Posts Tagged With: June Mathis

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1922 – Studio Backlot Gossip

The Young Rajah,” Rodolph Valentino’s new Paramount picture which Philip E. Rosen is directing, has many fascinating situations and gives the athletic star a chance to show his metal. Wanda Hawley is the pretty leading woman and her co-star Rudolph Valentino is spending all his spare time lately with boxing gloves, fencing foils and a medicine ball—that is, whenever he isn’t riding horseback.

Mr. Rodolph Valentino is back at work on “The Young Rajah,” with Philip Rosen at the megaphone. The adaptation is by June Mathis. The story starts with a mysterious scene and works up to a dramatic climax which it would be hard to excel.

Baron James H. deRothschild, eldest son of the famous French family of financiers, was a guest at our West Coast Studio recently and under the escort of General Manager Victor H. Clarke, Paul Iribe, Fred Kley, Rodolph Valentino, and Adam Hull Shirk, inspected with keen insight and a ready comprehension the intricate W’orkings of the big plant where our pictures are made.

Sensational to the limit are said to be the scenes which Mr. Valentino does sword and cape play before the real fighting bulls. He was trained for the dangerous business by Rafael Palomar, famous Spanish matador, and became highly proficient in the art.

Rodolph goes to San Francisco May 5th to appear at the mammoth benefit to be given by the Mayor’s Citizen Committee to raise funds to help entertain the disabled veterans at the Convention June 26-30 of the Disabled American Veterans of the first World War. Silent Film Star Rodolph Valentino will be escorted by a squadron of cavalry and prominent officials to the hotel and will be royally welcomed.

When Valentino and Naldi were working before the camera, the entire personnel unconsciously drew around them and watched with awe the wonderful acting of this pair. Can you see Mr. Valentino doing a Spanish dance with Nita Naldi, and Lila Lee playing the beautiful Spanish wife? This production was directed by Fred Nihlo, the one and same man who directed “The Three Musketeers”-—that alone should be enough for any exhibitor to know, that together with this marvelous story, under the guiding hand of this capable director and with Rodolph, Nita Naldi and Lila Lee, it will do a record-breaking business at his box-office.

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Dec 1924 – June Mathis & Silvano Balboni Marriage


December bride June Mathis, screen writer and Silvano Balboni cinematographer were married at the Mission of St. Cecilia, Riverside, California.

1570698511_5d9ef50f20315-thumb.jpgTheir whirlwind romance is an outstanding example of how two professionals seemed destined to meet and have their own happily ever after.  It started out as mutual admiration between the couple.  Silvano amazed at the personality of Miss Mathis and June was attracted to his dynamic looks.  Now they are looking forward to collaborating on future movie projects.

This happily married couple were married until June’s early demise in 1927.  Their last movie collaboration was “The Masked Woman”.  For this project, June Mathis wrote and directed, and her husband had to come in and finish what his wife started.

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This article is about Metro Studios where Rudolph Valentino worked on several of his most notable movies.  June Mathis was the head writer at Metro.

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29 Sep 2021 – National Silent Movie Day Blogathon – Rudy’s Influence on the Silent’s

Today is National Silent Movie Day and to celebrate this wonderful global event, I am contributing the following article “Rudy’s Influence on the Silent’s” to the National Silent Movie Day Blogathon.  I would like to thank both “Silentology Blog” and “In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood Blog” for hosting this event. 

In 1913, Rudolph Valentino’s arrival to this country with not much money from his transatlantic crossing and unable to speak English he did doing what he could to survive.  Oftentimes, he faced homelessness, went hungry or swallowing his pride by taking lowly paying jobs. By doing so, he made just enough money to help with everyday expenses such as food, a roof over his head, or being able to take a shower.  As job opportunities came and went it seemed at certain times life would knock him down.  However, life always takes you places for a reason and it’s important to note, he learned a valuable lesson from each experience he faced.  As time moves on he finds that living in New York was not working out.  So, his friend Norm Kerry suggested a bright future awaits both of them in California and they made their way across the country to Los Angeles and an unknown future. Living in a new city, a determined Rudolph Valentino went on casting calls to all the major movie studios to no avail and found there were no immediate job opportunities in the motion picture industry for a virtual unknown.  Eventually he found work as a movie extra and his enthusiasm was garnering him notice. In 1919, after making the movie “Eyes of Youth”, with Clara Kimball Young, it is written in Hollywood history that June Mathis, Metro Studio Executive noticed the talented actor and wanted him a virtual Hollywood unknown for the starring role in “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”.  Although it took some time for her to to persuade studio bosses that he was box office gold and in the end motion picture history was made.  From the first moment he appeared on the silver screen it was an immediate love affair with a movie going public.  His smoldering good looks and romantic visage a global audience was forever ensnared and life as he knew it changed.  What endeared him to a movie going public was his rags to riches story.  He achieved the American dream as a hopeful immigrant in this melting pot country and his success gave every other immigrant hope for their own success story.  The public was mesmerized by him and immediately wanted to know his life story.  Every movie in which Rudolph Valentino appeared he was a dedicated professional.  While his roles called for dramatic scenes often requiring physically dangerous stunts, he performed many on his own.  There were times, he had contractual disagreements with several movie studios, However, everything always worked out for him in the end. 

