Volume 3: Biographies

 

CURRAN, Thomas A. **

Actor (1915-1917)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Thomas A. Curran was seen in Thanhouser films from 1915 through 1917.

Biographical Notes: Born in Australia on May 28, 1879 (one account says 1880), Thomas A. Curran was also educated there. He trained for the stage in the United States and made his debut in America in 1897, after which he returned to Australia, where he remained until about 1912 or 1913, when he came to America and opened in vaudeville. He spent 17 years in stock companies and in such stage productions as Excuse Me and Oh, Oh, Delphine as well as innumerable vaudeville sketches.

Although the Studio Directory of Motion Picture News, 1916, states that he went "direct from stage to Thanhouser," this is not correct. His screen career may have begun with Solax, where he was in 1913, after which he went to Famous Players, Universal (in 1915 he was seen in The Earl of Pawtucket and other films) and Metro (playing in the 1915 releases of Greater Love Hath No Man, Her Great Match, and others). Next he went to Thanhouser, for whom he played in numerous films over the next several years. During the first several months of 1916 he was at Thanhouser's Jacksonville studio. In the summer of 1917 he was one of the few remaining players in the Thanhouser stock company. Most of Curran's roles were of a secondary or "heavy" nature.

A 1916 Sketch: The Sunday Times-Union, Jacksonville, Florida, February 6, 1916, printed the following article, by "Phillipina": "Mr. Thomas A. Curran, leading man with Director Ernest Warde's company, has had an interesting and varied career. Born and educated in Australia, he has been in turn sailor, gold miner, soldier and finally adopted the stage as a profession, from whence he graduated into the ranks of motion picture players. As a miner, prospecting for gold, he passed through many adventures and hardships out in the wild and unexplored deserts of Australia. And soon after war broke out in South Africa he joined the Fifth Australia Mounted Infantry and saw active service under Lord Roberts. He was present at the relief of Ladysmith and the taking of Pretoria.

"His first theatrical engagement in America was with the Excuse Me company and afterwards with Oh Oh Delphine, under the management of Klaw & Erlanger. Then came motion picture engagements with the Famous Players, Metro, and Universal companies, and after two years as a positive experience with the movies he was engaged as leading man by the Thanhouser Film Corporation. Among the latest releases that Mr. Curran has appeared in are Inspiration, Silas Marner, and The Cruise of Fate.''

Curran's Later Life: In 1916 one directory noted Thomas A. Curran was 5'10" tall, weighed 160 pounds, and had gray hair and dark blue eyes. Another directory published the same year stated he had gray eyes. For recreation he enjoyed horseback riding, motoring, and swimming. At the time he lived at 21 Lincoln Street in New Rochelle. In 1918 he was in the Empire All Star film, The Girl and the Judge. He later appeared with other studios in many films until the 1940s, including Citizen Kane (1941). Thomas A. Curran died on January 24, 1941 in Hollywood, California.

Note: The New Rochelle Pioneer, August 28, 1915, reported that John Curran, late of the Solax studio in New Jersey, had recently joined Thanhouser as an actor. It is believed that Thomas Curran was intended.

Thanhouser Filmography:

1915: From the River's Depths (9-5-1915), The Price of Her Silence (9-30-1915), The Commuted Sentence (11-2-1915), In Baby's Garden (11-14-1915), Inspiration (11-18-1915), Her Confession (12-12-1915), The Necklace of Pearls (12-19-1915)

1916: The Bubbles in the Glass (1-4-1916), Silas Marner (2-19-1916), The Cruise of Fate (3-8-1916), The Sailor's Smiling Spirit (Falstaff 4-17-1916), The Weakling (5-2-1916), The Nymph (5-30-1916), Brothers Equal (6-13-1916), The Black Terror (9-29-1916), The World and the Woman (11-9-1916)

1917: A Modern Monte Cristo (2-4-1917), The Vicar of Wakefield (2-25-1917), When Love Was Blind (4-15-1917), The Candy Girl (5-20-1917), An Amateur Orphan (6-3-1917), The Heart of Ezra Greer (10-7-1917)

1918: The Perfect Model (Arrow Film Corporation reissue of the November 18, 1915 film, Inspiration. 10-21-1918)

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Copyright © 1995 Q. David Bowers. All Rights Reserved.