 1986), was an American actress and silent movie director. She appeared in 51 films between 1914 and 1939.

Wilson was born in Gracey, Kentucky and died in Arcadia, California.

Filmography[edit]

Life in the Film Industry

In 1914, Margery Wilson traveled to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood. Wilson finished her work as a film director by her late twenties. Her career as a film writer, director, and producer was short lasting from 1920-1923. Those three years did not include the few that she toured with her films. She was in a very wide range of motion picture films, but is best known for her portrayal of Brown Eyes, who was a character in a D.W. Griffith film called Intolerance. She also had three dozen roles in which many she starred in.[1]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Margery Wilson was born Sara Barker Strayer in Gracey, Kentucky. Going by the Twelfth Census of the U.S. of the 1900, she was Sarah B. Strayer in Tennessee. She received higher education in both Philosophy and Literature while also pursuing social service work. Starting out, Wilson gave public performances in Cincinnati at clubs, schools, and churches. Later, she was able to tour from Ohio to Atlanta with the John Lawrence players as the leading lady. By the age of sixteen, she founded her own theater company. She and her sister left for London on a world tour as musical entertainers. In 1914, Wilson traveled to Los Angeles and launched her Hollywood career.[2]

Later in Life[edit]

Wilson was married more than once with two children. Both of her children died before she did. She lived in homes on both coasts. She left the film production business to take care of her children after marrying Otto Meeks.[3] Otto Meeks was the owner of a ranching empire. Although she was no longer in film production, she stayed connected to the business by contributing to pamphlets about famous people. Because of her Hollywood connections, she was able to write 50 of the pamphlets. Wilson died January 21. She lived in Arcadia at this time and was believed to be in her early nineties.[4]

Professional Achievements[edit]

In a 1982 interview, Wilson had clearly stated that she did not wish to be called a feminist; however, many who analyzed her work have seen her as such. Wilson was one of the few woman filmmakers to overcome the struggles and obstacles she faced in the industry with her projects. She wrote guidance books that coached husbands on how to protect and treat their wives. In 1951, her book How to Make The Most of Wife was published. These books could also be considered inspirational non-fiction. After leaving the film industry, Wilson began writing radio scripts for her own charm program in Los Angeles. Her autobiography, I Found My Way, was published in 1956.[5] Wilson authored several inspirational, self-help books for women, including Charm and The Woman You Want To Be.

After her career as a filmmaker, she was a successful speech coach for actors and gave public lectures both on the radio and in person.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Margery Wilson". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  2. ^ https://wfpp.cdrs.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-margery-wilson/
  3. ^ https://wfpp.cdrs.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-margery-wilson/
  4. ^ "Margery Wilson". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 13 November 2015. 
  5. ^ https://wfpp.cdrs.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-margery-wilson/

External links[edit]