VIOLA DANA : PROLIFIC SILENT FILM ACTRESS : FACED SIGNIFICANT LOSS

POSTCARD 1   (SOLD)

POSTCARD 1 (CLOSE-UP) 

dana4POSTCARD 2

The pretty woman seen in this vintage real photo postcard is American silent film actress, Viola Dana (1897-1987). The photographer captured Miss Dana as she was about to eat something that looks a lot like dessert. Dana hailed from Brooklyn, New York. Her given name was Virginia Flugrath. I understand why she changed her name in the interest of her film career. She had two sisters, and they both became actresses. Their names were Shirley Mason and Edna Flugrath. Dana began performing on the stage at the ripe old age of three years-old. She continued to act in theater but between 1910 and 1912, she made appearances in four films. At age 16, she became an audience favorite in David Belasco’s “Poor Little Rich Girl”. Around this time, she began to perform in vaudeville with famed actor, Dustin Farnum. In the early part of her film career she became a star with Edison Studios. She fell in love with a studio director there, John Hancock Collins. She married him in 1915, at or around the age of eighteen. In 1916, Dana and Collins went to work for Rolfe Photoplays which released their films through Metro Pictures. Tragedy struck when Collins died from influenza during the 1918 flu pandemic. Dana continued acting for Metro through the 1920’s. Over time her popularity faded. Interestingly, one of her roles toward the end of her career, was in Frank Capra’s first film, “That Certain Thing” (1928). She retired in 1929, at about 32 years of age. She had appeared in over one hundred films. Dana, like many other film performers, was a casualty of the transition from silent films to sound films. Her voice was not compatible with the new medium. Dana had more than her share of tragedy in her personal life. After losing her first husband, she began a relationship with Ormer Locklear. He was an aviator and a burgeoning actor. He also was a married man. In 1920, while filming the movie, “The Skywayman”, Locklear was killed when his aircraft crashed. Dana witnessed the accident and did not fly again for 25 years. In 1925, she married Yale football star and actor Maurice “Lefty” Flynn. The marriage ended in divorce in 1929. Her third marriage was to Jimmy Thompson, a professional golfer. The marriage lasted fifteen years and ended in divorce in 1945. During her later years, she volunteered at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital. She became a resident there in 1979.

— Postcard 1 was published by Iris Verlag as part of a series (no 370). AMAG, another publishing house is also listed on the card. The bottom left corner of the image has the name “Metro Pictures”, which as stated earlier, was the company responsible for releasing a number of Dana, and her husband Collins, films.  (SOLD)                                                                                                                  –Postcard 2 was published by the Photo Card Co. of Los Angeles, California. This photo card was likely published in 1929. The AZO stamp box indicates that the postcard itself was made sometime between 1910 and 1930. Miss Dana’s beauty is evident in this image. She has lovely eyes. This vintage postcard’s edges are a bit wavy but the card is in good condition (see scans).

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3182

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$20.00

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #3182

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$28.50

POSTCARD 1

POSTCARD 2

STAGE AND SILENT FILM ACTRESS MABEL TRUNELLE IN FORT WAYNE, INDIANA

MABEL TRUNELLE_0004

This cabinet card features stage and film actress Mabel Trunnell (1879-1981). The reverse of the photograph is inscribed “Yours Truly, Mabel Trunnell 1898”. Therefore, this image captures Miss Trunnell at about age nineteen. Mabel Trunnell was born in Dwight, Illinois. She began her career as an actress of the stage but at age thirty-two she began to appear in films. In 1911 she appeared in “A Modern Cinderella, In the Days of Chivalry” and in “The Star Spangled Banner”. Her last film was in 1923 when she was in the movie “The Love Trap”. Her filmography on IMDb indicates that she acted in 199 different films. At the age of forty-four she returned to the stage. She was married to Herbert Prior, an early British film star. Trunnell was one of Hollywood’s first movie stars as was identified with Edison Studios. A magazine article in “The Moving Picture World” (1915) reviews one of her performance. The reviewer wrote “Mabel Trunnell becomes more attractive as the course of time silvers her hair”. An interesting sociological comment was also made by the reviewer which was in regard to the admirable strength portrayed by Trunnell’s character. The reviewer notes “most of us are tired of seeing women pictured as incurable weaklings”. The reviewer was certainly a man who was ahead of his time. This cabinet card was produced by the Barrows studio in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It appears that Miss Trunnell was photographed in a costume from one of her performances. She is dressed very much like a maid and seems a bit troubled in her pose. The photographer, Frank Rufus Barrows operated a studio in Fort Wayne between 1880 and 1900. He is considered one of the city’s most prolific photographers and had several locations while in business there. He was born in Sturgis, Michigan in 1854. He came to Fort Wayne in 1880 and partnered with Frank H. Clayton in operating a photographic studio. In about a years time he became the sole proprietor of the studio. He had many photos appear in Fort Wayne Illustrated (1897). He left Indiana for Medford, Massachusetts and operated a studio there until 1910 when he moved to Eugene, Oregon where he died in 1920.