In the 1920’s and beyond, Valentino had enormous influence both in the fashion world and on film.  His personal style was ahead of its time and always immaculately turned out.  He had extravagant taste in clothing and wore nothing, but the best labels of the day and his style was always duplicated.  Professional men wanted to know his style choices and what grooming products he bought.  In a NY Times article, Valentino briefly grew a beard for a film and the degree of public outcry was overwhelming. Fans wrote asking him to shave, and the Master Barber’s Association threatened to boycott his films for the damage he was doing to their business. 

Valentino was a consummate professional and one of the first actors in Hollywood who fought for creative content control over any movie he would appear in and better pay this battle resulted in a well-publicized feud launched against his employer Famous Players-Laskey Studio. In 1923, during a well fought court battle he struck a new deal that gave him exactly what he wanted.  But his next films were not a financial success, and the blame was placed on his second wife Natacha Rambova.  The newly formed United Artists Studios brought Rudolph Valentino on board and in the contractual agreement it was noted they did not want her on set and kept out of sight.  In 23 Aug 1926, Rudolph Valentino died in New York City while promoting his final film “Son of the Sheik”.  His influence on the silent’s is well noted and documented by Hollywood Movie Historians for the ages. His memory lives on through social media, books, films and the annual memorial service at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. In a 21st century global community, Valentino’s work has garnered a new generation of fans that appreciate him and in the end, Silent Film Star Rudolph Valentino was one of the most profound actors of the era. His influence on the Silents will forever be known.


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19 Sep 1921 – Such is Fame!

June Mathis used to think that her name was known to everybody in these United States of America as a scenario writer. But she’s changed her mind. The other day a circular letter came to her house stating that a fine course in scenario writing was being offered by the extension division of the University of California, Los Angeles.  

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3 Aug 1924 – Rumors

All the worlds in Europe this summer. From Paris or London, Rome or Germany with its alluring shops are getting a good dose of filmland. June Mathis, Carmel Myers, and George Walsh are at the Claridge and when they gaily telephoned me the other day.  Telephone service like people is the same everywhere only I do think after this trip I shall feel inclined to apologize to the Los Angeles phones.  I used to think it was the worst in the world, but I have met London and Paris since then.  The only redeeming feature is in Paris it is only one arm that goes to sleep while you are waiting for the operator to wake up. The mouthpiece and receiver are like a one-piece bathing suit all together.  So, lunch at the Ritz Hotel with June Mathis after which we watched mannikins parade in several shops just to get a slant at the new styles.  When June passed up the filmy frocks which are no doubt putting the eyes out in Deauville now, and insisted that she is being a hard-working woman must have more practical attire, the inquisitive French girl, observant too interrupted with, “Ah Madame cannot be a regular working woman. She has such lovely jewels”. She no doubt had her eye on the lovely necklace watch June gave herself in Hollywood last Christmas.  I wanted to know whether the report from Hollywood that June Mathis married here to George Walsh was true.  Miss Mathis declared she was neither married nor engaged to George Walsh and that is that. So, let the rumor mill find something else to gossip about.  From my observation since June is in Paris, I would say George Walsh and other Americans who maybe interested in the talented lady there is a keen rival for her affections, and he is Italian and happens to be in the movie industry.  June met her new man in Rome, and he appears quite attentive.  Do I hear wedding bells in their future? Time will only tell.

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18 Apr 1921 – Triple Named Parrot Escapes From Film Studio

June Mathis, has a pet parrot, which boasts of three names is among the missing. The writer of the screen version of Metro’s —The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ had as the constant companion of her leisure moments, the loquacious bird until a few mornings ago it took fright at a sudden noise and fluttered over Hollywond housetops and away. Anybody finding a parrot that answers to the names of “Metro, Polly or Laura’’ that is a stranger to profanity and bears a yellow mark on its green back, is asked to return it to Miss Mathis.

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21 Feb 1928 – Poor Mills

If allegations in litigation ore correct, Mrs. Millie Hawkes, New York, at 85 years, bobs and dyes her hair, has 50 pairs of shoes, five fur coats and is the mother of the late June Mathis,  Metro scenario writer. Mills is being sued for half of an estate of $50,000 under an undated will. Silvano Balboni, her son-in-law, says he is maintaining her in luxury and wants out.

