Mary Murillo

Last updated
Mary Murrillo
Born22 January 1888
Bradford, England
Died4 February 1944
Ickenham, England
OccupationScreenwriter

Mary Murillo was an actress, screenwriter, and businesswoman active during Hollywood's silent era. [1]

Contents

Mary Murillo (1918) Marymurillo.JPG
Mary Murillo (1918)

Early life

Mary was the illegitimate daughter of Sarah Mary Peacock (née Sunter). In 1894, her mother married Edward O'Connor, a Roman Catholic Irish commercial traveller, and she was raised as Mary O'Connor. [2] She was the eldest of four sisters (she also had an elder stepsister, Isabel Peacock, who later appeared in American films as Isabel Daintry). She was educated at St. Monica's in Skipton, Yorkshire, and at the Convent of the Sacred Heart School [3] in Roehampton. She adopted the professional name Mary Murillo after being compared in looks to a Murillo painting of the Madonna.

Career

In 1908, she traveled to America with her stepsister to start a stage career, and in February 1909, she made her debut in the chorus of the Broadway musical comedy Havana. She toured the United States, finding only small parts until 1913, when she started sending scenarios to film companies. Her first script to be accepted was bought by the husband-and-wife team of Phillips Smalley and Lois Weber. Other commissions followed, and the first film known to be credited to her is 1914's A Strand of Blond Hair, a Vitagraph comedy short starring John Bunny and Flora Finch. [4]

She wrote five melodramas for Theda Bara during the 1910s popularity of vamp films. She also wrote for Bara's Fox rival, Valeska Suratt. Murillo served as screenwriter for Fox Film from 1916 to 1917, then joining Norma Talmadge Productions in 1919. She returned to the UK in 1923 to work for Stoll Film Studios. She wrote the script for the hit French sound film Accusée, levez-vous! (1930). [4] In 1936, she formed the company Opticolor to market in Britain a French motion picture colour system, Francita, developed by her husband, Maurice Velle, son of French film pioneer Gaston Velle, but the business failed after a disastrous demonstration of the system. [5] She later worked for J. Arthur Rank, 1st Baron Rank's Religious Films Ltd.

A selection of films made by Murillo, Maurice Velle, and Gaston Velle was featured at Il Cinema Ritrovato film festival in Bologna in 2015. [6] [7]

Filmography

Related Research Articles

Viola Dana Actress

Viola Dana was an American film actress who was successful during the era of silent films. She appeared in over 100 films, but was unable to make the transition to sound films.

Maurice Tourneur French film director and screenwriter

Maurice "Tourneur" Félix Thomas was a French film director and screenwriter.

Olga Petrova British-American actress, screenwriter and playwright (1884-1977)

Olga Petrova was a British-American actress, screenwriter and playwright.

Francesca Bertini Italian actress

Francesca Bertini was an Italian silent film actress. She was one of the most successful silent film stars in the first quarter of the twentieth-century.

Lois Wilson (actress) American actress

Lois Wilson was an American actress who worked during the silent film era. She also directed two short films and was a scenario writer.

Vivian Martin

Vivian Martin was an American stage and silent film actress.

Ouida Bergère

Ouida Bergère was an American screenwriter and actress.

Helen Jerome Eddy American actress

Helen Jerome Eddy was a motion picture actress from New York, New York. She was noted as a character actress who played genteel heroines in films such as Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917).

Carl Stockdale American actor

Carl Stockdale also known as Carlton Stockdale was one of the longest-working Hollywood veteran actors, with a career dating from the early 1910s. He also made the difficult transition from silent films to talkies.

Fritzi Brunette American actress

Fritzi Brunette was an American actress.

Lloyd Ingraham American actor and director

Lloyd Chauncey Ingraham was an American film actor and director.

Maurice Elvey was the most prolific film director in British history. He directed nearly 200 films between 1913 and 1957. During the silent film era he directed as many as twenty films per year. He also produced more than fifty films - his own as well as films directed by others.

Agnes Christine Johnston American screenwriter

Agnes Christine Johnston was an American screenwriter who wrote for 84 films between 1915 and 1948.

Pathé Exchange Former film production and distribution company

Pathé Exchange was an independent American film production and distribution company from 1921 through 1927 after being established in 1904 as an American subdivision of French firm Pathé.

Maurits Binger Dutch film director

Maurits Binger was a Dutch film director, producer and screenwriter of the silent era. He directed 39 films between 1913 and 1922 and is considered one of the pioneers of fictional films in the Netherlands. Binger's studio and base of operations was in Haarlem, North Holland. Between 1919 and 1923 he was managing director of Anglo-Hollandia an attempt to break into the larger British market. There is a film institute in the Netherlands in his name. He is sometimes referred to as Maurice Binger.

Gerald Ames Actor, director, olympic fencer

Gerald Ames was a British actor, film director and Olympic fencer. Ames was born in Blackheath, London in 1880 and first took up acting in 1905. He was a popular leading man in the post-First World War cinema, appearing in more than sixty films between his debut in 1914 and his retirement from the screen in 1928 in a career entirely encompassing the silent era. He was also a regular stage actor who took on many leading roles in the theatre.

Violet Hopson British actress

Violet Hopson was an actress and producer who achieved fame on the British stage and in British silent films. She was born Elma Kate Victoria Karkeek in Port Augusta, South Australia on 16 December 1887. Violet Hopson was her stage name, while in childhood she was known as Kate or Kitty to her family.

Hepworth Picture Plays was a British film production company active during the silent era. Founded in 1897 by the cinema pioneer Cecil Hepworth, it was based at Walton Studios west of London.

Ivo Illuminati

Ivo Illuminati was an Italian film director, actor and screenwriter and a pioneer of the Italian silent movie.

Rosa Porten German screenwriter

Rosa Porten was a prolific German screenwriter, actress, and director during the silent film era.

References

  1. The Bioscope, Reporting on the world of early and silent cinema: Searching for Mary Murillo 5 November 2009
  2. "Gaston, Maurice and Mary". Luke McKernan.
  3. "Scenario Writers and Editors". Motion Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual: 236. 1919 via Ancestry.com.
  4. 1 2 Profile of Mary Murillo at womenandsilentbritishcinema.wordpress.com
  5. http://zauberklang.ch/filmcolors/timeline-entry/1269/#/
  6. "The Velle Connection 1900-1930: Gaston, Maurice and Mary Murillo". Il Cinema Ritrovato.
  7. "Columbia University › wfpp › pioneer Mary Murillo – Women Film Pioneers Project". Columbia University.

Further reading

Luke McKernan, 'Searching for Mary Murillo' in Christine Gledhill and Julia Knight (eds.), Doing Women's Film History: Reframing Cinemas, Past and Future (Urbana, Chicago and Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2015), ISBN   978-0252081187

Christina Petersen, 'Mary Murillo', Women Film Pioneers Project (2017)