Edna Purviance's bio

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

Friday, January 29, 2010

Charlie Chaplin's Grand March with his new leading lady

On this date in 1915, (according to the San Francisco Call & Post), famous, early day aviator and chairman of The Celebrities Ball, Lincoln Beachey, visited Niles Studio. He hand delivered a personal invitation to Charlie Chaplin to be part of the Celebrities Ball.

While the Ball was open to the public, all the dancers in the Grand March were invited guest. Charlie Chaplin was selected to lead the Grand March.

During the week the local newspapers reported different ladies to dance with him, including Mabel Normand. But Charlie Chaplin had someone else in mind for this honor: his new leading lady, Edna Purviance.

Edna just attended the huge Civic Center Exhibition Auditorium event on January 9, 1915. She was a private citizen, who just happened to be photographed by the San Francisco Examiner. Her picture appeared in that newspaper on the Society page, January 17, 1915. (The Society page was right next to the theatre and movie listings.)

Charlie Chaplin just arrived in San Francisco bay area that same weekend of January 16th. He was in Chicago January 9, 1915, working on his film "His New Job" and just left the Essanay Chicago Studio a few days later to start work in Niles. He only had about three days in the bay area, to get his new picture started and look for a new leading lady.

By January 21, 1915, Edna was in Niles, reporting for her first day at the studio.

Now, just about one week later, she would be the leading lady in the Grand March at the Celebrities Ball with her new leading man, Charlie Chaplin. The Ball was scheduled for Saturday night, January 30, 1915.

You can see "His New Job" from the Image Entertainment collection at this link. Note, Image has the wrong name on the film. They list it as "A Night Out."

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