John Gilbert

Actor

Recollections of Quentin Tod in Hollywood - 1932

 

Courtesy of The Awakener ; Vol.X11, Vol.3 - page 9
Courtesy of The Awakener ; Vol.X11, Vol.3 - page 9

Baba met several other movie stars in Hollywood during his visit, including Boris Karloff, John Gilbert, Bruce Evans, Florence Vidor, Charles Farrell, Johnny Mack Brown and Cary Grant. Some of these actors and actresses met him later in the evening of June 1st, when Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford invited Baba to Pickfair, their twenty-two-room mansion at 1143 Summit Drive, for a reception with a few others from the film industry. Marc Jones drove Baba, Meredith, Margaret, Priscilla and Tod to Beverly Hills at eight o'clock that night. The mandali followed in another car, along with Norina and Elizabeth.

 

Lord Meher Volume 5, Page 1654

John Gilbert (actor)

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Jump to: navigation, search
John Gilbert
Born John Cecil Pringle
July 10, 1895(1895-07-10)
Logan, Utah, U.S.
Died January 9, 1936 (aged 40)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Other name(s) Jack Gilbert
Occupation Actor, director, writer
Years active 1915–1934
Spouse(s) Olivia Burwell (1918–1923)
Leatrice Joy (1922–1925)
Ina Claire (1929–1931)
Virginia Bruce (1932–1934)

John Gilbert (July 10, 1895 – January 9, 1936) was an American actor and a major star of the silent film era.

Known as "the great lover", he rivaled even Rudolph Valentino as a box office draw. Though he was often cited as one of the high profile examples of an actor who was unsuccessful in making the transition to talkies, his decline as a star in fact had to do with studio politics and money and not the sound of his screen voice.[1] According to the actress Eleanor Boardman and others, a fight between Louis B. Mayer and Gilbert erupted at what was to be his marriage to Greta Garbo, for which she failed to turn up, when Mayer made a snide remark. Gilbert promptly knocked his boss down, for which Mayer swore he'd get even. Gilbert's daughter has alleged that Mayer then proceeded to sabotage the recording of his voice by increasing the treble; giving direction of his films to an inexperienced director who was on narcotic pain medication; refusing him good scripts, such as 1930's The Dawn Patrol which directors wanted to star him in; and editing his projects to ruin his films.[2]

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Life and career

Born John Cecil Pringle in Logan, Utah to stock company actor parents, he struggled through a childhood of abuse and neglect before moving to Hollywood as a teenager. He first found work as an extra with the Thomas Ince Studios, and soon became a favorite of Maurice Tourneur, who also hired him to write and direct several pictures. He quickly rose through the ranks, building his reputation as an actor in such films as Heart o' the Hills with Mary Pickford. In 1921, Gilbert signed a three year contract with Fox Film Corporation, where he was cast as a romantic leading man. Some of his films for Fox include Monte Cristo, an adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo; St. Elmo, an adaptation of a popular book of the period; The Wolf Man, not a horror film, the story of a man who believes he murdered his fiancee's brother while drunk and many others. At the time, Gilbert did not sport his famous mustache, which made his features more uneven and a little less handsome, and Fox plainly did not realize what huge potential he had.

In 1924, he moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he became a full-fledged star with such high-profile films as His Hour directed by King Vidor and written by Elinor Glyn; He Who Gets Slapped (1924), co-starring Lon Chaney, Sr. and Norma Shearer, and directed by Victor Sjöström; and The Merry Widow (1925) directed by Erich von Stroheim and co-starring Mae Murray. In 1925, Gilbert was once again directed by Vidor in the war epic The Big Parade, which became the second highest grossing silent film. His performance in this film made him a major star. The following year, Vidor reunited Gilbert with two of his co-stars from that picture, Renée Adorée and Karl Dane, for the film La Bohème which also starred Lillian Gish.

Gilbert married the successful film actress Leatrice Joy in 1922. The union produced a daughter, Leatrice Gilbert Fountain, but the tempestuous marriage only lasted two years. The couple divorced in 1924, with Joy charging that Gilbert was a compulsive philanderer.

