Florence Turner: The Anarchist’s Wife

The Anarchist’s Wife (aka The One Good Turn)
R: William V. Ranous. D: Florence Turner, Leo Delaney, Mae Costello, E.K. Lincoln. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1912/13
Print: EYE film
French titles

“The lead is played by Florence Turner, ‘the Vitagraph Girl’, one of the first big movie stars in the US. It is generally agreed that she and Florence Lawrence (‘the Biograph girl’) were the first American actresses to be famous purely on the basis of their screen work (rather than initially via theatrical work), and among the first performers to make personal appearances in promoting their films. At the height of her popularity in 1912, Turner was unequivocally the most popular film actress in America. She left for Britain in 1913 to have more autonomy over her career, starting her own studio there; although she didn’t maintain the same level of popularity as in her Vitagraph days, her films from that period were still extremely successful and contained the wonderful Daisy Doodad’s Dial (1914).”
Silents, Please!

“Having joined Vitagraph at an early stage in its development, Turner gained the chance to mature with the company. According to some reports, she performed numerous duties there, including payroll and overseeing the other actors. Whether she involved herself in the creating of the films during this phase of her career is unknown; certainly she claimed to have written scripts when interviewed later in life, but did not specify whether this applied only to her post-Vitagraph endeavours in Britain. We can safely believe her when she says that ‘she was the first woman in America ever engaged as a permanent leading woman [in films].’ And at one point she was undoubtedly the most popular motion picture actress in the US, receiving nearly 100,000 votes in a 1912 poll (more than double than what was earned by Mary Pickford).”
Charlie Keil
Women Film Pioneers Project

>>> Florence Turner in Vitagraph’s Shakespeare films