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18 Feb 1919 – Here’s a Lesson for All Budding Scenario Writers

June Mathis, who heads the screen writing staff at the new Metro Studios, Hollywood, recently rejected a manuscript submitted to her by a budding Pennsylvania writer. She accompanied the returned motion picture story with the following note: “Your plot would be splendid If it weren’t for prohibition. Your villain is drunk every time he attempts any of his dirty work. I cannot imagine any man robbing a bank under the influence or wrecking a train while intoxicated by near beer, or abducting the ingenue as a result of looking on the grape juice while it was purple. “The jag, on the screen and off, is very much out of the fashion these days. Try to motivate your stories with something that has a real kick, but contains no alcohol. “P. S. —I might also add that Percy is not a good name for your hero. He fights with his bare hands; usually when they’re named Percy they don’t soil ’em that way.”

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25 Jan 1922 – Hollywood Invites Sarah Earnhardt to 10th Anniversary

Hollywood has invited Madame Sarah Earnhardt to attend the tenth anniversary of the birth of the feature motion picture. The following cablegram has been filed to the famous actress at her home in Paris: “We, as representatives of American motion picture art, invite you to visit America to be honor guest In nationwide celebration of tenth birthday of feature motion picture. This invitation is in recogniton of tact that you were frst as you have been greatest artist to lend your genius to establish motion picture as art. “Your example ten years ago in creating ‘Queen Elizabeth,’ first feature picture, gave this new art impetus which has carried it it Us position’ as most important entertainment of world. Your appearance in ‘Queen Elizabeth’was inspiration to motion pictures as your appearance on speaking stage always has been inspiration to drama.” The cablegram bore the following signatures of Hollywood Elite: William DeMille. chairman; Rex Ingram, Wallace Reid. Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Anita Stewart, George Melford, Douglas Fairbanks, Agnes Ayres, Guy Bates Post, William S. Hart, Penrhyn Stanlaws, Maurice Tourneur, Elinor Glyn, Betty Compact;, Norman Talmadge, Dorothy Dalton, .William D. Taylor, Constance Talmadge, Jack Holt, Theodore Kosloft, Douglas Mac Lean, Clayton Hamilton, Mary Miles Minter, Clara Beranger, Bebe Daniels, Buster Keaton, May McAvoy, Constance Binney, * Pauline Frederick, Theodore Roberts, John M. Stahl, Thomas Meighan, Charles Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, Richard Walton, Tully, and June Mathis.

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11 Jan 1909 – June Plays Part

June Mathis plays the leading woman’s part with charm. The supporting company is excellent, and the scenic climax of the third act, when the stage is set to represent the deck of a yacht in a wild gale is a masterpiece.

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24 Dec 1918 – A busy girl

June Mathis, head of Metro’s scenario department, has hung up a record for other scenarists to shoot at during her 10 weeks in California at Metro’s Hollywood studios, where she migrated Irom New York. In two months and a half Miss Mathis has completed three continuities, one of seven reels and the other five-part program pictures; titled six productions for four different stars; imparted the “feminine touch” to two pictures in course of production and gone through a mass of bocks and original stories is head of her department. She will do far in her career.

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23 Dec 1924 – Natacha sends June on her way

Hollywood tongues have been wagging over the newest sensation of studio circles.  What will be the result of the ruption between Mrs. Valentino and June Mathis? For the time being “Rudy” has bowed to his imperious wife and let his ablest friend and sponsor go her way. It was Miss Mathis who started Valentino on the road to opulence and fame. She picked him for the lead for “The Four Horsemen” she saw an opportunity and it paid off in a big way.  Mrs. Valentino who wrote “The Scarlet Power” saw what changes Miss Mathis had made in it, the grand smashup came. So “Cobra” was substituted and all the grand vestments and shining armour for the Rambova story were packed away.  Cost of the switch runs into the hundres of thousands, but the wife, who in other matters also laid down the law, is triumphant.  No one concerned will talk, but Valentino retains his admiration for Miss Mathis. But only from a safe distance.

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18 Nov 1919- No Tricks for Her

What will you do next?” asked June Mathis of Mme. Nazimova. Narimova has just completed the filming of “Stronger Than Death’” from an I. A. H. Wylie novel of India. She laughed. “That sounds as though you expected me to stand on my head or turn a handspring,” she said.

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5 Oct 1919 – Viola Dane Cuts Off Curls for Art’s Sake

Viola Dane sacrificed her beautiful chestnut curls in the cause for art when she undertook the stellar role in Tile Microbe,” the appealing Metro drama picture by writer June Mathis from Henry Altimus’ Alnslee’s Magazine story in which the little star will be seen at the Hose theater today. Miss Dane’s ringlets were much in evidence in “Satan Junior” and “Blue Jeans,” but they had no place in ‘The Microbe” so Viola just made a little wry smile of regret and snipped them off.  Some of the early incidents in her” newest photoplay called for Miss Dane to appear in Troy’s clothing, wearing a cap. Hence the bobbed hair. But the beauty of it is that the tiny star is even cuter, in the opinion of her director, Henry Otto, than she was when her curls fell over her shoulders.

