Helen Jerome Eddy

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Helen Jerome Eddy
HJ Eddy Witzel.jpg
Eddy in 1920
Born(1897-02-25)February 25, 1897
DiedJanuary 27, 1990(1990-01-27) (aged 92)
Years active19151947

Helen Jerome Eddy (February 25, 1897 – January 27, 1990) was a motion picture actress from New York City. She was noted as a character actress who played genteel heroines in films such as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917). [1]


Early years

Eddy was born in New York City on February 25, 1897, [2] and was raised in Los Angeles, California. As a youth, she acted in productions put on by the Pasadena Playhouse. She became interested in films through the studio of Siegmund Lubin, which was based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In her youth they opened a backlot in her Los Angeles neighborhood. [1]


The Flirt (1923) Helen Jerome Eddy, in "The Flirt" (Mar 1923).png
The Flirt (1923)

Lubin's studio rejected a scenario that Eddy wrote at age 17, "but decided to capitalize on her face", [2] using her in vamp roles in "lurid melodramas". [2]

Eddy's first movie was The Discontented Man (1915). Soon after, she left Lubin and joined Paramount Pictures. At this time she began to play the roles for which she is best remembered. Other films in which the actress participated include The March Hare (1921), The Dark Angel , Camille , Quality Street , The Divine Lady (1929) and the first Our Gang talkie Small Talk (1929). [1]

She made Girls Demand Excitement in 1931 and her final film, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty , in 1947. [1] Even as a seasoned performer in the late 1920s it was remarked that Eddy looked "astonishingly young in appearance to have been in pictures for so many years".[ citation needed ]

Eddy thrived on playing varied characters and said, "Italian women, French, Turkish, girls of the Bowery, kitchenmaids — they're all in the day's work". [3]

Dissatisfaction with her salary led Eddy to retire from her film career. [4]

Later years and death

After she retired from films, Eddy worked in real estate in Pasadena. She acted in some local productions, including playing religious characters in plays at the Pilgrimage Theater in Hollywood Hills. [4]

Eddy died of heart failure on January 27, 1990, at the Episcopal Home in Alhambra, California, at the age of 92. [1]

Partial filmography

The Turn in The Road (1919) The Turn in The Road.jpg
The Turn in The Road (1919)

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Helen Jerome Eddy, Actress, 92". New York Times . Associated Press. February 2, 1990. Retrieved 2011-11-08. Helen Jerome Eddy, an actress known for her portrayals of genteel heroines in films like the 1916 version of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, died of heart failure on Jan. 27 at the Episcopal Home. She was 92 years old. ...
  2. 1 2 3 Stars of the Photoplay. Photoplay magazine. 1924. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  3. "Miss Eddy glad she isn't a pink and white 'cutie'". Los Angeles Evening Express. May 4, 1918. p. 10. Retrieved May 15, 2021 via Newspapers.com.
  4. 1 2 "Helen Jerome Eddy: Silent Screen Actress Played High-Class Heroines". The Los Angeles Times. January 31, 1990. p. A 18. Retrieved May 15, 2021 via Newspapers.com.

Further reading