Edythe Chapman

Edythe Chapman (October 8, 1863 October 15, 1948) was an American stage and silent film actress.

Edythe Chapman
Chapman by Otto Sarony, c.1906
Born(1863-10-08)October 8, 1863
DiedOctober 15, 1948(1948-10-15) (aged 85)
Resting placeBonaventure Cemetery
Years active1898-1930
Spouse(s)James Neill (m.1897-1931; his death)


Born in Rochester, New York, Chapman began her stage career as early as 1898 when she appeared in New York City in The Charity Ball.[1][2] She performed at the Shubert Theater in Brooklyn in a production of The Light Eternal in 1907. The play was a romantic drama of Imperial Rome which was supported by a cast of approximately 100 people.

Chapman played maternal roles in numerous silent motion pictures and became known in the 1920s as Hollywood's Mother.[3] She played Ma Jones in the film version of Lightnin' (1925), a screen production which featured Will Rogers. Edythe was Grandmother Janeway in Man Crazy (1927). The film starred Dorothy Mackaill and Jack Mulhall. Chapman was praised by reviewers for her performance.

Chapman came to Hollywood around 1909 with her husband, screen and stage actor, James Neill. The two met in Cincinnati when Chapman was working in Neill's stock company.[3][1] The couple got married in 1897[3] and soon began making movies with Cecil B. DeMille and other noteworthy directors and producers. They had leading roles in The Ten Commandments (1923), Manslaughter (1922), The Little American (1917), and other silent motion pictures. Neill died in 1931.[1] The final movie in which Edythe appeared was Double Crossroads in 1930. Prior to this, she had a large role in Navy Blues (1929).[1]


Edythe Chapman Neill died in Glendale, California after a brief illness, a week past her 85th birthday.[1] She was interred alongside her husband at Bonaventure Cemetery.

Partial filmography


  1. "Edythe Chapman, 85, Stage, Film Actress". The New York Times. October 16, 1948. p. 15. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  2. The Capital. California: Capital Publishing Company. 1902.
  3. "James Neill Dead; Actor For 47 Years". The New York Times. March 16, 1931. p. 19. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
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