Ruth Stonehouse

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Ruth Stonehouse
Ruth Stonehouse Stars of the Photoplay.jpg
Stonehouse in 1916
Born(1892-09-28)September 28, 1892
DiedMay 12, 1941(1941-05-12) (aged 48)
OccupationActress, film director
Years active1911–28
Spouse(s)Joseph Roach (1914–19??)
Felix Hughes (1927–41; her death)

Ruth Stonehouse (September 28, 1892 – May 12, 1941) was an actress and film director during the silent film era. Her stage career started at the age of eight as a dancer in Arizona shows.

Early life and career[edit]

Ruth Stonehouse was born to James Wesley Stonehouse (1869–1958) and Georgia C. Worster on September 28, 1892 in Denver, Colorado. Her father was the founder of Stonehouse Signs Inc.[1] According to the 1900 Census for Laurence Town, Teller County, Colorado, she lived with her father, James, a sign writer, and her grandmother, Eda Stonehouse, along with her sister, Hazel, who was a year younger. By 1910, she was living with her mother, Georgia Stonehouse, a stenographer, and her sister, Hazel, in Chicago, Illinois. Curiously, her mother lists herself as a widow on the 1910 Census, when James Stonehouse can be found residing in Arizona. Her parents were divorced around 1902. Before her film career, she was a reporter for a Chicago, Illinois newspaper, and contributed short stories to magazines.[citation needed]

Film career[edit]

Still from The Edge of the Law (1917) with Stonehouse in bed and (right) Lloyd Whitlock and Lydia Yeamans Titus.

Stonehouse worked for Triangle Film Corporation and Universal Pictures during a career which extended from 1911 until 1928. A few years prior in 1907, she was a founding member of Essanay Film Manufacturing Company. She also signed on to work on Cyrus J. Williams' productions.[2] Having experience here helped Stonehouse begin her directing career later on as she moved to different stations.[3] Her androgynous appearance was most apparent in the role of Nancy Glenn and in the 1917 motion picture, The Edge of the Law. She performed in comedies and dramas such as the patriotic film Doing Her Bit (1917), which was directed by Jack Conway.[citation needed]

In 1917, Stonehouse directed the films Daredevil Dan, A Walloping Time, The Winning Pair, A Limb of Satan, Puppy Love,[3] and Tacky Sue's Romance. These movies were one-reel orphan asylum pictures, the first of which was entitled Mary Ann.

Personal life[edit]

Stonehouse owned a cabin in Santa Anita Canyon in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Here she entertained men and women of prominence in the film world, cooking culinary masterpieces which her friends deemed superior to most chefs. Stonehouse was a fan of the Owen Magnetic Auto and promoted it in newspapers. Stonehouse was an avid gardener who grew fibrous-rooted begonias, pleromas, fuchsias, cinerias, and hyacinths. Her home, located at 204 North Rossmore Avenue in Los Angeles, California, was an adaptation of a Spanish design that was situated well to the front of a large lot. She was an active worker in the Children's Home Society for twenty-five years and also a member of the Garden Club of California.

Death[edit]

Stonehouse died in Hollywood, California of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 12, 1941, at the age of 48. She was listed as Mrs. Felix Hughes in her obituary. Her funeral services were conducted from Wee Kirk o' the Heather. She was interred in a mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Selected filmography[edit]

Francis X. Bushman and Stonehouse in the Essanay production Ashes of Hope (1914)
Ad for the 1920 film The Hope starring Jack Mulhall, Stonehouse, Frank Elliot, and Marguerite De La Motte; directed by Herbert Blache

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Scenes deleted
  2. ^ Survives at Library of Congress; available from Grapevine Video
  3. ^ Survives at Library of Congress; either a short or a feature; EmGee Film Library
  4. ^ Trailer only survives Library of Congress
  5. ^ Survives incomplete Library of Congress
  6. ^ Survives per silentera.com
Citations
  1. ^ "Stonehouse Signs – Industrial Safety Signs and Safety Tags Since 1863". stonehousesigns.com.
  2. ^ "Gowns to Mark New Film of MacDonald". Los Angeles Herald. June 8, 1921 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  3. ^ a b "Ruth Stonehouse". Women Film Pioneers Project. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
Further reading
  • "News Notes from Movieland". Janesville Daily Gazette. October 13, 1916. p. 6.
  • "Millionaires Write Checks For Three 'Gearless' Autos". Los Angeles Times. April 29, 1917. p. V112.
  • "Quite Some Chef Is Ruth Stonehouse". Los Angeles Times. September 30, 1917. p. III16.
  • "Do You Know This Boy?". Los Angeles Times. October 2, 1917. p. II3.
  • "Film Fame Is Replaced by the Joy of Gardening". Los Angeles Times. December 20, 1931. p. C8.
  • "Mrs. Felix Hughes". Los Angeles Times. May 14, 1941. p. 18.
  • 1900 United States Federal Census, Precinct 39, Teller, Colorado; Roll T623_130; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 136.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ruth Stonehouse at Wikimedia Commons