In 1926, Gilbert made Flesh and the Devil, his first film with Greta Garbo. They soon began a very public relationship, much to the delight of their fans. Gilbert planned to marry her, but Garbo changed her mind and never showed up for the ceremony. Despite their rocky off-screen relationship, they continued to generate box-office revenue for the studio, and MGM paired them in two more silents Love (1927), a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina, and A Woman of Affairs (1928). The former film was slyly advertised by MGM as "Garbo and Gilbert in Love."

[edit] Career decline

Throughout his time at MGM, Gilbert frequently clashed with studio head Louis B. Mayer over creative, social and financial matters. One crucial event occurred on September 8, 1926. While guests were waiting for Garbo to show up for a proposed double wedding ceremony - Garbo and Gilbert with the director King Vidor and his fiancee, actress Eleanor Boardman - Mayer allegedly made a crude remark about Garbo to the distraught Gilbert that caused him to fly into a rage and he physically attacked the mogul. Rumor had it that after that event, Gilbert's career began its downward slide. This story has been disputed by some historians, despite its having been reported over a period of twenty years by one major eyewitness, the other bride, Eleanor Boardman who described Mayer's final look at Gilbert as "terrifying". Gilbert did have a powerful supporter in production head Irving Thalberg. The two were old friends and Thalberg made efforts to reinvigorate Gilbert's career, but Thalberg's failing health probably limited such efforts.

With the coming of sound, Gilbert first spoke in the film His Glorious Night, in which his voice allegedly recorded in a high-pitched tone that made audiences giggle. He spoke again in the all-talking musical Hollywood Revue of 1929, appearing in a Romeo and Juliet Technicolor sequence along with Norma Shearer in which they first played the part straight and then modernized it. Reviewers for the film did not note any problems with Gilbert's voice at this time and, in fact, some praised it. A documentary, The Dawn of Sound: How the Movies Learned to Talk (2007), demonstrates that with improved recording equipment Gilbert's voice was suitably deep.

According to film reviews of the day, audiences actually laughed at Gilbert's overly ardent love-making in His Glorious Night. In one scene, Gilbert keeps kissing his leading lady (Catherine Dale Owen) while saying over and over again "I love you". This scene was famously later parodied in the MGM musical Singin' in the Rain (1952) where a preview of the fictional The Dueling Cavalier flops disastrously. Director King Vidor stated that Rudolph Valentino, Gilbert's main rival in the 1920s for romantic leads, probably would have suffered the same fate in the talkie era, had he lived.

His Glorious Night has never been shown on television by Turner Entertainment because MGM sold the rights to Paramount for a remake, and Universal - which owns the rights to all pre-1948 Paramount films - has not done anything with it. He appeared in 1931's The Phantom of Paris, a project designed for Lon Chaney to star in until his death from cancer in 1930.

In 1932, MGM made the film Downstairs from Gilbert's original story, in which Gilbert played against type as a scheming, blackmailing chauffeur. The film was well received by critics, but did nothing to restore Gilbert's popularity. Shortly after making the film he married co-star Virginia Bruce; the couple divorced in 1934.

Gilbert starred opposite Garbo for the last time in Queen Christina directed by Rouben Mamoulian. Garbo was top-billed and Gilbert's name beneath the title. The picture failed to revive his career, with his next film, The Captain Hates the Sea, being his last.

[edit] Death

By 1934, alcoholism had severely damaged his health, and he died of a heart attack without ever regaining his former reputation. Toward the end of his life, Gilbert became involved with Marlene Dietrich, and at the time of his death he was slated[3] to star opposite her in the film Desire.

On his passing in 1936, at the age of 40, John Gilbert was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

[edit] Personal

Gilbert was married four times (including once to film and stage actress Ina Claire), and had two daughters. His daughter Leatrice Gilbert Fountain (from his marriage to silent film actress Leatrice Joy), wrote an acclaimed biography of her father's life published in 1985, and continues as a source of information on his life and career.

Gilbert has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1755 Vine Street and in 1994, he was honored with his image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.

