Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Born in New York City and pushed into show business by her ambitious mother, Florence Turner began appearing on stage at the age of three. She became a regular performer in a variety of productions and in 1906 joined the fledgling motion picture business as an actress with Vitagraph Studios. She made her film debut the following year at a time when actors received no screen credits. Although Turner was listed only as the Vitagraph Girl, she nevertheless became one of the most popular faces in the early days of silent films, particularly with her appearance in several leading roles opposite heartthrob Wallace Reid. Sometimes listed in her film roles as Baby Twinkles, over the years she appeared with other great stars of the day including Buster Keaton and Florence Lawrence.
In 1913, Turner left the U.S. and went to the United Kingdom accompanied by her long-time friend Larry Trimble who had participated with her in a number of films. There, they performed at London music halls and because she often wrote and directed films, including a number of comedies, she formed her own production company called Turner Films that would make more than 30 motion picture shorts.
Florence Turner returned to the United States in 1916 but was less than successful. She then went back to England in 1920 where she remained until her move to Hollywood in 1924. Already approaching the age of forty, and in the era of great glamour, her starring days were long behind her. Although Louis B. Mayer put her on MGM's payroll, her career was limited to minor roles.
A few of Florence Turner's notable films:
- Romance of a War Nurse (1908)
- The Heart of a Clown (1909)
- Uncle Tom's Cabin (1910)
- Rose Leaves (1910)
- Birds of a Feather (1911)
- Aunty's Romance (1912)
- Through the Valley of Shadows (1914)
- Fool's Gold (1919)
- Hornet's Nest (1923)
- College (1926)
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