Friday, November 3, 2017

Born Today November 3: Evelyn Greeley


Evelyn Greeley's death certificate states that she was born Evelyn Huber somewhere in Austria, probably on the 3rd of November.  She has been wrongly called the granddaughter of newspaper man Horace Greeley, and she was not born in Lexington, Kentucky.  She was a big star of silent film with her peak year being 1918; at the time anti-Germanic sentiment was high, and with no need to hear her voice, the studio system decided to disguise her background, and did so with little trouble.  The result of this is that her early life is a bit of a mystery. What is known for sure, is that she started her acting career on the stage, touring with Sylvester Z. Poli's "Poli Players." It was not long before she was working in pictures in small parts for Essanay.  She most likely worked in several of their films, but the only early credit that she has for her time with them is the comedy The Fable of One Samaritan Who Got Paralysis of the Helping Hand in 1914; which appears as her first film credit.  She bounced around from production to production until coming under contract at Peerless (owned by World Film) in 1917.  She appeared in The Social Leper for them, along with Carlyle Blackwell, June Elvidge and Muriel Ostriche.  This would be the first of several film for World/Peerless that she would star in opposite Blackwell.  Under this studio contract, she would become a star; actually one of the bigger movie stars of her day. She was more popular for a time than other actors and actresses that have gone on to be much better remembered today.  When her contract with World was up in 1920, she then became a free floating name, making films at a number of different film production studios including Fox.  Her contract ending with World would also spell the beginning of the end of her career.  She would make just 4 more films after 1919, with the last being an early Bulldog Drummond film in 1922 made in London: Bulldog Drummond directed by Oscar Apfel.  She then retired to become a married homemaker, which she managed to do through 3 marriages.  She passed away in retirement in West Palm Beach, Florida on 25 March at the age of 86.  Her burial details are unknown.

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