July 19, 1893
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
|Died||February 4, 1922 28) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Cause of death||Inert gas asphyxiation|
|Other names||Florence Deschon|
Florence Deshon (born Florence Danks; July 19, 1893 –February 4, 1922) was an American motion picture actress in silent films. Born in Tacoma, Washington, Deshon began her film career in 1915, appearing in The Beloved Vagabond , and would later star in numerous pictures for Samuel Goldwyn and Vitagraph Studios between 1918 and 1921. She was romantically involved with writer Max Eastman and actor Charlie Chaplin. Deshon died of gas asphyxiation in her New York City apartment.
Florence Deshon was born Florence Danks in Tacoma, Washington, to Samuel Danks, a musician and union organizer from Wales, and Flora Caroline Spatzer, a pianist of Austro-Hungarian descent.   She lived in Washington with her parents and older brother, Walter, until the family moved to New York City around 1900, as her parents pursued musical careers.
In 1913, she became acquainted with writer Max Eastman in Greenwich Village, and the two became romantically involved. 
Deshon appeared in more than twenty silent films, beginning in 1915 with The Beloved Vagabond . In 1919, while living in New York, she was summoned by Samuel Goldwyn to Los Angeles, California, and offered her work in his studio. 
Deshon played in features for Vitagraph Studios until 1921. Her final film credit was in the role of Sally McTurk in The Roof Tree, directed by John Francis Dillon. She returned to New York City with her mother in December 1921, hoping to continue her work in films there. 
In addition to her relationship with Eastman, Deshon had a purported romantic relationship with Charlie Chaplin while living in Los Angeles and purportedly "commuted from coast to coast" between the two men. 
On February 4, 1922, Deshon was found unconscious on the third floor of her apartment building at 120 West Eleventh Street. A window was open in her bedroom, but illuminating gas flowed from an opened jet. A newspaperwoman, Minnie Morris, found Deshon when she returned to the building. An ambulance took Deshon to St. Vincent's Hospital, but attempts to revive her were unsuccessful. She died the following afternoon, aged 28. Deshon's apartment had been subleased from Doris Stevens, who was married to Dudley Field Malone. The couple were honeymooning in Europe at the time of the actress' death. She died five days after William Desmond Taylor, who overshadowed her.
A medical examiner concluded Deshon's death was accidental. However, rumors persisted among her circle of friends and acquaintances that she might have committed suicide, and several biographers, including Ross Wetzsteon  and Christoph Irmscher,  have described her death as such. An unsubstantiated comment from a neighbor had it that she had recently argued with a person who came to her apartment. Having recently broken off their relationship, Eastman claimed that Deshon had no reason to kill herself and that her death was accidental; he had come across her on the street on the afternoon before her death when they spoke briefly before going their separate ways. That evening, Eastman heard that she had been rushed to hospital whilst he was watching a theatre performance. He went to St. Vincent's and gave blood, but the attempt to revive Deshon was futile.
|1915||The Beloved Vagabond|||
|1916||The Ruling Passion||Blanche Walcott|||
|1917||The Judgment House||Al'Mah|||
|1917||The Auction Block||Lilas Lynn|||
|1917||The Other Man||Lucia Stedman|||
|1918||The Desired Woman||Irene Mitchell|||
|1918||A Bachelor's Children||Mrs. Beaumont|||
|1918||Just a Woman||—|||
|1918||The Golden Goal||Beatrice Walton|||
|1918||One Thousand Dollars||Lotta Lauriere|||
|1918||Love Watches||Lucia de Morfontaine|||
|1918||The Clutch of Circumstance||Lory Williams|||
|1919||The Cambric Mask||Mrs. Lanark|||
|1919||The Loves of Letty||Mrs. Allardyce|||
|1920||The Cup of Fury||Polly Widdicombe|||
|1920||Dangerous Days||Marion Hayden|||
|1920||Twins of Suffering Creek||Jess Jones|||
|1920||Dollars and Sense||Daisy|||
|1920||Deep Waters||Kate Leroy|||
|1921||The Roof Tree||Sally McTurk|||
The year 1916 in film involved some significant events.
Florence Lawrence was a Canadian-American stage performer and film actress. She is often referred to as the "first movie star", and was long thought to be the first film actor to be named publicly until evidence published in 2019 indicated that the first named film star was French actor Max Linder. At the height of her fame in the 1910s, she was known as the "Biograph Girl" for work as one of the leading ladies in silent films from the Biograph Company. She appeared in almost 300 films for various motion picture companies throughout her career.
