Dale Fuller (actress)

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Dale Fuller
Dale Fuller.jpg
Fuller in 1924
Marie Dale Phillipps

(1885-06-17)June 17, 1885
DiedOctober 14, 1948(1948-10-14) (aged 63)
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Years active1915–1935

Dale Fuller (June 17, 1885 October 14, 1948) was an American actress of the silent era. [1] She appeared in 67 films between 1915 and 1935. She is best known for her role as the maid in Foolish Wives .

Silent film Film with no synchronized recorded dialogue

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound. In silent films for entertainment, the plot may be conveyed by the use of title cards, written indications of the plot and key dialogue lines. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, the introduction of synchronized dialogue became practical only in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the advent of the Vitaphone system. The term "silent film" is a misnomer, as these films were almost always accompanied by live sounds During the silent-film era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or even, in large cities, a small orchestra—would often play music to accompany the films. Pianists and organists would play either from sheet music, or improvisation. Sometimes a person would even narrate the intertitle cards for the audience. Though at the time the technology to synchronize sound with the video did not exist, music was seen as an essential part of the viewing experience.

<i>Foolish Wives</i> 1922 film by Erich von Stroheim, Gustav Machatý

Foolish Wives is a 1922 American erotic silent drama film produced and distributed by Universal Pictures under their Super-Jewel banner and written and directed by Erich von Stroheim. The drama features von Stroheim, Rudolph Christians, Miss DuPont, Maude George, and others.


Early Life

Marie Dale Phillipps was born in Santa Ana, California on June 17, 1885. She attended convent schools in Los Angeles and Chicago. [2] Fan magazines from the time claimed that she attended and graduated from Mills College, and Myrtle Gebhardt reported that Fuller lost her family at 19. Fuller said family illness brought her to California, where she decided to act.

Mills College liberal arts and sciences college located in Oakland

Mills College is a private liberal arts and sciences college in Oakland, California. Mills was founded as the Young Ladies Seminary in 1852 in Benicia, California. The school was relocated to Oakland, California, in 1871, and became the first women's college west of the Rockies. Currently, Mills is an undergraduate women's college with graduate programs for students of all genders. In 2014, Mills became the first single-sex college in the U.S. to adopt an admission policy explicitly welcoming transgender students.


In 1908, she performed as a soubrette in the comedy The Trouper. She then joined the cast of Harry Bulgur’s The Flirting Princess, a musical revue, in 1910 and toured with it off and on throughout San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, and Rhode Island. The same year, she performed in the chorus of Florenz Ziegfeld’s The Girl in the Kimona in Chicago. She received good reviews for her performance, with Variety singling her out for praise.

<i>Variety</i> (magazine) American weekly entertainment trade magazine owned by Penske Media Corporation

Variety is an American media company owned by Penske Media Corporation. It was founded by Sime Silverman in New York in 1905 as a weekly newspaper reporting on theater and vaudeville. In 1933 it added Daily Variety, based in Los Angeles, to cover the motion-picture industry. Variety.com features breaking entertainment news, reviews, box office results, cover stories, videos, photo galleries and more, plus a credits database, production charts and calendar, with archive content dating back to 1905.

In 1915, Fuller was introduced to Mack Sennett by Charlie Murray and joined Mack Sennett’s Keystone as an extra, with Sennett often casting her as a harridan or victim in shorts. [3] Fuller would also occasionally play old men and boy roles due to her plain, boyish appearance and small stature. [4] The following year, she acted with Fred Mace in the short Bath Tub Perils and suffered two broken ribs during the flood sequence.

Mack Sennett Canadian-American actor and filmmaker

Mack Sennett was a Canadian-American film actor, director, and producer, and studio head, known as the King of Comedy.

Charles Murray (American actor) American film actor of the silent era

Charles Albert Murray, was an American film actor of the silent era.

Fred Mace actor

Fred Mace was an American actor of the silent era. He appeared in 156 films between 1909 and 1916. Mace worked for Mack Sennett at Keystone Studios. Shortly after he left, Roscoe Arbuckle, who had appeared in a few pictures at Keystone with Mace, took over as Sennett's lead comedic actor.

In 1920, Fuller left Keystone and began appearing in Chester Comedy films. Around this time, the German film director Erich von Stroheim discovered her and cast her as a maid in Foolish Wives . During production, Fuller lost a substantial amount of weight and was hospitalized for double pneumonia. Her small part garnered positive reviews, with critics saying her performance was the best part of the film. After the success of Foolish Wives, Fuller appeared in Manslaughter , One Wonderful Night , and Borderland .

