Historical records matching Constance Alice Talmadge
About Constance Alice Talmadge
Nicknamed "Dutch" by her mother because of her adorable blond good looks as a plump little girl, which made her look like the Little Dutch Boy, silent movie star Constance Talmadge is best remembered for her feature comedies such as A Virtuous Vamp (1919), Polly of the Follies (1922) and Her Sister from Paris (1925), which provided an early costarring opportunity for Ronald Colman. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6300 Hollywood Blvd.
She was born Constance Alice Talmadge on April 19th, 1897 in Brooklyn, New York to Peg and Fred Talmadge. Talmadge had two other siblings, Norma and Natalie. Her father was an alcoholic and abandoned them when she was very young. Her mother made a living by doing laundry. When a friend recommended that Peg use Norma as a model for title slides in flickers, which were shown in early nickelodeons, Peg decided to try it. This led all three sisters into an acting career.
Talmadge began making films in 1914, in a Vitagraph comedy short, In Bridal Attire (1914). Her first major role was as The Mountain Girl and Marguerite de Valois in D.W. Griffith's Intolerance (1916). She followed that prestigious film with a series of light comedy features, including several opposite a favorite and frequent co-star Harrison Ford, such as "A Pair of Silk Stockings" (1918), "Happiness a la Mode" (1919), "Romance and Arabella" (1919), "Wedding Bells" (1921), and "The Primitive Lover" (1922). Talmadge worked for Paramount-Famous Players, and formed her own production company as well. She had a funny uncredited bit part in her brother-in-law Buster Keaton's comedy classic "Seven Chances" (1925), as the girl driving a car who so distracts Buster that he crashes into a tree with his own car. She was also quite delightfully funny in another surviving comedy, "The Duchess of Buffalo" (1926) -- which left the viewer with the distinct impression that Connie did not take sex seriously.
With the advent of talkies in 1929, Talmadge retired after shooting her last silent film, Venus (1929), in France. Her sister Norma did make a handful of appearances in talking films, but for the most part the three sisters retired all together, investing in real estate and other business ventures. Only a few of her films survive today.
Talmadge and her sister Norma succumbed to substance abuse and alcohol problems later in life, just like their father, and both became reclusive, shutting out former old friends and colleagues. When theatrical producer Leonard Sillman asked her to appear on Broadway in the 1960's she jokingly replied, "Are you kidding? I couldn't act even when I was a movie star!" Norma died in 1957 and Constance Talmadge died from pneumonia on November 23rd, 1973.
She was married four times, but her early relationships rarely lasted more than a total of three years;
- Her first marriage, to John Pialoglou, occurred in 1920 at a double wedding with Dorothy Gish and James Rennie. She divorced Pialoglou two years later.
- She married Alastair McIntosh in February 1926, divorcing in 1927.
- She married Townsend Netcher in May 1929, divorcing in 1931.
- She married Walter Michael Giblon in 1939. This marriage lasted until his death on May 1, 1964.
Along with her sister Norma, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, Talmadge inaugurated the tradition of placing her footprints in cement outside Grauman's Chinese Theater. She left a trail of five footprints in her slab.