Edythe Chapman

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Edythe Chapman
Edythe Chapman (1906).jpg
Edith Chapman by Otto Sarony c.1906
Born(1863-10-08)October 8, 1863
DiedOctober 15, 1948(1948-10-15) (aged 85)
Resting place Bonaventure Cemetery
Years active1898-1930
Spouse(s) James Neill (m.1897-1931; his death)

Edythe Chapman (October 8, 1863 October 15, 1948) was an American stage and silent film actress.

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. 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.



Born in Rochester, New York, Chapman began her stage career as early as 1898 when she appeared in New York City in The Charity Ball. [1] [2] She performed at the Shubert Theater in Brooklyn in a production of The Light Eternal in 1907. The play was a romantic drama of Imperial Rome which was supported by a cast of approximately 100 people.[ citation needed ]

Rochester, New York City in New York, United States

Rochester is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York. With a population of 208,046 residents, Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over 1 million people. It is about 73 miles (117 km) east of Buffalo and 87 miles (140 km) west of Syracuse.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.

Chapman played maternal roles in numerous silent motion pictures and became known in the 1920s as Hollywood's Mother. [3] She played Ma Jones in the film version of Lightnin' (1925), a screen production which featured Will Rogers. Edythe was Grandmother Janeway in Man Crazy (1927). The film starred Dorothy Mackaill and Jack Mulhall. Chapman was praised by reviewers for her performance.[ citation needed ]

<i>Lightnin</i> (1925 film) 1925 film by John Ford

Lightnin' is a 1925 American silent comedy film directed by John Ford. It was based on a successful play of the same name. The original run of the play started in 1918 at the Gaiety Theatre and continued for 1,291 performances, breaking the record for longest running play at that time.

Will Rogers American humorist and entertainer

William Penn Adair Rogers was an American stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, American cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator from Oklahoma. He was a Cherokee citizen born in the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory.

Dorothy Mackaill English-born American actress

Dorothy Mackaill was a British-American actress, most notably of the silent-film era and into the early 1930s.

Chapman came to Hollywood around 1909 with her husband, screen and stage actor, James Neill. The two met in Cincinnati when Chapman was working in Neill's stock company. [3] [1] The couple got married in 1897 [3] and soon began making movies with Cecil B. DeMille and other noteworthy directors and producers. They had leading roles in The Ten Commandments (1923), Manslaughter (1922), The Little American (1917), and other silent motion pictures. Neill died in 1931. [1] The final movie in which Edythe appeared was Double Crossroads in 1930. Prior to this, she had a large role in Navy Blues (1929). [1]

James Neill actor

James Neill was an American stage actor and film actor of the silent era. He appeared in 113 films between 1913 and 1930. His wife, and frequent costar on stage and screen, was Edythe Chapman.

Cincinnati City in Ohio

Cincinnati is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and is the government seat of Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located at the northern side of the confluence of the Licking and Ohio rivers, the latter of which marks the state line with Kentucky. The city drives the Cincinnati–Middletown–Wilmington combined statistical area, which had a population of 2,172,191 in the 2010 census making it Ohio's largest metropolitan area. With a population of 296,943, Cincinnati is the third-largest city in Ohio and 65th in the United States. Its metropolitan area is the fastest growing economic power in the Midwestern United States based on increase of economic output and it is the 28th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the U.S. Cincinnati is also within a day's drive of 49.70% of the United States populace.

Cecil B. DeMille American film director

Cecil Blount DeMille was an American filmmaker. Between 1914 and 1958, he made a total of 70 features, both silent and sound films. He is acknowledged as a founding father of the cinema of the United States and the most commercially successful producer-director in film history. His films were distinguished by their epic scale and by his cinematic showmanship. He made silent films of every genre: social dramas, comedies, Westerns, farces, morality plays, and historical pageants.


Edythe Chapman Neill died in Glendale, California after a brief illness, a week past her 85th birthday. [1] She was interred alongside her husband at Bonaventure Cemetery.[ citation needed ]

Glendale, California City in California, United States

Glendale is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Its estimated 2014 population was 200,167, making it the third-largest city in Los Angeles County and the 23rd-largest city in California. It is located about 8 mi (13 km) north of downtown Los Angeles.

Bonaventure Cemetery cemetery in Georgia, United States

Bonaventure Cemetery is a public cemetery located on a scenic bluff of the Wilmington River, east of Savannah, Georgia. The cemetery became famous when it was featured in the 1994 novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, and in the movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, based on the book. It is the largest of the city's municipal cemeteries, containing nearly 160 acres (0.65 km2).

Partial filmography

Richelieu is a 1914 American silent drama film directed by Allan Dwan and featuring Lon Chaney. The film is now considered to be lost. It is based on a play written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Originally intended to be given a special release at six reels in length, Universal eventually cut it down to four reels and put it out as part of its regular programme of pictures.

<i>The Pretty Sister of Jose</i> (1915 film) 1915 film by Allan Dwan

The Pretty Sister of Jose was a 1915 American silent romantic drama written and directed by Allan Dwan, and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's 1889 novel of the same name and the 1903 stage play starring Maude Adams, the film starred Marguerite Clark and Jack Pickford. The Pretty Sister of Jose is now presumed lost.

<i>The Golden Chance</i> 1915 film by Cecil B. DeMille

The Golden Chance is a 1915 American drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. A print of the film survives at George Eastman House. DeMille remade the film in 1921 as Forbidden Fruit.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Edythe Chapman, 85, Stage, Film Actress" . The New York Times . October 16, 1948. p. 15. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  2. The Capital. California: Capital Publishing Company. 1902.|access-date= requires |url= (help)
  3. 1 2 3 "James Neill Dead; Actor For 47 Years" . The New York Times. March 16, 1931. p. 19. Retrieved August 30, 2018.