Katherine Griffith

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Katherine Griffith
Katherine Griffith (1876-1921).jpg
Katherine Griffith, from a 1916 publication
BornSeptember 30, 1876
San Francisco, California
DiedOctober 17, 1921 (aged 45)
Los Angeles, California
Other namesCatherine Kiernan Griffith
Children3, including Gordon Griffith

Katherine Kiernan Griffith (September 30, 1876 [1] – October 17, 1921), also seen as Catherine Kiernan, [2] was an American character actress on stage and in silent films.


Early life

Catherine Kiernan was born in San Francisco, the daughter of Irish immigrants Peter Kiernan and Catherine Kiernan. [1]

Katherine Griffith and Mary Pickford in Pollyanna (1920) Pollyanna (1920) - 8.jpg
Katherine Griffith and Mary Pickford in Pollyanna (1920)


Griffith had a career in vaudeville and the musical theatre before moving into film work. [3] Described as a "large, commanding woman", [4] she appeared in dozens of silent films, including Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1913), The Gray Nun of Belgium (1915), The Greater Power (1916), [5] Murdered by Mistake (1916), [6] A Little Princess (1917) with Mary Pickford, [7] In Judgment Of (1918), [8] A Yankee Princess (1919) with Bessie Love, [9] The Woman Thou Gavest Me (1919), [10] The Spite Bride (1919) with Olive Thomas, [11] The Woman Next Door (1919), Pollyanna (1920), again with Mary Pickford, [12] Huckleberry Finn (1920), with her son Gordon Griffith as Tom Sawyer, Mid-Channel (1920), and They Shall Pay (1921).

Personal life

Kiernan married fellow actor Harry Sutherland Griffith in 1897. [2] They had three children, Gordon, Graham, and Gertrude; [13] her son Gordon became a child actor. [4] Katherine Griffith died suddenly from a stroke in 1921, aged 45 years, at her home in Los Angeles. [14] [15]

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  1. 1 2 Katherine Kiernan Griffith's birthdate varies in sources; September 30, 1876 is the date on her gravestone in Colma, California, via Ancestry, IMDB, and Find a Grave.
  2. 1 2 "Marriage License Issued". The Baltimore Sun. 1897-05-01. p. 2. Retrieved 2022-04-18 via Newspapers.com.
  3. Waddell, Al G. (1913-02-25). "Who's Who in Reel Drama: Katherine Griffith". The Los Angeles Times. p. 32. Retrieved 2022-04-18 via Newspapers.com.
  4. 1 2 "Flickers from the Camera of the Robards Players". Santa Cruz Evening News. March 7, 1917. p. 8. Retrieved April 18, 2022 via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  5. "Batting Out the Big U's". The Moving Picture World. 30: 1336. December 2, 1916.
  6. "L-Ko". The Moving Picture World. 30: 1693. December 16, 1916.
  7. Frobose, Paul H. (2006). "The Film Adaptations of Frances Hodgson Burnett's Stories". In Carpenter, Angelica Shirley (ed.). In the Garden: Essays in Honor of Frances Hodgson Burnett. Scarecrow Press. pp. 140–141. ISBN   978-0-8108-5288-4.
  8. America Film Institute (1997). Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911-1960. University of California Press. p. 492. ISBN   978-0-520-20964-0.
  9. "A Yankee Princess". Photo-Play World: 36. June 1919 via Internet Archive.
  10. "Theater Manager Says Play to Be Big Drawing Card". Los Angeles Herald. June 17, 1919. p. 20. Retrieved April 18, 2022 via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  11. "On the Picture Screen". San Francisco Call. September 22, 1920. p. 17. Retrieved April 18, 2022 via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  12. Vermilye, Jerry (1985). The films of the twenties. Internet Archive. Secaucus, N.J. : Citadel Press. pp. 36–37. ISBN   978-0-8065-0960-0 via Internet Archive.
  13. "Death Claims Mother of Noted Family". Oakland Tribune. 1921-10-30. p. 43. Retrieved 2022-04-18 via Newspapers.com.
  14. "Katherine Griffith, Film Actress, Dies". The Los Angeles Times. 1921-10-19. p. 21. Retrieved 2022-04-18 via Newspapers.com.
  15. "Mrs. K. Griffith, Willis L. Robards, Pass Away in South". Santa Cruz Evening News. December 8, 1921. p. 2. Retrieved April 18, 2022 via California Digital Newspaper Collection.