Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Anita Page

Anita Page and Buster Keaton were costars at MGM, but the situation was not without it's problems.

Anita Page

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anita Page
Anita Page Stars of the Photoplay.jpg
in 1930
BornAnita Evelyn Pomares
(1910-08-04)August 4, 1910
Flushing, Queens, New York, USA
DiedSeptember 6, 2008(2008-09-06) (aged 98)
Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, San Diego
Years active1925–1936; 2000–2008
Spouse(s)Nacio Herb Brown (m. 1934; div. 1935)
Herschel A. House (m. 1937; died 1991)
Anita Page (August 4, 1910 – September 6, 2008) was a Salvadoran-American film actress who reached stardom in the last years of the silent film era.[1]
Page became a highly popular young star, reportedly receiving the most fan mail of anyone on the MGM lot. She was referred to as "a blond, blue-eyed Latin"[2] and "the girl with the most beautiful face in Hollywood" in the 1920s.[3] She retired from acting in 1936. Page married her second husband the following year with whom she had two children.
Page returned to acting in 1996, and appeared in four films in the 2000s. She died in September 2008 at the age of 98.

Early life

She was born Anita Evelyn Pomares to Marino, Sr. and Maude (née Mullane) Pomares.[4] She had one brother, Marino Jr., who later worked for her as a gym instructor while her mother worked as her secretary and her father as her chauffeur.[5] Of Salvadoran ancestry, Page's grandfather was a consul from El Salvador.[1][6]


Page entered films with the help of friend, actress Betty Bronson. A photo of Page was spotted by a man who handled Bronson's fan mail who was also interested in representing actors. With the encouragement of her mother, Page telephoned the man who arranged a meeting for her with a casting director at Paramount Studios. After screentesting for Paramount, Page also tested for MGM. After being offered a contract for both studios, Page decided on MGM.[7] Page's first film for MGM was the 1928 comedy-drama Telling the World, opposite William Haines. Her performances in her second MGM film, Our Dancing Daughters (1928) opposite Joan Crawford (with whom she appeared in three films), and The Broadway Melody (1929) opposite Bessie Love were her greatest successes of the period, and her popularity allowed her to make a smooth transition into talking pictures.
She was the leading lady to Lon Chaney, Buster Keaton, Robert Montgomery, and Clark Gable (among others) and during the early 1930s, she was one of Hollywood's busiest actresses. She was involved briefly with Gable romantically during that time. At the height of her popularity, she was receiving more fan mail than any other female star, with the exception of Greta Garbo, and received multiple marriage proposals from Benito Mussolini in the mail.[5]


When her contract expired in 1933, she surprised Hollywood by announcing her retirement at the age of 23. She made one more movie, Hitch Hike to Heaven, in 1936, and then left the screen, virtually disappearing from Hollywood circles for sixty years. In a 2004 interview with author Scott Feinberg, she claimed that her refusal to meet demands for sexual favors by MGM head of production Irving Thalberg, supported by studio chief Louis B. Mayer, is what truly ended her career. She said that Mayer colluded with the other studio bosses to ban her and other uncooperative actresses from finding work.
She married composer Nacio Herb Brown in 1934, but the marriage was annulled a year later because Brown's previous divorce had not been finalized at the time they were married.[8] She married Lieutenant Hershel A. House, a Navy pilot, in 1937 and they moved to Coronado, California and lived there until his death in 1991. They had two daughters, Linda[9] (now Linda Sterne)[10] and Sandra (who predeceased Page).

Return to acting

Page returned to the screen in 1996 after sixty years retirement and appeared in several low budget horror films. Film veteran Margaret O'Brien appeared in two of them. During this period, she moved in with her co-star and occasional director, Randal Malone at his Van Nuys home.
Page relished her status as "last star of the silents" and frequently gave interviews and appeared in documentaries about the era. Ill health prevented her from making public appearances in her final years.


Page died on September 6, 2008 at her Los Angeles home, at the age of 98.[11] She is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego.
At the time of her death in September 2008, she was among the last to have acted as an adult in silent films (Barbara Kent and Miriam Seegar are among the handful of others) to live into the 21st century. She was also the last living attendee of the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Anita Page has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6116 Hollywood Boulevard.


