Blanche Sweet (1895-1986)

Blanche Sweet - Silent Movie Star

Talented silent film actress Blanche Sweet was born Sarah Blanche Sweet in Chicago, Illinois, on June 18 1895, into a show business family. She was first carried onto the stage to perform at only eighteen months old. As a child she loved to dance, and her grandmother made sure she got lessons. She danced with the Gertrude Hoffman troupe and appeared with Chauncey Olcott on Broadway. Blanche began her film career with the pioneering Edison Studio in 1909 at the age of fourteen. She worked for several studios during her long silent film career, including American Biograph, where she was nicknamed “The Biograph Blonde” (in the days before the performers’ names were listed in credits), also Famous Players-Lasky, Reliance, Majestic, First National, and M-G-M, among others. Her leading roles in the Griffith Biographs were popular with the public, with melodramatic titles such as “The Miser’s Heart” (1911), “Home Sweet Home” (1914), and “The Avenging Conscience” (1914).

Blanche Sweet, Silent Movie Star - Lasky publicity photo, colorized by

In 1914 Blanche starred in the first American feature, “Judith of Bethulia”, directed by D.W. Griffith. She was originally cast to play the female lead in “The Birth of a Nation” (1915), but the role was given to Lillian Gish instead. Other successful films for Blanche were “That Girl Montana” (1921), a version of “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” (1923 – unfortunately a lost film), and “The Sporting Venus” (1925). Blanche married the gifted film director Marshall Neilan in 1922 and she worked under his direction for a number of films; they were divorced in 1933. In 1923 she starred in the first film version of “Anna Christie”, directed by John Griffith Wray and produced by Thomas H. Ince. It was later to be made into a silent and a talkie version starring Greta Garbo. Blanche made a few sound films, including “The Silver Horde” in 1930 with a young Joel McCrea, but her film career was essentially over. She remained active in show business, doing radio and stage work, including roles on Broadway. She married a second time, to actor Raymond Hackett, and was widowed in 1958. Near the end of her life silent film fans began seeking her out and giving her long overdue recognition for her work as a pioneering film actress. Blanche Sweet died from a stroke in New York City on September 6th, 1987. ~ Copyright © 2004

To download a vintage bio of Blanche Sweet from “The Blue Book Of The Screen” (1924) please click HERE (342 kb)

Blanche Sweet’s Silent Films

Woman in White, The (1929) …. Laura Fairlie/Anne
Singed (1927) …. Dolly Wall
Diplomacy (1926) …. Dora
Far Cry, The (1926) …. Claire Marsh
Bluebeard’s Seven Wives (1926) …. Juliet
Lady From Hell, The (1926) …. Lady Margaret Darnely
New Commandment, The (1925) …. Renee Darcourt
Why Women Love (1925) …. Molla Hansen
… aka Sea Woman (1925) (USA)
His Supreme Moment (1925) …. Carla King
Sporting Venus, The (1925) …. Lady Gwendolyn
Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1924) …. Tess D’Ubervilles
Those Who Dance (1924) …. Rose Carney
Anna Christie (1923) …. Anna Christie
In the Palace of the King (1923) …. Dolores Mendoza
Meanest Man in the World, The (1923) …. Jane Hudson
Souls for Sale (1923) …. Celebrity
Quincy Adams Sawyer (1922) …. Alice Pettengill
That Girl Montana (1921) …. Montana Rivers
Her Unwilling Husband (1920) …. Mavis

