JUNE CAPRICE : SILENT FILM STAR : FOX’S PICK TO COMPETE WITH MARY PICKFORD

June Caprice started life named Helen Elizabeth Lawson. She was born in 1895 in Arlington, Massachusetts. June was a silent film actress. She attended school in Boston. Her acting career began on the stage. In 1916, she signed with the Fox Film Corporation to make films. William Fox had been searching for an actress to compete with Mary Pickford. Caprice had won a Boston Mary Pickford look-a-like contest. When he discovered Caprice, he boldly predicted that she would become the best known female on the screen within the upcoming six months. A press release introducing her to film fandom, stated that she was seventeen years of age. In fact, she was about twenty years old at the time. Caprice made her screen debut in a move entitled “Caprice of the Mountains” (1916). A film critic, writing in the New York Times described her as “young, pretty, graceful, petite, with an eloquence of gesture that augurs a bright future in the movies”. Her first film provided her with her stage name, “June Caprice”. June became quite popular. She received a lot of attention from fan magazines and was one of Fox’s most profitable stars toward the end of the 1910’s. She made sixteen films while with Fox. Her director for half of the movies was Harry F. Millarde. The pair began a relationship and eventually married. Caprice also worked at one time for Pathe studios. She left the film industry to begin a family and in 1922 she gave birth to a daughter. Caprice’s career took a downturn after World War I. The sweet, pure and innocent look lost popularity and was replaced by the jazz age flapper look. She later returned to working on stage and modelling. In 1931, her husband died at the young age of 46. Five years later, Caprice had a fatal heart attack while in Los Angeles. At the time, she also was suffering with cancer. She was just 40 years old at the time of her death. Caprice’s daughter was only aged 14 when she was orphaned. She was raised by her grandparents on Long Island, New York. She became a “cover girl” and actress. She used the name Toni Seven. Her photo and brief biography can be found elsewhere in the Cabinet Card Gallery. Seven inherited three million dollars from her family. The IMDb credits June Caprice with 22 film appearances between 1916 and 1921. This vintage real photo postcard was published by Pictures Ltd which was located in London, England. It was published with the perimission of the Fox Film Co. The card is part of a series (no.12) labelled “Pictures” Portrait Gallery. This vintage postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

 

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BETTY BRONSON: BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS BEST KNOWN FOR PLAYING PETER PAN IN THE 1924 SILENT FILM

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POSTCARD 2   (SOLD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features American actress Betty Bronson (1906-1971).She began her career in silent films and later appeared in sound films and television. This postcard was published by Ross Verlag and is part of a series (1095/1). At the time when this postcard was released, Miss Bronson was working for Paramount Film. She appears to be quite young when she sat for this portrait. She moved to California as a teenager determined to start an film acting career. She landed a bit part at age 16 and a year later she was interviewed by the author of  Peter Pan (J M Barrie) and chosen to play the lead role in the film version which was released in 1924. Gaining this part was quite an accomplishment considering more seasoned actresses including Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford sought the role. She became became lifelong friends with two members of the Peter Pan cast (Mary Brian and Esther Ralson). Miss Bronson had major roles in the silent films Ben Hur (1925) and a Kiss for Cinderella (1925). Betty Bronson made a successful transition into talkies. She co-starred with Al Jolson in the sound film, The Singing Fool (1928). In 1933 she took about a four year break from actingto marry a wealthy North Carolinian named Ludwig Lauerhass. While she was filming Peter Pan, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. developed a crush on her. The IMDb reports that Bronson had 41 film and television appearances during her career (1922-1971). Included in her television career were roles in Run For Your Life and My Three Sons. Overall, it is reported that Betty Bronson never lived up to her original promise. She was expected to be a major competitor to Mary Pickford but it is thought that her roles after Peter Pan were not effective vehicles to showcase her talent and to help her rise to superstardom. The YouTube clip below shows Miss Bronson in her role as Peter Pan.                                                                                                             The second postcard offers another portrait of Betty Bronson. The postcard was published by Ross Verlag and has the logo of Paramount Pictures. This postcard shows her in a movie role but the movie title is unidentified.                                                                                                            The third postcard is a portrait of Miss Bronson that was published by Iris Verlag as part of a series (#504). Iris Verlag was the most important Austrian publisher of film star postcards. It operated from Vienna during the 1920’s and 1930’s. The film star looks quite beautiful and is wearing a fancy dress, long white gloves, and a tiara. Imbedded in the photo of the actress is a logo for “Fanamet Films”.  Fanamet was an Austrian film distribution company.

     Postcard 4 features a portrait of Betty Bronson published by Picturegoer as part of Series 88 (no.207b). The company was based in London. Picturegoer was a British fan magazine focussing on contemporary films and the actors and actresses who performed in them. Picturegoer also published postcards. In fact, they produced over 6500 different real photo postcards of 2000 actors and actresses.

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