Evelyn Greeley

Evelyn Greeley (1888–1975) was a prominent actress in silent films. She appeared in approximately 30 films from 1915 to 1922.

Early life and education

Little is known with confidence about Greeley's early life.[1] Her date of birth is generally indicated as August 3, 1888. Contemporary publicity called her the granddaughter of Horace Greeley,[1] and gave her place of birth as Lexington, Kentucky; subsequent directories have often followed this.[2] However, her death certificate indicated that she was born to Stephen Huber and Frances Marko in Austria.[3] The pervasive anti-German sentiment during the World War I years in the United States would have provided an incentive for constructing such a false history.

Greeley is believed to have attended the Frances Shimer Academy, now known as Shimer College, and the University School for Girls in Chicago,[3] but some researchers have regarded this account of her education as simply another part of her "fictional life story".[4]

Acting career

Greeley began her acting career on the stage, touring with the "Poli Players" stock company of Sylvester Z. Poli. She began working in film in 1914, for the Chicago-based Essanay Studios, doing bit parts.[4] It was only after more than a year that she obtained her first credit line, in the Quality Pictures production The Second in Command.[4]

Greeley's career peaked in the years 1917–19, when she was under contract to the World Film Corporation, and starred opposite Carlyle Blackwell in numerous films. Her contract with World Film ended in 1920, and in the ensuing years she appeared in pictures produced by several different companies.

Filmography

Personal life and death

Greeley, who had been billed in the newspapers as the "most proposed-to woman in America",[5] married for the first time, to John Smiley, in October 1922.[6] Smiley is variously identified as a fellow actor[2] or a steel company executive.[6]

This first marriage does not appear to have lasted long, for in 1923, Greeley became the wife of businessman James H. Rand. Rand and Greeley finally divorced in 1960, charging one another with cruelty.[7] Subsequently, she married Morgan Laity.

Greeley died in West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1975.[1] She was survived by her husband Morgan.

References

  1. Denise Lowe (2005). "Greeley, Evelyn". An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Women in Early American Films: 1895–1930. p. 626. ISBN 0789018438.
  2. Vazzana, Eugene Michael (2001). Silent Film Necrology. p. 210.
  3. Billy H. Doyle & Anthony Slide (1995). "Evelyn Greeley". The ultimate directory of the silent screen performers: a necrology of births and deaths and essays on 50 lost players. p. 31. ISBN 0810829584.
  4. Ulrich, Rudolf (2004). Österreicher in Hollywood. Film Archiv Austria. p. 167. ISBN 3901932291.
  5. "Help Leap Year Lover Propose. So Says Evelyn Greeley, Who Accepts or Rejects Somebody Every Day". Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader. 1920-02-04. p. 14.
  6. "Kentucky Bride". Tampa Tribune. 1922-10-31. p. 6.
  7. "Rand Divorce Final". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 1960-09-19. p. 24.
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