Stella Adams

Stella Adams (April 24, 1883 – September 17, 1961) was an actress of the silent and early sound film eras. Her forte was in short films.

Stella Adams
Stella Adams (from Motion Picture Magazine, January 1915)
Born(1883-04-24)April 24, 1883
DiedSeptember 17, 1961(1961-09-17) (aged 78)
Years active1909–1936
Spouse(s)James Whittendale

Early years

Adams was born in Sherman, Texas.[1]


Although Adams appeared in only 12 feature films,[2] she acted in almost 150 shorts during the silent era, mostly in starring or featured roles. Her first acting credit was one of those feature films, 1909's In the Sultan's Power,[note 1][3] in which she had a starring role. The film was remarkable because it was the first film shot entirely on the west coast of the United States.[4] At this point in the film industry, most films were still shot in New Jersey and New York.

Adams joined the Nestor Film Company in 1912 and moved to California when the company relocated there. Her early work was in comedies, but she also started working in Westerns. She left Nestor with director Al Christie when he began his own studio.[1]

In 1917, an article in the trade publication Billboard reported that Adams left California "to join her husband in Chicago, and will next year return to the elegitimate stage."[5]

Twenty years passed before Adams made another feature film, when she appeared in a featured role in the silent/sound film, Me, Gangster, directed by Raoul Walsh.[6] Over the next eight years, Adams made another ten films, although in smaller and smaller roles, retiring in 1936.

Personal life

Adams was married to press agent James Whittendale.[5]


Adams died in Woodland Hills, California,[1] on September 17, 1961, and was interred in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles.[7]

(Per AFI database)[2]


  1. A 1934 newspaper article gives the film's name as Power of the Sultan.


  1. Lowe, Denise (2014). An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Women in Early American Films: 1895-1930. Routledge. ISBN 9781317718963. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  2. "Stella Adams". American Film Institute. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  3. Coons, Robbin (June 1, 1934). "Sights and Sounds". Abilene Reporter-News. Texas, Abilene. p. 6. Retrieved July 26, 2017 via
  4. "In the Sultan's Power". American Film Institute. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  5. "Press-Advance Agents". Billboard. April 28, 1917. p. 25. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  6. "Me, Gangster". American Film Institute. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  7. James Greenfield (July 5, 2012). "Stella A Adams". Motion picture actress. Find a Grave. Retrieved December 24, 2014.

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