Thursday, August 4, 2011

Silent Film Star: Pearl White "Stunt Queen".

Pearl White (March 4, 1889 – August 4, 1938), was called "Stunt Queen" of silent films. She began performing with the Diemer Theater Company, while in her second year of high school. In 1907, at age 18, she went on the road with the Trousedale Stock Company.

She made her film debut starring in a series of one-reel dramas and comedies for the Powers Film Company.

In 1910, White was offered a role by Pathé Frères in, The Girl From Arizona, the French company's first American film. She then worked at Lubin Studios and several other of the independents, until the Crystal Film Company gave her top billing in a number of short films.

Please click here to view Silent's silent movie review Perils Of Pauline(1914).

In 1914, Pathé director Louis J. Gasnier offered her the starring role in The Perils of Pauline, a film based on a story by playwright Charles W. Goddard. The film was one where "Pauline" was the main character in a story with many stunts, which Pearl White, was perfect for for. The Perils of Pauline consisted of twenty episodes

The movie made White a major celebrity, and she followed this with an even bigger box-office winner, The Exploits of Elaine.

White made four more successful serials on the same theme. She did much of her own stunt work and she suffered injuries that would force her to use a stunt double in her later films.

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