Kenneth Harlan

Kenneth Daniel Harlan[1] (July 26, 1895 – March 6, 1967) was an American actor of the silent film era, playing mostly romantic leads or adventurer types.

Kenneth Harlan
Harlan in 1918
Kenneth Daniel Harlan

(1895-07-26)July 26, 1895
DiedMarch 6, 1967(1967-03-06) (aged 71)
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
Alma materFordham University
Years active1916—1963
Spouse(s)Rosemarie Gonsalves Mirjanian
Rhea Walker
Helene Stanton
(1949–1953, divorce)
Helen Spetner
Phyllis McClure
Doris Hilda Booth
Marie Prevost
Florence Hart
Salome Sanborn
Parent(s)George W. Harlan
Rita W. Harlan
RelativesOtis Harlan (uncle)

Early life

Harlan was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of George W. Harlan and actress Rita W. Harlan (born Sarah Wolff).[2][3][4] He was a graduate of Saint Francis High School in Brooklyn, New York City, and Fordham University in the Bronx.[5]


At age seven, Harlan began acting on stage and working in vaudeville. His first film was A Black Sheep (1915).[5]

He spent much of 1916 touring with a company of dancers that headlined future Ziegfeld performer Evan-Burrows Fontaine.[6] His career spanned 25 years and included 200 features and serials, Harlan first entered the motion picture world in 1916 as the leading man under D.W. Griffith. Harlan later played with Constance Talmadge, Lois Weber, Mary Pickford, Katherine MacDonald, Anna May Wong, and others. Harlan was skilled at drama and comedy, and made several westerns.

Harlan had the leading role in two film serials, Finger Prints (1931) and Danger Island (1931).[1]

He made a smooth transition to talkies, even singing in a few films, but his film roles remained minor throughout his later career. Harlan worked until the 1940s and retired in 1963.

Personal life and death

Harlan was married nine times, including a marriage to silent screen star Marie Prevost.[7] His fifth wife was actress-singer Helene Stanton, whom he married in 1949 and divorced four years later.[8]

Harlan, who was a nephew of actor and comedian Otis Harlan, died of an acute aneurysm in 1967 in Sacramento, California.[9] He was 71.

Complete filmography


  1. Mayer, Geoff (2017). Encyclopedia of American Film Serials. McFarland. p. 144. ISBN 9781476627199. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  5. Katchmer, George A. (2002). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. p. 149. ISBN 9780786446933. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  6. The Lincoln (Nebraska) Daily Star – Nov. 25, 1916
  8. "'Friendly' Divorce". Newport Daily News. Rhode Island, Newport. Associated Press. December 29, 1953. p. 7. Retrieved March 9, 2018 via
  9. Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 130. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
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