1925A Kiss for CinderellaUncredited
1926Love 'Em and Leave 'EmUncredited
1927Beach NutsShort film
1928Telling the WorldChrystal Malone
1928Our Dancing DaughtersAnn 'Annikins'
1928While the City SleepsMyrtle
1928West of ZanzibarBit roleUncredited
1929The Flying FleetAnita Hastings
1929The Broadway MelodyQueenie MahoneyAlternative title: The Broadway Melody of 1929
1929Our Modern MaidensKentucky Strafford
1929Navy BluesAlice "Allie" Brown
1930Great DayIncomplete
1930Free and EasyElvira PlunkettAlternative title: Easy Go
1930Caught ShortGenevieve Jones
1930Our Blushing BridesConnie Blair
1930Little AccidentIsabel
1930War NurseJoy Meadows
1931The Voice of Hollywood No. 7 (Second Series)
1931ReducingVivian Truffle
1931The Easiest WayPeg Murdock Feliki
1931Gentleman's FateRuth Corrigan
1931Sidewalks of New YorkMargie Kelly
1931Under 18Sophie
1932Are You Listening?Sally O'Neil
1932Night CourtMary ThomasAlternative title: Justice for Sale
1932Skyscraper SoulsJenny LeGrande
1932ProsperityHelen Praskins Warren
1933Jungle BrideDoris Evans
1933Soldiers of the StormNatalie
1933The Big CageLilian Langley
1933I Have LivedJean St. ClairAlternative titles: After Midnight
Love Life
1936Hitch Hike to HeavenClaudia RevelleAlternative title: Footlights and Shadows
1961The RunawayNun
1996Sunset After Dark
2000Witchcraft XI: Sisters in BloodSister SeraphinaDirect-to-DVD release
2002The Crawling BrainGrandma Anita KrogerDirect-to-DVD release
2009Frankenstein RisingElizabeth FrankensteinReleased posthumously
Villecco, Tony; Silent Stars Speak. McFarland 2001 p 132 ISBN 0-7864-0814-6


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Anita Page: Star of the silent screen. Independent.co.uk (September 8, 2008). Retrieved on May 10, 2012.
  2. Jump up ^ Latinas in the United States. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved on May 10, 2012.
  3. Jump up ^ Anita Page, 98; Hollywood Star at End of Silent Movie Era. Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved on May 10, 2012.
  4. Jump up ^ Ankerich, Michael G. (1998). The Sound Of Silence: Conversations With 16 Film and Stage Personalities Who Bridged the Gap Between Silents and Talkies. McFarland. p. 181. ISBN 0-786-40504-X. 
  5. ^ Jump up to: a b Ronald, Bergan (September 8, 2008). "Anita Page: Obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved June 28, 2009. 
  6. Jump up ^ Golden, Eve (2001). Golden Images: 41 Essays on Silent Film Stars. McFarland. p. 130. ISBN 0-7864-0834-0. 
  7. Jump up ^ Golden, Eve (2001). Golden Images: 41 Essays on Silent Film Stars. McFarland. pp. 130–131. ISBN 0-7864-0834-0. 
  8. Jump up ^ Alternate Film Guide: Anita Page: Anita Page: Q&A with Author Allan Ellenberger. Altfg.com (August 22, 2007). Retrieved on May 10, 2012.
  9. Jump up ^ KansasCity.com: Silent screen siren Anita Page dies at 98[dead link]
  10. Jump up ^ Silent screen siren Anita Page dies at 98. usatoday.com (September 7, 2008). Retrieved on May 10, 2012.
  11. Jump up ^ Berkvist, Robert (September 8, 2008). "Anita Page, Silent-Film Siren, Dies at 98". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 

External links

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Actually Anita Page had an Irish mother, so she would be half Irish and half Salvadorian. Many famous movie actresses were at least part Irish, something that has not always been emphasized.

Prior to the 2004 interview with author Scott Feinberg, author Richard Lamparski* had hinted at Anita Page's problems at MGM without going into all the details. We also know that other actresses had similar problems with the producers, including Thelma Todd. This sort of thing was widespread at the time and was partly to blame for the bad reputation the movie business had.

Anita Page was very popular while she was at MGM and the studio acted as if she were less important than some of the less popular actresses. The situation was unfair and detrimental to her career. During this same period they also managed to ruin Buster Keaton's career. Evidently working for MGM wasn't always all it was cracked up to be.


With Bessie Love in THE BROADWAY MELODY ( 1929 ).
With Buster Keaton in FREE AND EASY.
Cliff Edwards joins Anita Page and Buster Keaton for a musical rehearsal.
With Marie Dressler in REDUCING.

Marie Dressler was a top star in the early thirties.
The day before Thelma Todd was found dead, Anita Page was at Mrs.Wallace Ford's party when Mrs. Ford received a call from Thelma Todd.
But according to the authorities, Thelma Todd would already have been dead at that time and could not have made the call.  

NIGHT COURT ( 1932 )





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