 

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John Gilbert (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
John Gilbert
Born John Cecil Pringle
July 10, 1895(1895-07-10)
Logan, Utah, U.S.
Died January 9, 1936 (aged 40)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Other name(s) Jack Gilbert
Occupation Actor, director, writer
Years active 1915–1934
Spouse(s) Olivia Burwell (1918–1923)
Leatrice Joy (1922–1925)
Ina Claire (1929–1931)
Virginia Bruce (1932–1934)

John Gilbert (July 10, 1895 – January 9, 1936) was an American actor and a major star of the silent film era.

Known as "the great lover", he rivaled even Rudolph Valentino as a box office draw. Though he was often cited as one of the high profile examples of an actor who was unsuccessful in making the transition to talkies, his decline as a star in fact had to do with studio politics and money and not the sound of his screen voice.[1] According to the actress Eleanor Boardman and others, a fight between Louis B. Mayer and Gilbert erupted at what was to be his marriage to Greta Garbo, for which she failed to turn up, when Mayer made a snide remark. Gilbert promptly knocked his boss down, for which Mayer swore he'd get even. Gilbert's daughter has alleged that Mayer then proceeded to sabotage the recording of his voice by increasing the treble; giving direction of his films to an inexperienced director who was on narcotic pain medication; refusing him good scripts, such as 1930's The Dawn Patrol which directors wanted to star him in; and editing his projects to ruin his films.[2]

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Life and career

Born John Cecil Pringle in Logan, Utah to stock company actor parents, he struggled through a childhood of abuse and neglect before moving to Hollywood as a teenager. He first found work as an extra with the Thomas Ince Studios, and soon became a favorite of Maurice Tourneur, who also hired him to write and direct several pictures. He quickly rose through the ranks, building his reputation as an actor in such films as Heart o' the Hills with Mary Pickford. In 1921, Gilbert signed a three year contract with Fox Film Corporation, where he was cast as a romantic leading man. Some of his films for Fox include Monte Cristo, an adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo; St. Elmo, an adaptation of a popular book of the period; The Wolf Man, not a horror film, the story of a man who believes he murdered his fiancee's brother while drunk and many others. At the time, Gilbert did not sport his famous mustache, which made his features more uneven and a little less handsome, and Fox plainly did not realize what huge potential he had.

In 1924, he moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he became a full-fledged star with such high-profile films as His Hour directed by King Vidor and written by Elinor Glyn; He Who Gets Slapped (1924), co-starring Lon Chaney, Sr. and Norma Shearer, and directed by Victor Sjöström; and The Merry Widow (1925) directed by Erich von Stroheim and co-starring Mae Murray. In 1925, Gilbert was once again directed by Vidor in the war epic The Big Parade, which became the second highest grossing silent film. His performance in this film made him a major star. The following year, Vidor reunited Gilbert with two of his co-stars from that picture, Renée Adorée and Karl Dane, for the film La Bohème which also starred Lillian Gish.

Gilbert married the successful film actress Leatrice Joy in 1922. The union produced a daughter, Leatrice Gilbert Fountain, but the tempestuous marriage only lasted two years. The couple divorced in 1924, with Joy charging that Gilbert was a compulsive philanderer.

In 1926, Gilbert made Flesh and the Devil, his first film with Greta Garbo. They soon began a very public relationship, much to the delight of their fans. Gilbert planned to marry her, but Garbo changed her mind and never showed up for the ceremony. Despite their rocky off-screen relationship, they continued to generate box-office revenue for the studio, and MGM paired them in two more silents Love (1927), a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina, and A Woman of Affairs (1928). The former film was slyly advertised by MGM as "Garbo and Gilbert in Love."

