Volume III: Biographies


WALTERS, Mrs. George *

Actress (1910-1911)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Mrs. George Walters played elderly roles for Thanhouser, circa 1910-1911.

Biographical Notes: The widow of a stage actor, Mrs. George Walters, who was born in England, appeared on the stage for many years, having commenced her career at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, Scotland, playing opposite Sir Henry Irving while her husband was stage manager. Years later, she and her husband had a stock company at the McVicker's Theatre in Chicago. Going into films, she played the part of an old woman in a number of Thanhouser releases in 1910 and 1911. A lobby display circulated in late 1910 and early 1911 showed her among the 12 leading players in the Thanhouser stock company. Her daughter Nellie was married to Thanhouser director Barry O'Neil.

The Moving Picture News, August 20, 1910, reprinted a letter addressed to "The Old Lady of the Thanhouser Company," by Etna M. Bays, 1015 North 9th Street, Independence, Kansas: "Dear Madame - We have been told of the Thanhouser Kid, Miss Rosemond and Mr. Crane. But, in my judgment, there is a greater artist in the company, whose name we have never learned - and we dislike always to call her 'our old lady' - for we consider her THE old lady of moving pictures. I am a theatre pianist, and I think I am familiar with most of the names and faces of importance in picturedom, whether 'Association' or 'Independent,' and in my estimation no one has ever impersonated a character so perfectly as have you. It makes no difference where you have been placed, for your work as a haughty, miserly woman in The Lucky Shot was in no way more perfect than as a poor factory woman in The Girl Strike Leader, and much was the praise accorded to you in our house, as you toddled past the manager and back to the factory to work after the strike was lost.

"Of course, we appreciate the work of the other known players of the company - and from time to time read in the picture magazines notes concerning them. But so much and so favorable has been the comment on your work - even down to the details of dress and makeup, that we'd like awfully well to know more about you. As you are apparently an old lady, perhaps the 'mash notes' that many of the leading ladies of the different companies tell of are not of so frequent occurrence to prevent either you or the manager from telling more about you."

To this a reply appeared from the Thanhouser Company, published in The Moving Picture News, August 27, 1910: "The 'old lady' of the Thanhouser Company is Mrs. George W. Walters. Feminine-like, she declines to give her age, but she wishes to say she is quite old enough to be somebody's grandmother. Mrs. Walters is the widow of the late George W. Walters of the Walters Comedy Company, which obtained wide reputation through the West and South some years ago, in which Mrs. Walters played leading roles. Mrs. Walters is a hale and hearty person, with more enthusiasm in her work than many half her age. She is every jot as benignant and motherly off stage as on, and her gentle ways have won her the lasting affections of her associate players."

By 1912 Mrs. George Walters was with Lubin in Philadelphia, where she appeared in An Irish Girl's Love (October 1912) and other releases. An article in the March 18, 1913 Toledo News Bee quoted her as saying that among her favorite film roles were those in the Lubin productions of The One Horse Shay, The Old Oaken Bucket, and The Village Blacksmith. Mrs. George Walters died in New York City on February 21, 1916.

Note: Certain publicity for Romeo and Juliet listed her erroneously as "Mrs. George W. Walton."

Thanhouser Filmography:

1910: The Girl Strike Leader (7-8-1910), The Lucky Shot (7-12-1910)

1911: Romeo and Juliet, Part I (9-1-1911), Romeo and Juliet, Part II (9-8-1911)

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