Clara Kimball Young (1890-1960)

One of the first real stars of the silent screen era, Clara Kimball Young was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 6th, 1890 to a stage acting couple, Mr. Edward Kimball, and his wife Pauline Maddern. Clara first appeared on the stage at the age of three with her parents, and went on tour with them around the country doing vaudeville shows. She attended St. Xavier’s Academy and excelled at music, the arts, and theater. Both Clara and her parents found acting work in the fledgling film industry in the 1910’s, chiefly with the old Vitagraph Studio, Select, Peerless and World Film Corporations.

The Eyes of Youth sheet music, with Clara Kimball Young on the cover

Clara Kimball Young’s film “Eyes of Youth” (1919)
was so popular that Irving Berlin even wrote a song
for the film in dedication to Clara

Clara started doing short films and then graduated to features. In 1916 Clara was experienced and rich enough to start her own production company, the Clara Kimball Young Film Company, at Edendale, a suburb of Los Angeles. She made her own films there, with herself in the starring roles, such as the successful “Eyes of Youth” (1919 – surviving). Clara bridged the sound era very well, playing character roles through the 1930’s and into the early 1940’s. After this she basically retired from the acting profession.

Clara was married three times, the last marriage lasted until her husband’s death in 1937. She had no children. Clara died of a stroke in Woodland Hills, California, on October 15th, 1960. Not too many of Clara’s silent films survive, but the ones that do show an interesting and complex actress, a woman who definitely possessed her own unique and special aura on the screen.

~ Copyright © 2004

Clara Kimball Young’s Silent Films

Lying Wives (1925) …. Patricia Chase
Wife’s Romance, A (1923) …. Joyce Addisonn
… aka Old Madrid (1923) (USA: informal alternative title)
Cordelia the Magnificent (1923) …. Cordelia Marlowe
Woman of Bronze, The (1923) …. Vivian Hunt
Enter Madame (1922) …. Prima Donna Lisa Della Robia
Hands of Nara, The (1922) …. Nara Alexieff
Worldly Madonna, The (1922) …. Lucy Trevor, dancer/Janet Trevor, nun
What No Man Knows (1921) …. Norma Harvey
Charge It (1921) …. Julia Lawrence
Straight From Paris (1921) …. Lucette Grenier
Hush (1921) …. Vera Stanford
Mid-Channel (1920) …. Zoe Blundell
For the Soul of Rafael (1920) …. Marta Raquel Estevan
Forbidden Woman, The (1920) …. Diane Sorel
Soldiers of Fortune (1919) (uncredited)
Eyes of Youth (1919) …. Gina Ashling

Better Wife, The (1919) …. Charmian Page
Cheating Cheaters (1919) …. Ruth Brockton
Road Through the Dark, The (1918) …. Gabrielle Jardee
Savage Woman, The (1918) …. Renee Benoit
Claw, The (1918) …. Mary Saurin
Reason Why, The (1918) …. Zara Zenova
House of Glass, The (1918) …. Margaret Case
Marionettes, The (1918) …. Fernande de Monclars
Shirley Kaye (1917) …. Shirley Kaye
Magda (1917) …. Magda
Easiest Way, The (1917) …. Laura Murdock
Price She Paid, The (1917) …. Mildred Gower
Rise of Susan, The (1916) …. Susan
Common Law, The (1916) …. Valerie West
Foolish Virgin, The (1916) …. Mary Adams
Dark Silence, The (1916) …. Mildred White
Feast of Life, The (1916) …. Aurora Fernandez
Yellow Passport, The (1916) …. Sonia Sokoloff
… aka Badge of Shame, The (1917) (USA: reissue title)
Camille (1915/I) …. Camille
Heart of the Blue Ridge, The (1915) …. Plutina
… aka Savage Instinct, The (1917) (reissue title)
Trilby (1915) …. Trilby O’Farrell
Marrying Money (1915) …. Mildred Niles
… aka Marriage a la Carte (1916/II) (reissue title)
Hearts in Exile (1915) …. Anna Ivanovna
… aka Hearts Afire (1917) (USA: reissue title)