Erich von Stroheim Austrian actor and director

Erich Oswald Hans Carl Maria von Stroheim was an Austrian-American director, actor and producer, most noted as a film star and avant garde, visionary director of the silent era. His masterpiece adaptation of Frank Norris's McTeague titled Greed is considered one of the finest and most important films ever made. After clashes with Hollywood studio bosses over budget and workers' rights issues, von Stroheim was banned for life as a director and subsequently became a well-respected character actor, particularly in French cinema. For his early innovations as a director, von Stroheim is still celebrated as one of the first of the auteur directors. He helped introduce more sophisticated plots and noirish sexual and psychological undercurrents into cinema. He died in 1957 in France of prostate cancer at the age of 71. Beloved by Parisian neo-Surrealists known as Letterists, Letterist Maurice Lemaitre directed a 70-minute homage to von Stroheim titled Erich von Stroheim in 1979.

<i>Manslaughter</i> (1922 film) 1922 film by Cecil B. DeMille

Manslaughter is a 1922 American silent drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Thomas Meighan, Leatrice Joy, and Lois Wilson. It was written by Jeanie MacPherson based upon the novel of the same name by Alice Duer Miller. Manslaughter was the first film to show an erotic kiss between two members of the same sex.

<i>One Wonderful Night</i> 1914 film by Elisha Helm Calvert

One Wonderful Night is a lost 1914 American silent mystery drama film starring Francis X. Bushman and Beverly Bayne, at the time a romantic screen couple. It was produced by the Chicago-based Essanay Studios.

von Stroheim wrote a small part for her in his film Merry-Go-Round , and although her part was drastically cut from the picture, she still received good reviews for her portrayal. She next appeared in His Hour and the Elinor Glyn film Three Weeks before being cast in von Stroheim's film McTeague, which later was renamed Greed . The studio cut most of her scenes from the film, but MGM added her to the stock company of actors that year. Fuller continued to work with von Stroheim, playing a chambermaid in his 1925 film The Merry Widow and as Fay Wray's mother in The Wedding March .

<i>Merry-Go-Round</i> (1923 film) 1923 film by Erich von Stroheim, Rupert Julian

Merry-Go-Round is a 1923 American feature film directed by Erich von Stroheim and his replacement, Rupert Julian, starring Norman Kerry and Mary Philbin, and released by Universal Pictures. A copy of the film is held in a collection and it has been released on DVD.

<i>His Hour</i> 1924 film by King Vidor

His Hour is a 1924 American silent drama film directed by King Vidor. This film was the follow-up to Samuel Goldwyn's Three Weeks, written by Elinor Glyn, and starring Aileen Pringle, one of the biggest moneymakers at the time of the amalgamation.

Elinor Glyn British novelist and scriptwriter

Elinor Glyn was a British novelist and scriptwriter who specialised in romantic fiction, which was considered scandalous for its time, although her works are relatively tame by modern standards. She popularized the concept of the It-girl, and had tremendous influence on early 20th-century popular culture and, possibly, on the careers of notable Hollywood stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson and, especially, Clara Bow.

Fuller played Renée Adorée's mother in The Cossacks , and acted in the Thomas Meighan film The Canadian as Gertie. Her last film was A Tale of Two Cities , in which she played an uncredited role.

Personal life and Death

Fuller was reserved and shy, which prevented her from promoting herself as an actress, which could have helped her career. She spent most of her time on her citrus farm near Covina, where she raised chickens, doves, canaries, dogs, cats, and a parrot.

Fuller died on October 14, 1948 in Pomona of valvular heart disease. She is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale) in Glendale, California. [5] [6]

Partial filmography

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  1. "Dale Fuller". New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  2. Walker, Brent E. (April 25, 2013). "Mack Sennett's Fun Factory: A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel". McFarland. Retrieved April 28, 2019 via Google Books.
  3. "Motography". April 28, 2019. Retrieved April 28, 2019 via Google Books.
  4. Walker, Brent E. (April 25, 2013). "Mack Sennett's Fun Factory: A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel". McFarland. Retrieved April 28, 2019 via Google Books.
  5. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/38729716/dale-fuller
  6. Wilson, Scott (August 17, 2016). "Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed". McFarland. Retrieved April 28, 2019 via Google Books.