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1 Sep 1919 – What’s Difference Between Studio and Insane Asylum?

June Mathis, heart of the Metro scenario department and her secretary, Florence Heim were most amused hy the actions and unties of the crowd of actors on the setting where Viola Dana, in Not Married,” was escaping from a hotel fire actors were guests at the hotel aid, dressed in pajamas, nighties or kimonos, rushed madly back and forth as tlie smoke poured nut of the building. “What propounced Miss Mathis, is the diference between a motion picture studio and an insane asylum?” “Well.” said her secretary, “you can go out of a studio and not in. You can go into an insane asylum and not out.” “Right.” said Miss Mathis.

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21 Aug 1925 – June Mathis & Silvano Balboni

On the set at United Studios: There’s June Mathis and Rex Ingram responsible for the making of “The Four Horsemen” into one of the greatest movies ever produced. June is now supervising filming of her own production for First National called “Viennese Medley.” A new director is directing through a huge megaphone. He is Kurt Rehfeld. Kurt was Rex Ingram’s assistant. Miss Mathis gave him this chance. Seated behind Rehfeld watching the action are Miss Mathis and her husband, Silvano Balboni. While Conway Tearle and May Allison do a bit of Viennese romancing before the camera, I reflect on the fact that all the movie Romeo-and-Julieting isn’t done “for the benefit of cinema.” There’s the case of June and Silvano. I knew Balboni when he was making “Shifting Sans,” a movie with Peggy Hyland. It was filmed in the Libyan desert in North Africa j and Balboni “shot” the most stirring desert riding stuff ever seen in a movie. Returning to America, Balboni met June Mathis and there was a mutual palpitation of hearts. “Bal” was amazed at the vivid vital personality of Miss Mathis. Silvano’s Byronic head attracted the dynamic authoress executive. They were married and today in Hollywood are an outstanding example of professional and martial felicity. They are working together now to make Miss Mathis initial production “on her own” the biggest thing yet done

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19 Jul 1921 – Film Folks Make Plea in Church for Tolerance

Asking for tolerance of a growing industry, and for aid rather than discouragement in a fight to raise the standard of motion pictures, half a dozen prominent figures in the film world addresses a large audience last night at Immanuel Presbyterian church hero. “We ask that intelligent censorship only be permitted,” declared Charles F. Eyton. general manager of the Famous Players-Lasky corporation. “Censorship in the hands of fanatics will ruin the movie industry.” Other speakers included Reginald Barker, Bert Lytell, Kathleen Williams, June Mathis and Rev. Dr. C. B. Winbigler.

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From the waves to the field of dramatic acting. Virginia Warwick, one of the famous Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties, deserted the lure of the swimming tank and the sandy beach and appears in one of the stellar roles in “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” a Rex Ingram production for Metro, coming Saturday matinee for limited engagement at Loew’s State, with presentations at 2:15 and 8:15 o’clock thereafter. Miss Warwick in her portrayal of Chichi, the sister of the hero in this screen version by June Mathis, of the novel of Vicente Blasco Ibanez, gives to the Spanish-American beauty of the story that wealth of impulsive girlishness which one imagines such a character should possess. This former water nymph is from Missouri and came to California from St. Louis some two years ago. She was still attending high’school, being only slightly more than 15 years old —when in company with a theatrical friend she paid a visit to the Mack Sennett school of bathing beauties. Mack Sennett met her and for eighteen months her charm and beauty formed one of that galaxy of reasons why the beach of California is so popular with the motion picture fans. It was no accident or lucky chance that landed Virginia Warwick in “The Four Horsemen.” “Mr. Ingram didn’t happen to see me wandering about the hotel corridors or behold me dancing in a Los Angeles theater,” Miss Warwick explained. “I knew Mr. Ingram and had been looking for an opportunity to break into dramatic work. Director Ingram is a stickler for types and as I happened to fit his conception of Chichi, the sister of the hero in ’The Four Horsemen,’ I got the job.”

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31 Jan 1924 – Writer Leaves for Europe


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16 May 1919 – Theater Notes

A Russian star, a French director, an American scenario writer and Italian camera man and a Chinese story are the chief factors in the colossal Nazimova production, “The Red Lantern,” starring Nazimova herself, which was produced in this city at a cost of over a quarter of a million dollars and which will be shown at the California. Nazimova is a daughter of Russia; her director, M, Albert Capellani, is French —for a number of years the most noted of all cinema directors in Paris, with Pathe; June Mathis, gifted American woman writer, prepared the scenario; camera man, Eugene Gaudio, is Italian, and the story, from the novel by Edith Wherry, is laid in an Oriental setting.

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