Deep Purple, The (1915) …. Doris Moore
Awakening of Barbara Dare, The (1914)
Goodness Gracious (1914)
… aka Goodness Gracious; or, Movies as They Shouldn’t Be (1914) (USA)
Happy-Go-Lucky (1914)
Her Husband (1914)
Perplexed Bridegroom, The (1914)
Silver Snuff Box, The (1914)
Some Steamer Scooping (1914)
Taken by Storm (1914)
Violin of Monsieur, The (1914)
Lola (1914) …. Lola Barnhelun
… aka Without a Soul (1916) (reissue title)
Fates and Flora Fourflush, The (1914) …. Flora Fourflush
David Garrick (1914)
My Official Wife (1914) …. Helene Marie
Sonny Jim in Search of a Mother (1914)
Beauty Unadorned (1913)
Cupid Versus Women’s Rights (1913)
Delayed Proposals (1913)
Faithful Servant, A (1913)
Fellow Voyagers (1913)
Getting Up a Practice (1913)
Jack’s Chrysanthemum (1913)
Jerry’s Mother-in-Law (1913)
Lesson in Jealousy, A (1913)
Lonely Princess, The (1913)
Love’s Sunset (1913)
Maid of Mandalay, A (1913)
Mr. Mintern’s Misadventures (1913)
Mystery of the Stolen Child (1913)
Mystery of the Stolen Jewels (1913)
On Their Wedding Eve (1913)
Pirates, The (1913)
Put Yourself in Their Place (1913)
Spirit of the Orient, The (1913)
Taming of Betty, The (1913)
Test, The (1913)
Way Out, The (1913)
White Slave, The (1913)
Up in a Balloon (1913)
Betty in the Lions’ Den (1913)
Hindoo Charm, The (1913)
Old Guard, The (1913)
Beau Brummell (1913)
When Mary Grew Up (1913) …. Mary
Volunteer Strike Breakers, The (1913)
What a Change of Clothes Did (1913) …. John Mason’s Fiancée
Interrupted Honeymoon, The (1913/II)
Little Minister, The (1913) …. Lady Babbie
Love Hath Wrought a Miracle (1913)
Eavesdropper, The (1912)
In the Flat Above (1912) …. A Music Teacher
Lord Browning and Cinderella (1912) …. Cinderella
Poet and Peasant (1912) …. Toinette Savard, the Daughter
Mistake in Spelling, A (1912) …. Mabel Moore, Fred’s Fiancée
Mrs. Lirriper’s Lodgers (1912) …. Mrs. Edson
Irony of Fate, The (1912)
Vitagraph Romance, A (1912) …. Caroline, the Senator’s Daughter
Popular Betty (1912) …. Betty Wilson
Wanted, a Sister (1912) …. The Girl
Rock of Ages (1912)
Lively Affair, A (1912) …. The Maid
Money Kings, The (1912)
Troublesome Step-Daughters, The (1912) …. An Assistant in the Toy Shop
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (1912)
When Roses Wither (1912) …. Maurice’s Wife
Lulu’s Doctor (1912) …. Aunt Madge
Half a Hero (1912) …. Mabel Kemp
Mockery (1912) …. Princess Dolorosa
Picture Idol, The (1912) …. Beth Ward, A Passionate Fan of Howard Hanson’s
Professor Optimo (1912) …. Clara
Dr. LaFleur’s Theory (1912) …. The Criminal’s Moll
Old Kent Road, The (1912) …. Sue Simmonds, Their Daughter
Pipe, The (1912) …. The Wife
Jocular Winds of Fate, The (1912) …. Alice De Voe
Haunted Rocker, The (1912) …. The Daughter
Cardinal Wolsey (1912) …. Ann Boleyn
Lady Godiva (1911)
Last of the Saxons, The (1910)
Ransomed; or, A Prisoner of War (1910)
Sepoy’s Wife, The (1910) …. The Sepoy’s Wife
Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1910/I)
Richelieu or The Conspiracy (1910)
Midsummer Night’s Dream, A (1909)
Washington Under the American Flag (1909)

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