Volume III: Biographies


JEWETT, Ethel **

Actress (1914-1916)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Ethel Jewett appeared in Thanhouser films from 1914 to 1916.

Biographical Notes: Born in Portland, Oregon, Ethel C. Jewett was educated in Portland and San Francisco. She followed a stage career, and beginning in late autumn 1901 was with a company headed by Don Daly. December 1901 saw the young actress on stage in Philadelphia at the Garrick Theatre with Daly's troupe in The New Yorkers. Daly, who was viewed as an eccentric individual by the press, laid down restrictive rules of conduct for the actresses in his employ. Particularly forbidden was the companionship of men. One day in late December Miss Jewett was walking down Chestnut Street with a member of the opposite sex, was spotted by Daly, and was discharged from his company. Ethel Jewett married a San Francisco businessman in 1904. Around the same time she was in demand as a model for artists. In 1906 she was seen in New York City at the Weber Music Hall.

An article in the New York Morning Telegraph, July 21, 1906, told of an off-stage activity: "Ethel Jewett, a blonde featherweight rehearsing for E.E. Rice's Girl From Paris revival, went down to Manhattan Beach Wednesday afternoon to absorb local atmosphere and to get cooled off. The Atlantic Ocean looked good to Ethel and she disported herself in the common or pavilion variety of a bathing suit until a rude breaker tore her away from the life line. McDougall, the life saver, took a header to her rescue, and Ethel was rolled on a barrel until revived and emptied of a salt water surfeit estimated at about 10 gallons, quite a remarkable capacity for a budding ingenue who only weighs 103 pounds. She will do her salt water bathing in a bathtub after this."

On the Screen: Miss Jewett subsequently went into films. Her screen career included work with American Biograph, Edison, Gaumont, Famous Players, and Thanhouser. She worked with Thanhouser, primarily in supporting roles, from 1914 to 1916 and was seen in many films. In December 1915 she was runner up to Clara Kimball Young in a popularity contest sponsored by the New York Sunday Telegraph. Miss Jewett was awarded an Overland automobile.

An article in The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 30, 1916, told of her roles: "Nearly two years ago, when Ethel C. Jewett began to pose for motion pictures at the Thanhouser studio, after having served her apprenticeship with the Famous Players, the Biograph, and Edison companies, she immediately attracted the attention of her director by her ability to portray feminine crook parts. In reality, Miss Jewett is one of the mildest mannered young persons imaginable, but when she is assigned a part in a problem play dealing with criminals, she throws herself into the part so earnestly that the transformation is truly remarkable. She has appeared in scores of such films that have created a profound impression for their realism upon the film fans of the country.

"Miss Jewett can't for the life of her explain how she works. This is as nearly as she can express it in her own words: 'I seem to live the life of the character I am asked to portray. If the part calls for a daring leap or a ducking in cold water, a bit of gunplay or an escape from prison, I just grit my teeth, forget my personality and even forget that I am acting in front of the camera as I subconsciously carry out my director's shouted commands.' Miss Jewett is very proud of the signal honor conferred upon her by the movie fans of this country, whose votes delivered in huge bunches to one of the New York dailies has won her a seven-passenger auto and first place among motion picture players in a popularity contest that ran four months."

In the autumn of 1916 Ethel Jewett lived at 595 West 207th Street, New York City (an address she maintained for the next several years), and was represented by the Amalgamated Photoplay Service (220 West 42nd Street, New York City). She was 5'4" tall, weighed 123 pounds, and had dark brown hair and brown eyes. For recreation she enjoyed horseback riding, motoring, and painting.

Thanhouser Filmography:

1914: Remorse (6-16-1914), For Her Child (6-23-1914), A Gentleman for a Day (7-17-1914), A Mother's Choice (9-1-1914), Little Mischief (9-6-1914), The Benevolence of Conductor 786 (10-9-1914), Pawns of Fate (11-17-1914), A Messenger of Gladness (11-22-1914), The Creator of "Hunger" (Princess 12-4-1914)

1915: The Speed King (1-12-1915), Pleasing Uncle (Princess 1-15-1915), In the Jury Room (2-2-1915), The Shoplifter (2-7-1915), Who Got Stung? (Princess 2-19-1915), On Account of a Dog (Princess 2-26-1915), The Undertow (4-20-1915), Daughter of Kings (5-23-1915), Fairy Fern Seed (5-25-1915), It's an Ill Wind (Falstaff 5-28-1915), The Angel in the Mask (5-30-1915), The Girl of the Sea (6-1-1915), The Six-Cent Loaf (6-8-1915), Innocence at Monte Carlo (6-27-1915), The Flying Twins (7-1-1915), Mme. Blanche, Beauty Doctor (Falstaff 7-9-1915), Outcasts of Society (7-27-1915), The Miracle (9-26-1915), The Little Captain of the Scouts (11-9-1915), The House Party at Carson Manor (12-5-1915), The Necklace of Pearls (12-19-1915)

1916: The Bubbles in the Glass (1-4-1916), Pete's Persian Princess (Falstaff 1-20-1916), Silas Marner (2-19-1916), The Reunion (2-23-1916), The Net (4-1-1916)

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