Edna Purviance's bio

June 6, 2018 - Re-editing Edna Purviance's family biography 2nd Draft. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Edna Purviance's First New York Trip

It was December 1917, when Edna Purviance made her very first trip to New York City.

Until 1917, Edna's travels were to California and visiting friends in Nevada, but her first trip outside of the United States was in August 1917, when she sailed to Hawaii. Hawaii was not a state at that time, and had not been totally changed by tourist.

She traveled with Charlie Chaplin and Rob Wagner. She made many friends on that trip and loved every moment of it. In fact, she didn't want to come home after her six week stay, but Charlie was antsy to get back to California and start building his studio.

The studio took a few months to build, so the stock company had time for leisure. Getting the traveling bug, Edna decided to make her first to New York City. While in New York, she had many invitations for dinners, toured the city, had fun shopping, and also answered requests for interviews.

Following is an article about her arrive in the city...

Edna Purviance's First New York Visit - Girl of the West
Charlie Chaplin's Leading Woman Here on Shopping Trip While New Studio Goes Up - December 1917

Edna Purviance, Charlie Chaplin's leading woman, had her first glimpse of New York this week when she arrived from California to do her shopping in the metropolis. The trip was made possible by the fact that the new Chaplin studios are not yet ready for occupancy, and until they are completed the players are taking their leisure.

Miss Purviance finds her every minute occupied with invitations to dinners, interviews and the selection of frocks for forthcoming Chaplin comedies. The comedienne is a western girl and has expressed herself delighted with the hospitality she has enjoyed at the hands of Gotham's theatrical and screen folk, although she came cast unannounced.

She visited the headquarters of the First National Exhibitors' Circuit and there talked of publicity plans for the Chaplin releases. She declared that some of the best comedy work of Chaplin's career will be disclosed on forthcoming productions.


According to tax documents still available, Edna did buy clothes that were used in her films.

The studio opened in January 1918. The collection has a couple of photos that appear to be on that opening day, with one being Edna's mother, Louise, taken with Edna in front of the studio.

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