[Book] My Strange Life: The Intimate Life Story of a Moving Picture Actress (1915)

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BettyLouSpence
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[Book] My Strange Life: The Intimate Life Story of a Moving Picture Actress (1915)

Post by BettyLouSpence »

Here's an interesting silent film related book from 1915 called My Strange Life: The Intimate Life Story of a Moving Picture Actress. The book is "illustrated with photographs of America's most famous motion picture actresses"; Mary Pickford, Marguerite Clark, Mary Fuller, Grace Cunard, Edna Mayo, Norma Phillips, Alice Joyce, Blanche Sweet, Pearl White, Kathlyn Williams, Clara Kimball Young, and Lillian Walker.

I'm going to be reading this over the week. From the first couple of pages it seems to be in a diary format. Just read the first three sentences: "My secret! How can I tell it? How can I bear to confess it?" :lol:

The full book on Internet Archive

Btw, I wasn't sure if this should've been in the books or silent section. Feel free to move this thread to the appropriate place, Kitty!
"No, Vico! You'd make a marvelous second husband—but you're too much of a luxury for a poor girl's first venture!" ~ Kitty Flanders in Children of Divorce (1927)

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Kitty
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Re: [Book] My Strange Life: The Intimate Life Story of a Moving Picture Actress (1915)

Post by Kitty »

This is so cool!!! Thanks for sharing. Right now it seems to be available in new print and original form, as well as being on archive, as you link. Yes, I'm going to move this post. You probably have gathered that I love antique books so much, so I really want this book now. :lol:
You trying to tell me you didn't hear that shriek? That was something trying to get out of its premature grave, and I don't want to be here when it does. - Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

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BettyLouSpence
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Re: [Book] My Strange Life: The Intimate Life Story of a Moving Picture Actress (1915)

Post by BettyLouSpence »

Ok, I read the book. If you care about being spoiled or anything, don't read the below. But if you really wanna know what happens...

The first 3/4 of the book consists of Nella Moreland telling her life story and rise to movie stardom, and she constantly refers to an Annette Wilkins. She's an orphan from Pittsburgh with a natural talent for the piano and as a result is hired as a movie theater pianist. Matinee idol Roland Welles makes a personal appearance at the theater and Nella falls in love with him. She wants to become a famous movie actress but is told by the X— Studio to get her start in stage acting.

Nella is sent to the Henry Irving Theater on recommemdation from Roland. After the manager (who she calls Beaver-Face) sexually harasses her, she leaves and wanders New York desperately searching for an acting gig, but is constantly turned away. She meets Roland again, who's now a director, and after a walk by the cliffs they kiss. He wants her to play a part in his picture where she kisses an actor. She fails as she cannot think of kissing anybody but Roland, who is disappointed, and she leaves the studio.

She wanders New York penniless and hungry again, and is directed to an artist who needs a model with some acting ability so he can illustrate a magazine story. She does a great job and is picked up by H—, a director at Y— Studio. She plays in many pictures there and H— falls in love with her but her heart still longs for Roland, despite his being a total cad. She does her own stunts involving trains and planes and after she's filmed saving a random child from a real tenement fire she shoots to super stardom.

Nella is done talking about her past. She now tells her story as it's happening. It's September now (she started her entries in April). She is currently the most popular actress in the country, and she tells how that night she was voted Movie Queen of America. Annette Wilkins is revealed as an aspiring starlet that Nella and H— take a liking to, but Annete has fallen for Roland. As a result Nella doesn't want her on. Y— Studio is shooting a picture by the sea shore but she asks H— to shoot by the river, because she knows Roland and his company will be there. She gets revenge on Roland (via the "oh... do I know you?" cattiness route, lol) because he was such a cad who cruelly played with her heart, and she realizes she loves H—. The Y— Studio takes Annette, who is now safe from Roland.

In the postscript she and (presumably!) H— meet in her doorway and they embrace. The end.
"No, Vico! You'd make a marvelous second husband—but you're too much of a luxury for a poor girl's first venture!" ~ Kitty Flanders in Children of Divorce (1927)

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