Charles Bryant (actor)

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Charles Bryant
Stage director Charles Bryant (SAYRE 14708).jpg
Born(1879-01-08)8 January 1879
Died7 August 1948(1948-08-07) (aged 69)
OccupationActor, film director
Marjorie Gilhooley
(m. 1925;div. 1936)
Partner(s) Alla Nazimova

Charles Bryant (8 January 1879 – 7 August 1948) was a British actor and film director.



Bryant was born in Hartford, Cheshire on 8 January 1879. He was educated at Ardingly College in Sussex. He left school at the age of 14 to become a stage actor, and three years later travelled to America to begin working on Broadway, starring in The First Born in 1887.

Bryant starred in A Train of Incidents (1914), and War Brides (1916), which was also the first film his wife, Alla Nazimova featured in. Bryant and Nazimova signed with Metro Pictures in 1918 and starred alongside each other in a number of films including Revelation, Out of the Fog, and Billions . In 1918, Nazimova founded Nazimova Productions and it was there that Bryant began directing, with the pair creating a film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play Salome in 1923. Bryant and Nazimova's pairing was short lived. Salomé was ostensibly too far ahead of its time and failed at the box office, bankrupting Nazimova Productions. Bryant never worked in film again, instead returning to Broadway. He divorced Nazimova shortly after leaving Hollywood, their marriage apparently having been only one of convenience and no longer necessary.

Marriages and children

Bryant and Nazimova in 1912 Charles Bryant (actor) 65d0236e07 o.jpg
Bryant and Nazimova in 1912

He claimed to have married Alla Nazimova on 5 December 1912, [1] but the marriage was never consummated. [2]

On 16 November 1925 Bryant, 43, surprised the press, Nazimova's fans and Nazimova herself by marrying Marjorie Gilhooley, 23, in Connecticut. When the press uncovered the fact that Charles had listed his current marital status as "single" on his marriage licence, the revelation that the marriage between Alla and Charles had been a sham from the beginning embroiled Nazimova in a scandal that damaged her career. [3] Charles and Marjorie divorced in 1936. [4]

Bryant had two children with Gilhooley, Charles Bryant Jr. and Sheila Bryant. On 8 June 1948 Sheila married the American novelist Richard Yates. [4]


Bryant died on 7 August 1948 in Mount Kisco, New York, at age 69. [5]

Partial filmography

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  1. Dixie Hines and Harry Prescott Hanaford (1914). "Alla Nazimova". Who's who in music and drama.
  2. Blake Bailey. A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates.
  3. Lambert, Gavin (1997). Nazimova: A Biography. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. pp. 265–266, 285. ISBN   0-679-40721-9.
  4. 1 2 Bailey, Blake, A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, Macmillan, 1 May 2004
  5. Eugene Michael Vazzana. "Charles Bryant". Silent film necrology.