Cover image for Florence Lawrence, the Biograph girl : America's first movie star
Florence Lawrence, the Biograph girl : America's first movie star
Brown, Kelly R., 1967-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 216 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN2287.L28944 B76 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Florence Lawrence's film career began just as the cinema was being born. In 1908 she appeared in Romeo and Juliet, as America's very first screen Juliet. By 1909, she was working steadily for the Biograph studio - and was dubbed the Biograph girl. But just as Lawrence was the first movie star in the industry, she was also one of the first to be undone by it. Hindered by setbacks, gruelling work schedules, self-imposed retirements, three marriages, repeatedly unsuccessful comebacks, Lawrence committed suicide in 1938.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Weaving a lively and compelling story of an equally lively and compelling--but sidelined-- celebrity of the silent film era, Brown looks at the US's first movie star in the larger context of the early film industry and relates her to such other colorful personalities of the era as D. W. Griffith and Mary Pickford. The result is a splendidly seamless narrative, with interlacing personal and professional strands. Like silent-star biographers Eve Golden (Vamp: The Rise and Fall of Theda Bara, 1996) and Stuart Oderman (Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, CH, Dec'94), Brown eschews fan-magazine superficiality and ties the subject to both historical and critical resources, using such primary materials as Moving Picture World and Photoplay. His intelligent, charming, and multifaceted volume capably untangles the threads of fiction surrounding Lawrence's career (such as Carl Laemmle's impish 1910 publicity campaign, which catapulted her to celebrity status) and restores to this exceptional pioneer the recognition she deserves. Including a score of apt photographs and an extensive filmography, Brown's text is highly recommended as good scholarship and an enjoyable read. All collections. T. Lindvall Regent University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. xi
Prologuep. xiii
1 Child of Canadap. 1
2 Moving and Shakingp. 13
3 A New Familyp. 23
4 Laemmle's Impp. 39
5 St. Louisp. 47
6 Moving Onp. 59
7 Independencep. 73
8 Among the Rosesp. 85
9 Comeback Againp. 97
10 And Againp. 113
11 The Quiet Yearsp. 127
12 Her Last Partp. 139
13 Florence Who?p. 151
Filmographyp. 159
Notesp. 181
Bibliographyp. 199
Indexp. 203