Thursday, September 28, 2017

Born Today September 28: Alice Hollister


Alice Hollister, exclusively a silent film actress, was born in Worcester, MA on this day.  Hollister is her married name; as of now her maiden is unknown, but it is thought that she was the daughter of French-Canadian parents.  She got her last name from marrying, at the age of seventeen, George K. Hollister, who would become an important early cinematographer at Kalem.  Studios back then, like wealthy individuals, would send crews south for the winter.  The Hollister's relocated there seasonally with their two young children.  It was during the "over winter" in Florida of 1911 that Alice would appear in her first film: By A Woman's Wit, directed by Sidney Olcott.  Also appearing in many of the "warmer climes" films were the Hollister's two children: George Jr. and Doris.  Most of the films that she appeared in before 1916 were studio shorts.  An exception would be From The Manger to the Cross, or, Jesus of Nazareth (1912), which would be her first full length film (also directed by Olcott),  and was shot entirely on location in the Middle East--not least of which was in Bethlehem. In 1913, she got the chance to play the Vamp role--unusual for a married actress (but then again here husband was the cinematographer....)--in The Vampire; the film featured choreography and trained dancers to perform "The Vampire Dance" (somewhere, buried in the film is supposedly an uncredited appearance by Robert Vignola, the director of the film). [She would appear in the type one more time in The Vampire's Trail in 1914.]  By 1916, her career began to slow.  From this time forward, she would only appear in a couple of films a year, with 1924 and 1925 accounting for only one film in each year.  Her last film appearance came in The Dancers (1925), a Fox production.  She then retired to family life.  Her husband died in 1952, but she lived until the age of 83.  She passed away on the 24th of February in 1973 in Costa Mesa, California.  She is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.  

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