[edit] Career decline

Throughout his time at MGM, Gilbert frequently clashed with studio head Louis B. Mayer over creative, social and financial matters. One crucial event occurred on September 8, 1926. While guests were waiting for Garbo to show up for a proposed double wedding ceremony - Garbo and Gilbert with the director King Vidor and his fiancee, actress Eleanor Boardman - Mayer allegedly made a crude remark about Garbo to the distraught Gilbert that caused him to fly into a rage and he physically attacked the mogul. Rumor had it that after that event, Gilbert's career began its downward slide. This story has been disputed by some historians, despite its having been reported over a period of twenty years by one major eyewitness, the other bride, Eleanor Boardman who described Mayer's final look at Gilbert as "terrifying". Gilbert did have a powerful supporter in production head Irving Thalberg. The two were old friends and Thalberg made efforts to reinvigorate Gilbert's career, but Thalberg's failing health probably limited such efforts.

With the coming of sound, Gilbert first spoke in the film His Glorious Night, in which his voice allegedly recorded in a high-pitched tone that made audiences giggle. He spoke again in the all-talking musical Hollywood Revue of 1929, appearing in a Romeo and Juliet Technicolor sequence along with Norma Shearer in which they first played the part straight and then modernized it. Reviewers for the film did not note any problems with Gilbert's voice at this time and, in fact, some praised it. A documentary, The Dawn of Sound: How the Movies Learned to Talk (2007), demonstrates that with improved recording equipment Gilbert's voice was suitably deep.

According to film reviews of the day, audiences actually laughed at Gilbert's overly ardent love-making in His Glorious Night. In one scene, Gilbert keeps kissing his leading lady (Catherine Dale Owen) while saying over and over again "I love you". This scene was famously later parodied in the MGM musical Singin' in the Rain (1952) where a preview of the fictional The Dueling Cavalier flops disastrously. Director King Vidor stated that Rudolph Valentino, Gilbert's main rival in the 1920s for romantic leads, probably would have suffered the same fate in the talkie era, had he lived.

His Glorious Night has never been shown on television by Turner Entertainment because MGM sold the rights to Paramount for a remake, and Universal - which owns the rights to all pre-1948 Paramount films - has not done anything with it. He appeared in 1931's The Phantom of Paris, a project designed for Lon Chaney to star in until his death from cancer in 1930.

In 1932, MGM made the film Downstairs from Gilbert's original story, in which Gilbert played against type as a scheming, blackmailing chauffeur. The film was well received by critics, but did nothing to restore Gilbert's popularity. Shortly after making the film he married co-star Virginia Bruce; the couple divorced in 1934.

Gilbert starred opposite Garbo for the last time in Queen Christina directed by Rouben Mamoulian. Garbo was top-billed and Gilbert's name beneath the title. The picture failed to revive his career, with his next film, The Captain Hates the Sea, being his last.

[edit] Death

By 1934, alcoholism had severely damaged his health, and he died of a heart attack without ever regaining his former reputation. Toward the end of his life, Gilbert became involved with Marlene Dietrich, and at the time of his death he was slated[3] to star opposite her in the film Desire.

On his passing in 1936, at the age of 40, John Gilbert was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

[edit] Personal

Gilbert was married four times (including once to film and stage actress Ina Claire), and had two daughters. His daughter Leatrice Gilbert Fountain (from his marriage to silent film actress Leatrice Joy), wrote an acclaimed biography of her father's life published in 1985, and continues as a source of information on his life and career.

Gilbert has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1755 Vine Street and in 1994, he was honored with his image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.

