Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand


Who’s the Best Actor?


This got to be a mad discussion when they began to ask each other: “Who is the best actor on the screen?”

Nazimova told me the other day that she considers Von Stroheim the best actor the screen has seen – a better actor, she thinks, than a director.

In a way, it’s a foolish question.  What do we mean by a good actor, anyhow?  The one who describes certain emotions for us in the most interesting way?  Or do we mean the actor who most successfully takes on the semblance of another personality and makes us forget his own personality?


If it is the latter that we mean, I think Jean Hersholt is without an equal.  He is so good an actor that he gets very little credit.  The fans think of this and that actor; but they always think of him as “that policeman” or “that preacher” or “that Swede.”  His work in “Greed” is one of the finest characterizations that the stage or screen has ever seen.  No other actor that I have seen anywhere has such a perfect instinct for character drawing.


I think Lillian Gish has accomplished the greatest artistic triumphs of any girl ever seen on the screen.


If I were a casting director, however and could only have one actress at my disposal, I would choose Bessie Love.  She is the screen’s most perfect craftsman.  She has saved more punk pictures than any other actress alive.  She can be 15 years old or 50.  She is a capital comedienne.  No finer emotional work has been done on the screen than her scene on the bed in “The Eternal Three.”


Herbert Howe, the critic, always insists, however, that the one great genius the screen has known is Mabel Normand.  And I am inclined to think that this is true.  Mabel never appears in a picture that she does not leave an effaceable impression.  Who will ever forget her walking along the hot road in “Suzanna,” or some of the scenes in “Mickey”?  Mabel has without doubt the most original mind and the most individual method of any screen actress.

Harry Carr’s Page

Los Angeles Times

February 25, 1925



Harry Carr


Harry Carr (I copied this off the internet, and didn’t fact check it)
An associate editor, reporter, and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Carr (1877-1936) was a locally popular columnist for the Los Angeles Times whose daily column, The Lancer, was devoted to reporting or commenting on local matters. His journalistic career began when he spent a summer reporting at the front with the German and Austrian armies before the
U.S. entered World War I. He was also a drama journalist and critic, having worked for several different studios during the silent film era. In 1929, he wrote a special series of articles for Smart Set magazine about his personal recollections of the silent film era, and also contributed to Motion Picture Magazine and Screen Secrets. Carr, whose family moved from Iowa to Los Angeles in 1887, was a tireless enthusiast and promoter of California as a romantic land of opportunity. He authored The West is Still Wild, Romance of the Present and the Past (1932) and Los Angeles, City of Dreams (1935). In 1938, the Main Street gate of a tourist attraction called China City was dedicated to his memory.


Herbert Howe


Herbert Howe. (Again this was what was on the internet and I didn’t fact check the relationship) Herbert Howe was a famous writer who lived during the 1920s and 30s, writing for Photoplay. He was a lover of Ramon Novarro, and a friend of Richard Halliburton.