A Woman of Paris is a feature-length American silent film that debuted in 1923. The film, an atypical drama film for its creator, was written, directed, produced and later scored by Charlie Chaplin. It is also known as A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate.
Amabel Ethelreid Normand, better known as Mabel Normand, was an American silent film actress, screenwriter, director, and producer. She was a popular star and collaborator of Mack Sennett in their Keystone Studios films, and at the height of her career in the late 1910s and early 1920s had her own film studio and production company. Onscreen, she appeared in twelve successful films with Charlie Chaplin and seventeen with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, sometimes writing and directing films featuring Chaplin as her leading man.
Norma Marie Talmadge was an American actress and film producer of the silent era. A major box-office draw for more than a decade, her career reached a peak in the early 1920s, when she ranked among the most popular idols of the American screen.
Flora Finch was an English-born vaudevillian, stage and film actress who starred in over 300 silent films, including over 200 for the Vitagraph Studios film company. The vast majority of her films from the silent era are currently classified as lost.
The Vagabond is a 1916 American silent romantic comedy film by Charlie Chaplin and his third film with Mutual Films. Released to theaters on July 10, 1916, it co-starred Edna Purviance, Eric Campbell, Leo White and Lloyd Bacon. This film echoed Chaplin's work on The Tramp, with more drama and pathos mixed in with the comedy.
Margrethe Mather was an American photographer. She was one of the best known female photographers of the early 20th century. Initially she influenced and was influenced by Edward Weston while working in the pictorial style, but she independently developed a strong eye for patterns and design that transformed some of her photographs into modernist abstract art. She lived a mostly uncompromising lifestyle in Los Angeles that alternated between her photography and the creative Hollywood community of the 1920s and 1930s. In later life she abandoned photography, and she died unrecognized for her photographic accomplishments.
"in artistic matters Margaret was, of course, the teacher, Edward (Weston) the pupil" — Imogen Cunningham
Alice Beatrice Calhoun was an American silent film actress.
Myrtle Stedman was an American leading lady and later character actress in motion pictures who began in silent films in 1910.
Pauline Curley was a vaudeville and silent film actress from Holyoke, Massachusetts. Her film career spanned much of the silent era, from 1915 to 1928.
Lydia Yeamans Titus was an Australian-born American singer, dancer, comedienne, and actress who had a lengthy career in vaudeville and cinema. She was remembered on stage for her Baby-Talk act and a popular rendition of the English ballad, Sally in Our Alley. In appreciation, King Edward VII once presented Titus a gold bar pin with the opening notes of Sally in Our Alley etched in diamonds. In later life Titus became a pioneer in the medium of film appearing in at least 132 motion pictures between 1911 and 1930.
Mabel Julienne Scott was an American stage and silent movie actress.
Josephine Lovett was an American scenario writer, adapter, screenwriter and actress, active in films from 1916 to 1935. She was married to Canadian-born director, John Stewart Robertson. She is best known for her then-risqué film Our Dancing Daughters in 1928. Her screenplays typically included a heroine who was oftentimes economically and sexually independent.
Gladys Leslie Moore was an American actress in silent film, active in the 1910s and 1920s. Though less-remembered than superstars like Mary Pickford, she had a number of starring roles from 1917 to the early 1920s and was one of the young female stars of her day.
Nellie Bly Baker was an American actress active in the silent film era and early talkies, mostly playing minor roles. She is often confused with the journalist Nellie Bly (1864–1922). Baker's career as an actress took place from 1921–1934 and she performed in 13 films. She was never the star or had the main role in any films, playing minor or supporting characters. Many of these films were made by Associated First National Pictures, First National Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Most of the films she performed in were silent films.
Jack Sherrill was an American film actor of the silent era. He was one of the leading players for the Frohman Amusement Company.
Betty Howe was an American actress in silent films.
Dollars and Sense is a 1920 American silent drama film directed by Harry Beaumont and starring Madge Kennedy, Kenneth Harlan and Willard Louis.
Her Body in Bond is a 1918 American silent drama film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Mae Murray, Kenneth Harlan and Alan Roscoe.
Vol. VII, No. 17