Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography. Draft is done. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Charlie Chaplin - Leading Lady Find...

I was working away on the video today and came across an item I found during my research. It is from the March 1926 Variety called ANOTHER CHAPLIN "FIND":

"Charlie Chaplin figures he has found another star in the embryo. Her name is Linda Nixon, sister of Marion Nixon.

Miss Nixon has a small part in the comedian's latest, 'The Circus''. Should her work prove satisfactory Chaplin contemplates making her his leading woman for a following picture."

Actually, I don't know Linda Nixon but wonder, if she was in 'The Circus', she could have been the lady in the 'disappearing act' scene. I could be totally wrong, but she was the most notable woman I can think of in that picture in a small role. She also reminded me a bit, in looks, to Georgia Hale. Here is a link to the Leading Ladies he did hire.

NOTE: Linda Nixon didn't play in the disappearing act. That scene was played by Betty Morrissey.

6 comments:

Paul C. said...

If the Chaplin Heritage project ever makes the Chaplin Studio daily reports available online or on CD, it would be possible to see if this were ever a serious consideration, or the work of a press publicist. The reports detail Chaplin's filmed screen tests, auditions, and contract negotiations with prospective actors and actresses. To see them now, you need the permission of the Chaplin family.

Edna's Place said...

Would be interesting. Makes one wonder how many 'would be' leading ladies never even made the press reports.

Paul C. said...

David Robinson's Chaplin biography has a cast list from the "Circus" (taken from the daily studio reports) that lists Betty Morrissey as the "Vanishing Lady", so it was not Ms. Nixon. If she did appear in the film, it must have been as an uncredited extra. Or, since filming took almost two years and was wrought with problems, her part may have been cut from the final film. The fact that the story lists her as the sister of a known celebrity lends weight to the idea that it was a publicity story, and may have no bearing in truth. But Chaplin was also in the habit of making rash statements, then taking them back. Robinson relates a story in the "City Lights" chapter on how he tested a prospective leading lady named Marilyn Morgan one day, excitedly declaring his desire to immediately put her under contract, only to have completely changed his mind by the next morning. He had a mercurial, temperamental personality!

Edna's Place said...

I didn't take a look when I posted, but your right Paul.

When I think of 'The Circus', that is the only girl that stands out for me in a small role.

Might have been a publicly story to get ones name in print.

Chaplin's 'temperamental personality' was something Edna usually commented on...

Garen said...

Well Betty Morrissey did go on to get another Chaplin role - in A Woman of Paris.

Edna's Place said...

That was Fifi, wasn't it.