Blanche Sweet - Silent Film Star

Help Wanted – Male (1920) …. Leona Stafford
Girl in the Web, The (1920) …. Esther Maitland
Simple Souls (1920) …. Molly Shine
Deadlier Sex, The (1920) …. Mary Willard
Fighting Cressy (1920) …. Cressy
Woman of Pleasure, A (1919) …. Alice Dane
Hushed Hour, The (1919) …. Virginia Appleton Blodgett
Unpardonable Sin, The (1919) …. Alice Parcot/Dinny Parcot
Silent Partner, The (1917) …. Jane Colby
Tides of Barnegat, The (1917) …. Jane Cobden
Those Without Sin (1917) …. Melanie Landry
Evil Eye, The (1917) …. Dr. Katherine Torrance
Unprotected (1916) …. Barbara King
Storm, The (1916) …. Natalie Raydon
Public Opinion (1916) …. Hazel Gray
Dupe, The (1916/II) …. Ethel Hale
Thousand-Dollar Husband, The (1916) …. Olga Nelson
Sowers, The (1916) …. Karin Dolokhof
Blacklist, The (1916/I) …. Vera Maroff
Ragamuffin, The (1916) …. Jenny
Secret Sin, The (1915) …. Edith Martin/Grace Martin
Case of Becky, The (1915) …. Dorothy/Becky
Secret Orchard, The (1915) …. Diane
Clue, The (1915) …. Christine Lesley
Stolen Goods (1915) …. Margery Huntley
Captive, The (1915) …. Sonya Martinovich
Warrens of Virginia, The (1915) …. Agatha Warren
Ashes of the Past (1914)
For Those Unborn (1914)
Her Awakening (1914/I)
Little Country Mouse, The (1914)
Old Maid, The (1914)
… aka Dorothy in the Garret (1914)
Second Mrs. Roebuck, The (1914)
Sentimental Sister, The (1914)
Soul of Honor, The (1914)
Tear That Burned, The (1914)
Odalisque, The (1914) …. May, a Stock Girl
For Her Father’s Sins (1914)
Men and Women (1914) …. Agnes Rodman, Stephen’s Daughter
Avenging Conscience; Thou Shalt Not Kill, The (1914) …. His sweetheart
… aka Telltale Heart, The (1914) (USA: first title)
… aka Thou Shalt Not Kill (1914)
Escape, The (1914) …. May Joyce
Home, Sweet Home (1914) …. The Wife
Brute Force (1914) …. (unconfirmed)
… aka In Prehistoric Days (1914)
… aka Primitive Man, The (1914) (USA)
… aka Wars of the Primal Tribes (1914)
Battle at Elderbush Gulch, The (1914)
… aka Battle of Elderbush Gulch, The (1914)
Strongheart (1914) …. Dorothy Nelson, Frank’s Sister
Judith of Bethulia (1914) …. Judith
… aka Her Condoned Sin (1914) (USA)
Classmates (1914) …. Sylvia Randolph
House of Discord, The (1913)
Her Wedding Bell (1913) …. The Young Woman
Two Men of the Desert (1913) …. The Authoress
Vengeance of Galora, The (1913)
Coming of Angelo, The (1913) …. Teresa
Mistake, The (1913) …. The Young Woman
Death’s Marathon (1913) …. The Wife
If We Only Knew (1913) …. The Mother
Stolen Bride, The (1913) …. The Grower’s Daughter
Hero of Little Italy, The (1913) …. Maria
Near to Earth (1913)
Broken Ways (1913) …. The Road Agent’s Wife
Love in an Apartment Hotel (1913) …. The Young Woman
Massacre, The (1913) …. Stephen’s Ward
Chance Deception, A (1913) …. The Wife
Oil and Water (1913) …. Mlle. Genova
Pirate Gold (1913) …. The Daughter
Three Friends (1913) …. The Wife
God Within, The (1912) …. The Woman of the Camp
Sailor’s Heart, A (1912) …. The Wife
Painted Lady, The (1912) …. The Older Sister
Chief’s Blanket, The (1912) …. The Young Woman
Blind Love (1912) …. The Young Woman
Pueblo Romance, A (1912)
Change of Spirit, A (1912) …. The Young Woman
With the Enemy’s Help (1912) …. The Prospector’s Wife
Inner Circle, The (1912)
Man’s Lust for Gold (1912) …. The Prospector’s Daughter
Spirit Awakened, The (1912) …. The Young Woman
Temporary Truce, A (1912) …. Alice, the Prospector;s Wife
Outcast Among Outcasts, An (1912) …. The Young Woman
Lesser Evil, The (1912) …. The Young Woman
One Is Business, the Other Crime (1912) …. Rich Wife
Punishment, The (1912) …. The Fruit Grower’s Daughter
Goddess of Sagebrush Gulch, The (1912) …. The Goddess
String of Pearls, A (1912) …. The Second Woman
Under Burning Skies (1912) …. Emily
Sister’s Love, A (1912)
Transformation of Mike, The (1912) …. The Tenement Girl
For His Son (1912) …. The Son’s Fiancée
Old Bookkeeper, The (1912) …. The Old Bookkeeper’s Employer’s Wife
Eternal Mother, The (1912) …. Martha, the Wife
Winning an Heiress (1911)
Voice of the Child, The (1911) …. The Wife
Woman Scorned, A (1911)
Miser’s Heart, The (1911) …. Neighbor
Through Darkened Vales (1911) …. Grace
Battle, The (1911) …. The Boy’s Sweetheart
Love in the Hills (1911/I) …. The Girl
Long Road, The (1911) …. Edith
… aka Destiny’s Roadway with Its Many Turns (1911) (USA: subtitle)
Making of a Man, The (1911) …. Young Woman
Stuff Heroes Are Made Of, The (1911) …. Alice
Blind Princess and the Poet, The (1911) …. The Princess
… aka Biograph Fantasy in the Land of Flowers, A (1911) (USA: subtitle)
Out From the Shadow (1911) …. Mrs. Vane
Last Drop of Water, The (1911) …. Mary
Country Cupid, A (1911) …. Edith
Indian Brothers, The (1911) …. Indian
Fighting Blood (1911)
Primal Call, The (1911)
Enoch Arden: Part I (1911) …. On the Beach
Smile of a Child, The (1911) …. The Peasant Woman
White Rose of the Wilds, The (1911) …. White Rose
… aka Story of the West, A (1911) (USA: subtitle)
New Dress, The (1911) …. At Wedding/At Market
Country Lovers, The (1911)
How She Triumphed (1911) …. Mary
… aka Argument in Favor of Physical Culture, An (1911) (USA: subtitle)
Broken Cross, The (1911)
Priscilla and the Umbrella (1911) …. The Sister
Spanish Gypsy, The (1911)
Priscilla’s April Fool Joke (1911) …. On Lawn
Lonedale Operator, The (1911) (uncredited) …. Daughter of the Lonedale Operator
Was He a Coward? (1911) …. Kate, the Rancher’s Daughter
Decree of Destiny, A (1911)
Lily of the Tenements (1911)
His Daughter (1911)
Heart Beats of Long Ago (1911)
Two Paths, The (1911)
Love in Quarantine (1910)
Flash of Light, A (1910)
Kid, The (1910) (unconfirmed)
Romance of the Western Hills, A (1910)
All on Account of the Milk (1910) …. The Maid
Rocky Road, The (1910) …. The Daughter, at Eighteen
Choosing a Husband (1909) …. One of Gladys’ Friends
Day After, The (1909) …. The New Year
To Save Her Soul (1909) …. Backstage at Debut/At Party
In Little Italy (1909) …. At the Ball
Corner in Wheat, A (1909) …. Woman in White Hat/Visitor to the Grain Elevator
Man with Three Wives, A (1909)

To learn more about Blanche Sweet visit her profile on The Internet Movie Database

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