[edit] Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1915 The Coward Minor role Uncredited
Matrimony Extra Short film / Uncredited
Aloha Oe Extra Uncredited
1916 The Corner Extra Uncredited
Bullets and Brown Eyes as Jack Gilbert
The Last Act Extra Uncredited
Hell's Hinges Rowdy townsman' Uncredited
The Aryan Extra Uncredited
Civilization Extra Uncredited
The Apostle of Vengeance Willie Hudson as Jack Gilbert
The Phantom Bertie Bereton as Jack Gilbert
Eye of the Night Uncredited
Shell 43 English Spy as Jack Gilbert
The Sin Ye Do Jimmy as Jack Gilbert
1917 The Weaker Sex
The Bride of Hate Dr. Duprez's Son as Jack Gilbert
Princess of the Dark 'Crip' Halloran as Jack Gilbert
The Dark Road Cedric Constable as Jack Gilbert
Happiness Richard Forrester as Jack Gilbert
The Millionaire Vagrant James Cricket as Jack Gilbert
The Hater of Men Billy Williams as Jack Gilbert
The Mother Instinct Jean Coutierre as Jack Gilbert
Golden Rule Kate The Heller
The Devil Dodger Roger Ingraham as Jack Gilbert
Up or Down? Allan Corey as Jack Gilbert
1918 Nancy Comes Home Phil Ballou as Jack Gilbert
Shackled James Ashley as Jack Gilbert
More Trouble Harvey Deering as Jack Gilbert
One Dollar Bid as Jack Gilbert
Wedlock Granger Hollister as Jack Gilbert
Doing Their Bit as Jack Gilbert
The Mask Billy Taylor as Jack Gilbert
Three X Gordon Archie as Jack Gilbert
The Dawn of Understanding Ira Beasly as Jack Gilbert
1919 The White Heather Dick Beach as Jack Gilbert
The Busher Jim Blair as Jack Gilbert
The Man Beneath James Bassett as Jack Gilbert
A Little Brother of the Rich Carl Wilmerding
The Red Viper Dick Grant as Jack Gilbert
For a Woman's Honor Dick Rutherford
Widow by Proxy Jack Pennington as Jack Gilbert
Heart o' the Hills Gray Pendleton as Jack Gilbert
Should a Woman Tell? The Villain as Jack Gilbert
1920 The White Circle Frank Cassilis as Jack Gilbert
The Great Redeemer Undetermined role Uncredited
Deep Waters Bill Lacey as Jack Gilbert
1921 The Servant in the House Percival as Jack Gilbert
Shame William Fielding/David Field
Ladies Must Live The Gardener as Jack Gilbert
1922 Gleam O'Dawn Gleam O'Dawn
Arabian Love Norman Stone
The Yellow Stain Donald Keith
Honor First Jacques Dubois/Honoré Duboois
Monte Cristo Edmond Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo
Calvert's Valley Page Emlyn as Jack Gilbert
The Love Gambler Dick Manners
A California Romance Don Patricio Fernando
1923 While Paris Sleeps Dennis O'Keefe
Truxton King Truxton King
Madness of Youth Jaca Javalie
St. Elmo St. Elmo Thornton
The Exiles Henry Holcombe
Cameo Kirby Cameo Kirby
1924 Just Off Broadway Stephen Moore
The Wolf Man Gerald Stanley
A Man's Mate Paul
The Lone Chance Jack Saunders
Romance Ranch Carlos Brent
His Hour Gritzko
Married Flirts Guest at party Cameo appearance
He Who Gets Slapped Bezano
The Snob Eugene Curry
The Wife of the Centaur Jeffrey Dwyer
1925 The Merry Widow Prince Danilo Petrovich
The Big Parade James Apperson
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ Crowd extra in chariot race Cameo appearance / Uncredited
1926 La Bohème Rodolphe
Bardelys the Magnificent Bardelys
Flesh and the Devil Leo von Harden
1927 The Show Cock Robin
Twelve Miles Out Jerry Fay
Man, Woman and Sin Albert Whitcomb
Love Captain Count Alexei Vronsky
1928 The Cossacks Lukashka
Four Walls Benny Horowitz
Show People Himself Cameo appearance / Uncredited
The Masks of the Devil Baron Reiner
A Woman of Affairs Neville 'Nevs' Holderness
1929 Desert Nights Hugh Rand Last silent film
His Glorious Night Captain Kovacs Sound film debut
1930 Redemption Fedya
Way for a Sailor Jack
1931 Gentleman's Fate Giacomo Tomasulo/Jack Thomas
The Phantom of Paris Chéri-Bibi
West of Broadway Jerry Seevers
1932 Downstairs Karl Schneider
1933 Fast Workers Gunner Smith
Queen Christina Antonio
1934 The Captain Hates the Sea Steve Bramley

[edit] References

  1. ^ Brownlow, Kevin The Parade's Gone By, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, 1968
  2. ^ Fountain, Leatrice Gilbert: Dark Star, St. Martin's Press, New York, NY 1985
  3. ^ New York Times "Desire" review

[edit] External links