Posts Tagged With: Agnes Ayres

1922

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1926 – Typical Movie Set Day

Director George Melford, Rudolph Valentino, Agnes Ayres breakfasted with the rest of the company in the largest tent and then the director looked over his movie script planning the day’s work while the two principals Rudolph Valentino and Agnes Ayres put on their make-up and colorful costumes.  Everything went like clock-work the first day of shooting.  On the first day of work, it was discovered a box of stirrups which had been made up for the horsemen were too weak and many of them were broken. To avoid any hold-up technical director Rudolph Bylek and property maker F.S. Madigan, labored all night, in a blacksmith shop in a nearby village making stirrups of iron framework. After breakfast if the fog still obscured the sun and there was a little light time to waste, there was a rush for the mailbox.  Those who were fortunate enough to receive mail, read the news to all who were anxious to hear a word from home and studio.  Some wrote letters, others amused themselves in a hundred various ways about the camp.  Of course, there was always camp sprites and in this case, two little extra girls, clad in overalls when not in costumes, who kept up a continual round of mischief and practical jokes received admonitions from the director every day to no avail.  Evelyn Francisco and Buddy Weller were the mischievous ones in camp, but their mischief was highly enjoyed by all and when things began to look dull they would see all the more opportunity to liven the situation with innocent fun.  The lunch mess-bell meant another break for camp. If scenes were being taken out on the sand several hundred yards from the camp, “Uncle” George called lunch and the Arab horsemen made the best charge of the day as they broke in disordered confusion in a rapid sprint in the camp.  The samegood appetites prevailed as at breakfast.  There was always a “clean house” in the mess tent after two rounds of lunches had been consumed.  Those among the party who were talented in a musical way, generally got in at the first call, and while the second mess was being served, gathered around in a circle with their instruments and rendered a few selections. Billy Marshall, the cameraman had learned to blow a saxophone with the same perfection with which he operates a camera. Of course, “Speed” Hansen, the minstrel of the Melford Troupe was there was his guitar or banjo and when not playing Arab he was playing one of those instruments.  Others had brought violins, mandolins, and other stringed pieces and everyone with an instrument and the talent to play it, joint the off=stage orchestra.  This is all a typical day on a movie set but untypical it truly is.

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“Even stardom doesn’t make a girl immune to loneliness” – Agnes Ayres, 1922

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1929 – Agnes Ayres

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Aug 1923 – Agnes Ayres and Mother

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1923 – Agnes Ayres

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17 May 1937 – Reunion of Sorts

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10 Sep 1996 – Agnes Ayres Caveat

Agnes Ayres died 25 Dec 1940, in Hollywood of a cerebral hemorrhage and her body was cremated interment was at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  Legend has it that her family disowned her after she appeared in silent pictures.  Beverly Rendleman, Alto Pass, Illinois and a family genealogist has found the opposite to be true.  “Her family was very supportive of her moving to Hollywood once came from California in her own private railroad car to visit he cousins May Rendleman Hammer and Frankie Rendleman McClure of Murphysboro.  “She remained very close to her cousins often sending them her clothes she no longer wore” When Frances Alice the 17 year old daughter of May Hammer was killed in the 1925 Murphysboro tornado, she was buried in a dress provided by Ayres, Rendleman said.

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27 Dec 1940 – Agnes Ayres Buried; Valentino Co-Star

In contrast to the throngs her name once drew when she co-starred with Silent Film Star Rudolph Valentino. Agnes Ayres a star in her own right was mourned by a small crowd at her funeral service late yesterday.  At her funeral there were only ten floral pieces, and of these only one was from the movie colony. A spray from the Screen Actor’s Guild.   The “Kashmiri” song from Valentino’s picture, “The Sheik” in which she played the heroine and “Son of the Sheik” was played during her service.  Miss Ayres ashes were laid to rest near those of the great Latin star at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  Maria Reachi daughter of Miss Ayres, was the only relative present and only three were connected with the business in which her name had become a household word.  Once a wealthy woman, Miss Ayres lost her fortune in the stock market crash of 1929 and died in obscurity on Christmas Day.

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25 Dec 1940 – Agnes Ayres Died

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Agnes Ayres, 42 who rocketed to movie stardom in the silent screen days, retired to cinematic sidelines when the talkie era started and later made an unsuccessful comeback attempt died Christmas Day of a cerebral hemorrhage.  Miss Ayres, a film contemporary of Gloria Swanson and starred opposite of Rudolph Valentino in “The Sheik” had been in failing health for some time.   She was stricken suddenly on Christmas Eve and died later in a hospital without regaining consciousness.  Surviving is a daughter Maria now reported to be in Mexico City with her father Manuel Reachi from whom the actress was divorced in 1927.

 

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