Movie Pictorial (March 1915)

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MOVIE PICTORIAL « for the present and I am going to give you a real surprise.” He was so pleased over his surprise for me, how could 7 help being? “No one knows very much about this except my closest friends and they all pamper me in it.” He was leading me out from his study. We went through a sunny hallway and then at a turn into a great room. The room was a sudden breath of sum- mer, all soft with the air of sunlight, breezing over palms and ferns. They were everywhere and I felt rather than saw or heard at first, that birds were there. It was delightful! Then I saw cage after cage and the birds in them all began to flutter and chirp their welcome and whir their little wings against their cages as Francis Bushman entered. I could only gasp an “ah!” of real pleasure. “Isn’t it wonderful?” he said. He was keenly en- joying it all. “Aren’t they beauties?” “How many, many of them?” I asked. “Over a hundred,” he said, “and I keep getting them myself and my friends, as I said, you know, realize that birds are my greatest hobby—my pleas- antest weakness!” — he laughed — “and so they help it along.” The birds began to chirp and some to sing. He turned to me: “How do you like my aviary — my surprise?” “I can think of no words to express my pleasure except Madam Butterfly’s ‘this is the mos’ bes’ nizest of all!’ ” “ Isn’t it,” he admitted. He opened some of the cages and with a glad little song, the feathered friends came and fluttered about him. They cooed over him, buried themselves in the cool green of the thick walls of ferns and palms and had the happiest time of their adorable little lives for a few minutes. One darted at me! I stepped back on something soft in the subdued light under a palm. At first I thought it was a thick rug. To my horror—it writhed out from under me without a sound. I fairly leaped forward. “What is it? A snake?” I cried. Mr. Bushman laughed and switched on the light. “No!—it isn’t a snake!—that’s only ‘Dragoman.’” “Oh,” I gasped, much relieved I assure you, for never since Eve took a dislike to serpents has any- one ever lived who loathed snakes as does this humble scribe. “I don’t like snakes either,” admitted Mr. Bush- man, for my condolence. I felt that I should apol- ogize to “Dragoman” and turned to do it. Dragoman was a great Dane and he stood stretch- ing himself and staring at me reproachfully. Mr. Bushman patted him affectionately. “It’s all right, old fellow.” Reassured Dragoman returned to the shade of the sheltering palm’ as he took another (Continued on page 26 ) Reality and Shadow I HE latest and most notable enlistment for the moto- graphic stage is Irene Fen- wick, who has been engaged by George Kleine as leading lady for his eastern stock com- pany. The good judgment in the selection has been amply justified, as the young lady heretofore associated with theatrical enterprises, has since the announce- ment of her new alliance been fairly besieged with offers of engagements. Many actresses have been tried and found wanting when it came to the searching eye of the camera; so that picture producers are film-shy even of famous stage favorites, until they have been photographed in action. Irene Fenwick is svelte, blue-eyed, and possesses mobility of feature, that equips her charmingly for magnetic visualization in the photoplay. Like the radiant Lillian Russell, whose beauty defies the wrinkling touch of time; that winsome woman of film- dom, Miriam Nesbitt; and that charming ingenue in a class by herself, Blanche Sweet, Irene Fenwick is a product of Chicago. She is proud of the city of her nativity, joys in the fact that she made her first stage appearance there, and in that place won praise in her first acting part. She was a slip of a girl in her ’teens when she joined the chorus of “Peggy from Paris” at the Studebaker Theater, and it seemed a “long, long way” from the cloistered Notre Dame where she was educated, to the bright lights and the merry music of the stage. But, it did not turn her pretty head, and only whetted her serious ambitions, that have since been abundantly realized. In discussing the inspiration of her suc- cess she gave her mother the credit. “You see. Mother was only sixteen when I was born, and family cares engrossed her so early in life — so she really had no chance to follow the great dramatic aptitude she possessed — but gave it to me as a heritage.” Miss Fenwick coyly admitted she had a chance to retire and become a millionairess in Philadelphia; but, she put the temptation behind her, preferring instead, the engross- ing cares of her chosen profession. She explained her surprise over the curi- ous change of her name. “You see it was this way Fortunately, I was very successful in a tour of the provincial cities of England under the direction of Charles Frohman, and he always sort of jumped when my name (Frizelle) was pro- nounced— it seemed to jar his nerves. When I returned to New York I was greeted at the Frohman offices as ‘Miss Fenwick.’ I asked Mr. Frohman the reason for it and he said it was more befitting the dignity of dramatic portrayal that he then had in mind for me. He told me that Ann Fenwick was a famous English court beauty, and that sug- gested the name to him.” This recalls the fact that Daniel Frohman changed Maud Light’s name to Margaret Illington as better sounding for stage service, at the same time glorifying her native town and state Bloomington, 111. The veracious press agent has exploited Miss Fenwick for establishing “A School for Correct Walking,” which brought joy to the paraders along “The Great White Way”; but, did not win finan- cially. She is also credited with being particularly ingenious in dress devices. As for herself, she takes her art as most serious and engrossing, and forgivingly smiles at the pranks of the merry- makers who dilate upon mere sensational talking points. Irene Fenwick is now the star of the “Song of Songs,” a play which has been breaking records at the Eltinge Theater, New York. An unusual angle of her engagement in moving picture work is that it will in no way interfere with her stage career. While playing in New York, she will be simultaneously engaged in film work in the Kleine Studios on East Four- teenth Street. Miss Fenwick, therefore, will continue to be seen in the Thespian life in Manhattan, and at the same time in alluring shadow in film everywhere. In this way she enjoys double distinction, and her stage rep- utation will be preserved and her pictorial position enhanced. Following her success in small parts in “Peggy from Paris,” “The Office Boy,” and “Just One of the Boys,” she was given the first really serious opportunity of her career in the role of Sylvia Futvoye, the leading feminine part in “The Brass Bottle.” In this she scored an instant hit and the following season appeared in “The Speckled Band,” a detective story by A. Conan Doyle. “The Im- portance of Being Earnest,” that clever skit by Oscar Wilde, was her next success and in this she toured the principal cities of England. Then she was Kiki in the French farce, “The Zebra.” It is an interesting fact that Hamil- ton Revelle, who plays De Cosse Brissac in the Kleine photoplay “Du Bai-ry,” appeared with her in this production. Miss Fenwick’s next triumph was the role of Beatrice Lind in “The Million,” that delightful farce which proved to be one of the most popular comedies. Following came what many are inclined to regard as the best work of her career, that of the Princess Irma in “Hawthorne of the U. S. A.,” with Douglass Fairbanks. In this she eclipsed her previous portrayals, as the pensive, dutiful, loving princess was eminent- ly to her liking, well adapted to her histrionic capabilities. “Hawthorne of the U. S. A.” proved an exceptionally popular play and Miss Fenwick has been seen in it in the prin- cipal cities of the United States. It is, however, her present work in “The Song of Songs” that has raised Miss Fenwick over night into the realms of stardom. In this she has proven herself an actress of re- markable powers and significant promise. The role of Lilly Kardos calls for a rare qual- ity of acting ability, and the expression of emotion even more subtle than vested in the confines of word and gesture. And so with the wealth of her stage successes, into film comes this magnetic little actress, into this wider and bigger field of pleasure giving work. And all of us who 3it within the shadow while the screen re- flects the portrayal of the silent drama, can look for- ward to delight in Miss Fenwick’s presentations. Already, she is busily engaged at the Kleine Studios in New York where Director Fitzmaurice is filming that cleverest of Forbe’s comedies, “The Commuters.” Already elaborate plans are en- train to feature this artist in duality in some of the well known stage successes in which she has played — a herald of pleasures to come for patrons of moving picture theaters. IRENE FENWICK ARTIST IN DUALITY