Grave Hunter -- Online Since 1999

Grave Hunter Menu
Grave Hunter

Talmadge Sisters

Norma Talmadge
D.O.B.: 
May 26, 1895 (Jersey City, NJ)
D.O.D.:
 December 24, 1957 (Las Vegas, NV)
Cause of Death:
 Stroke

Constance Talmadge
D.O.B.: 
April 19, 1897 (Brooklyn, NY)
D.O.D.:
 November 23, 1973 (Los Angeles, CA
Cause of Death:
 Pneumonia

 

 

Natalie Talmadge

D.O.B.: 1895 (Brooklyn, NY)
D.O.D.:
 June 19, 1969  (Santa Monica, CA)
Cause of Death:
 Heart failure due to acute alcoholism
Location:
Hollywood Forever; Abbey of the Psalms; Shrine of Eternal Love; Talmadge Family room; Corridor G-7

 

Biography:

Here is the private room of the Talmadge sisters. Norma and Constance were both very famous silent screen stars. Natalie, the third sister, was married to Buster Keaton and the mother of his two boys. Norma was one of the first actresses to break into movies. She later married movie mogul, Joseph Schenck. Norma and Constance never made the transition to sound. Norma made headlines in the 30's when she divorced her Schenck and married George Jessel in 1934 and then when she divorce Jessel in 1939. Jessel never got over Norma leaving him.

Norma Talmadge (1893-1957), all but forgotten by today's movie-goers, was a superstar in her day. In fact,  she was the very first star to have her footprints placed in the wet cement outside of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Norma Talmadge took up modeling. She was successful enough that she attracted the attention of studio chiefs in New York City (where Vitagraph movie studios were located at the time). Norma landed a small role in 1909's THE HOUSEHOLD PEST. With her mother's prodding, she landed other small roles with the studio in 1910, such as UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, LOVE OF CHRYSANTHEMUMS, A DIXIE MOTHER and A BROKEN SPELL. By 1911, she was improving as an actress, so much so that she landed a good part in A TALE OF TWO CITIES. By 1913 she was Vitagraph's most promising young actress. In August of 1915, Norma and her mother left for California and the promise of success in the fledgling industry there. Her film in Hollywood was CAPTIVATING MARY CARSTAIRS. The film was a flop and the studio shut down. Constance managed to get Norma a contract with Griffith's film company. During this eight month period Norma made seven feature films and a few shorts. After the contract ran out, the family returned to the East Coast. In 1916, she met and married Joseph Schenck. With his backing they formed their own production company which turned out a number of films, the first of which was PANTHEA. PANTHEA was a tremendous hit as likewise was Norma. In 1920, the production company was moved to Hollywood where the big hits of the day were being produced. Her company, itself, produced hits such as THE WONDERFUL THING (1921), THE ETERNAL FLAME (1922), and THE SONG OF LOVE in 1923. By 1928, Norma's popularity had begun to wane. Her role in THE WOMAN DISPUTED (1928) was a flop at the box-office. Her final film was in 1930 in DU BARRY, WOMAN OF PASSION. By then, "talkies" were all the rage and Norma's voice did not lend itself to the sound era and she was out of work. She divorced Schenck and married George Jessel. Jessel had his own radio show and Norma was added to the cast to help the sagging ratings. Norma thought this might be the chance to revive her film career. The show continued it's decline and was ultimately canceled, with it the hope's of her shattered career. She was finished for good.

Her sister, Constance Talmadge (1897-1973), also buried here, starred in D.W. Griffith's 1916 silent epic, "Intolerance," while Natalie Talmadge (1895-1969) was married to Buster Keaton and co-starred with him in many of his silent comedies.

Natalie Talmadge was the middle daughter of the original "stage mother", Peg Talmadge.  Natalie married Buster Keaton in 1921. She only played one further role, Virginia Canfield in Keaton's "Our Hospitality". She had worked for Comique as a script girl/secretary for Roscoe Arbuckle in 1917, and traveled west with the troupe when Schenck found new premises for Roscoe in California. She spent a lot of time signing autographs on behalf of her popular sister, Constance.

 

Home | About this Site

Copyright © 1999-2005 by Grave Hunter, Genealogy Today LLC