Volume III: Biographies


WALKER, Charlotte *

Actress (1916-1917)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Charlotte Walker joined Thanhouser in the autumn of 1916 and was seen in a Thanhouser film in 1917.

Biographical Notes: Charlotte Walker was born in Galveston, Texas on December 29, 1878, the only daughter of Edwin A. Walker and the former Charlisa Ganahl. Her father was a well-to-do cotton broker, and her mother came from a wealthy family of ranchers. Her father was killed in an accident when she was 11, after which she went with her two brothers and mother to live on the Ganahl ranch. Around the year 1890, when Richard Mansfield brought his Beau Brummel company to San Antonio, she traveled with her brothers and mother 80 miles to see him. Soon thereafter, Charlotte was sent to New York State to attend the Fort Edwards Collegiate Institute, where she studied drama. In 1895 she made her debut on stage, and two years later in New York City she landed a job as an extra in Richard Mansfield's touring company. In 1896, to recover from an illness, she went to England with her mother. In London, while staying in a boarding house in Bloomsbury, she applied for a job as an actress and soon thereafter was on stage with Sir Charles Hawtrey in The Mummy, which, fortuitously, had a role calling for an American girl.

Two months before her 18th birthday, Charlotte Walker married Dr. John Haden and retired from the stage. In 1899 the couple had a daughter, Sarah. In 1900 her family lost everything in the Galveston flood, and she went back before the footlights to earn a living. By that time she had two daughters. In 1902, realizing that her marriage had failed, she sought a divorce. By 1910, she had married playwright Eugene Walter and had appeared in one of his plays, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. In 1930 this union also was to end in divorce. During her years on stage the actress appeared with Marie Dressler, James A. Herne, James K. Hackett, Kyrle Bellew, E.H. Sothern, Cecil B. DeMille, Mary Pickford (in The Warrens of Virginia), and others.

Her screen career included Lasky (Out of the Darkness, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, etc.) and McClure (Sloth - the sixth episode in the Seven Deadly Sins serial, etc.). She was with McClure until October 1916, at which time her mail address was 1451 Broadway, New York City. An advertisement in The Motion Picture News, Section 2 (directory), October 21, 1916, noted that Ouida Bergere, associated with the Players Engagement Department of the American Play Company, Inc. (33 West 42nd Street, New York City), had placed Charlotte Walker with Thanhouser "during the past week." She appeared in the 1917 Thanhouser release of Mary Lawson's Secret. Her husband, Eugene Walter, had a supporting role in the film. It was expected that Miss Walker should appear in several Thanhouser pictures, but the others never materialized. Around the same time, she was working with Mutual in Pardners, based on a story by Rex Beach, released January 29, 1917.

In its issue of April 1, 1919 The New York Dramatic Mirror stated that while Charlotte Walker had scored successes in road shows, including the current Tea for Three, "whenever she appears in New York, the play is unsuccessful." In the 1920s and 1930s she was on stage in various productions, of which the last was The Sleeping Clergyman (1934). In the meantime she also had numerous supporting roles in such films as Classmates, The Lone Wolf, The Sixth Commandment, The Clown, Paris Bound, Three Faces East, Salvation Nell, and Hotel Variety, with her last screen appearance being in the 1941 release of Scattergood Meets Broadway. Charlotte Walker died in Kerrville, Texas on March 23, 1958 and was survived by her two daughters, Sarah Haden (1899-1981), who became a stage and screen actress and who altered the spelling of her first name to Sara), and Mrs. Bernard Savage.

Note: The Thanhouser actress is not to be confused with Charlotte Walker DeKomlosy, wife of portrait painter Edward Komlosy, who died on August 1, 1919, in Hillside, New Jersey. Under her maiden name of Charlotte Walker, Mrs. DeKomlosy was prominent on the American musical stage from the late 19th century until about 1904, when she went to Europe, remaining there until 1916.

Thanhouser Filmography:

1917: Mary Lawson's Secret (4-1-1917)

# # #


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