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Famous Like Me > Actress > F > Elsie Ferguson

Profile of Elsie Ferguson on Famous Like Me

Name: Elsie Ferguson  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 19th August 1883
Place of Birth: New York, New York, USA
Profession: Actress
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Elsie Ferguson (born August 19, 1883; died November 15, 1961) was an American stage and film actress.

Elsie Ferguson

Born Elsie Louise Ferguson in New York City, she was the only child of a successful attorney. Raised and educated in Manhattan, she became interested in the theater at a young age and made her stage debut at seventeen as a chorus girl in a musical comedy. By 1909, she was a major Broadway star. In 1910 she spent time on the stage in London.

During World War I, a number of Broadway stars organized a campaign to sell Liberty Bonds from the theatre stage prior to the performance as well as at highly publicized appearances at places such as the New York Public Library. Ferguson, noted for her great beauty and as one of the "Park Avenue aristocrats," on one occasion is reputed to have sold $85,000.00 worth of bonds in less than an hour.

At the peak of her popularity, several film studios offered her a contract but she declined them all until the widely respected New York based French director Maurice Tourneur proposed she appear in the lead role as a sophisticated patrician in his 1917 silent film, "Barbary Sheep". Following this first film, Elsie Ferguson starred in two more films directed by Tourneur under a lucrative contract from Paramount Pictures that paid her $1,000 per day of filming. Continuing to play roles of elegant society women, Ferguson was quickly dubbed "The Aristocrat of the Silent Screen." But the aristocratic label was also because she was known as a difficult and sometimes arrogant personality to work with. Many of the films she agreed to do were because they were adaptations of stage plays with which she was familiar.

Elsie Ferguson eventually followed the move west and bought a home in the hills of Hollywood, California. In 1920, she traveled to the Middle East and Europe. She fell in love with Paris and the French Riviera and within a few years bought a permanent home there. In 1921, she accepted another contract offer from Paramount Pictures to star in four films to be spread over a two-year period. One of these was the 1921 film entitled Forever in which she starred opposite the leading heartthrob of the day, Wallace Reid. It is considered her best work in film.

In 1925 she made one film only before returning to the Broadway stage. In 1930 she made her first talkie that would also be her final film. Although her voice came across well enough, at age 47 she was well past her prime for fans who wanted to see her as the great youthful beauty she had once been. Despite her wealth and fame and glamorous lifestyle, Elsie Ferguson's personal life had more than its share of turmoil. Married four times, following her final marriage at age 51 she and her husband acquired a farm in Connecticut and divided their time between it and her Cap d'Antibes home on the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France. Ferguson made her final appearance on Broadway in 1943 at the age of 60 that met with critical acclaim.

A very wealthy woman with no heirs, and a lover of animals, on her passing in 1961 she left a large part of her considerable estate to a variety of charities including several for animal welfare.

Elsie Ferguson was interred in the Duck River Cemetery in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Elsie Ferguson