Marie Glory in L’argent, from Eureka Video
One of the very last silent film actresses pased away on 24 January. French actress Marie Glory (1905-2009) was born Raymonde Louise Marcelle Toully and took the name Arlette Genny when she first appeared on film in 1924, for a small part in Raymond Bernard’s classic Le miracle de loups. Her most notable silent work was in Marcel L’Herbier’s L’argent (1928), arguably one of the greatest – certainly one of the most expensive – of French silent films, where she had the lead female role, starring alongside Pierre Alcover and Brigitte Helm.
Thereafter she changed her name to Marie Glory, and made a successful transfer to sound films, in such titles as Leo Mittler’s Le Roi de Paris (1930) and E.A. Dupont’s Les Deux mondes (1930). Gradually she slipped from lead roles to midway down the cast, to small parts, but she did not make her last film until 1960, and last appeared on television as an actress in 1964. Silent film fans probably best recognise her from the interview she gave to Kevin Brownlow for his television series Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood in 1995.
There’s a handy short biography for her on the Alternative Film Guide.
And who is still with us among performers who appeared on silent films? Barbara Kent (appeared in Flesh and the Devil), Mickey Rooney (debut as ‘a midget’ in Not to be Trusted in 1926), Diana Serra Cary (Baby Peggy), Daisy D’Ora (Pandora’s Box), June Havoc (perhaps the last person left who appeared in a film before 1920 – her debut was in 1918, aged five), Carla Laemmle (The Phantom of the Opera), Virginia Davis (Disney’s Alice in Cartoonland), and a few more.