Volume III: Biographies


WARDE, Ernest C. **

Director, actor (1914-1917)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Ernest C. Warde joined Thanhouser in 1914 and was among the most important actors and directors with the company during the 1914-1917 period.

Biographical Notes: The New Rochelle Evening Standard, October 10, 1917, printed this: "Ernest Charles Warde, 11 Locust Avenue, is the son of Frederick Warde. Born in Liverpool, England, October 10, 1874, he came to America with his parents in 1875, went to the public schools of Brooklyn, was graduated from Public School 15, and attended high school. He tried a business career with Mary E. Cobb, Switzer and Schursel, and Frances H. Leggett, but the drama was bred in him and it became his hobby. In spare moments he directed two amateur companies. Since business and pleasure did not agree, he gave up business and made his professional debut in Julius Caesar at the New National Theatre, Washington, D.C., in 1893. He played with Warde and James Andrew Mack, Richard Mansfield, Max Figman and some ten others of that class. About 1912 he became business manager for the White Sister Company. He traveled with the Quo Vadis Pictures as manager and later established the DeKleine Agency at Toronto, Canada, a motion picture exchange. With his knowledge of acting and his aptitude for the drama he became a movie director and has successfully directed some 30 odd pictures...."

Ernest Warde worked with Richard Mansfield on the stage for nine years, until Mansfield's death, and was stage director during the last five years of his employment. On December 23, 1901 he married Miss Justine Bible of New Haven, Connecticut in a ceremony conducted in St. Patrick's Church in New York City. He had made her acquaintance on a lonely road in Sullivan County, New York when her carriage broke down and he stopped to furnish assistance. At the time he was an actor with the Mansfield players. Later, Warde was in stock and produced Everyman. At one time he directed Arthur Mack. In 1913 he was the producer for the Murat stock company in Indianapolis. Soon thereafter, Ernest Warde went into motion pictures. He acted in various Thanhouser films beginning in 1914, later becoming a well-known director, and remained with the New Rochelle studio through 1917.

A 1914 Sketch: The New Rochelle Pioneer, November 21, 1914, carried the following sketch by John William Kellette, part of a series about Thanhouser players: "Ernest C. Warde is the youngest son of Frederick Warde, the well-known tragedian, and made his first appearance upon the stage as Lucius in Julius Caesar during the first joint engagement of his father and Louis James. After five years of the classic drama young Warde jumped to farce-comedy, playing the lead in My Friend from India, which comedy he is now directing for the Y.M.C.A. players in this city. He remained for two seasons. A season with Andrew Mack followed.

"When Richard Mansfield produced Henry V at the Garden Theatre he was engaged for the part of Montjoy. He rehearsed five weeks under A.M. Palmer's direction, but Mr. Mansfield told him that another part would be more profitable for his talents, and was taken out of the part of Montjoy and given one line at the opening performance. At the second performance, the man who had been given the part of Montjoy was taken to the hospital with nervous prostration, and Ernest had to go on in his old part. He remained with Mr. Mansfield for nine years. For five seasons he was his stage manager, and at the death of Mr. Mansfield, Mr. Warde went with Max Figman for two seasons. He put on Richard III and Merchant of Venice for Henry Ludlow at the Bijou Theatre, New York City, and rejoined his father upon the latter's return to the stage for a season.

"Mr. Warde was engaged as stage manager for The Million and Everywoman under Henry W. Savage's management, and is now with the Thanhouser Corporation, bringing ripe experience to the photoplay. He has appeared in nearly 50 of them since coming to New Rochelle, and is beginning to acquire a reputation as a character man. Some of his best work was done in Conscience, a two-reel drama; The Turning of the Road, two reels; Keeping a Husband, and The Reader of Minds. Mr. Warde is a 'mixer' inasmuch as he's friendly with everybody worth being friendly to; has a well-stored mind, theatrical and can quote Shakespeare until the cows come home. He lives in New Rochelle because he can't understand why anybody would care to live in New York City when New Rochelle has everything one could desire to aid health, happiness and desire to rest."

Later Years: In the spring of 1916 he directed at Thanhouser's Jacksonville studio. In 1916 and 1917 he lived at the Locust Apartments at 11 Locust Avenue in New Rochelle. In 1920 Ernest C. Warde directed The Devil to Pay (Brunton for Pathé) and The Dream Cheater (Brunton for Hodkinson), among numerous other later films released by Pathé and Hodkinson. He remained in films until his death on September 9, 1923 in Los Angeles, California.

Note: His surname was misspelled as "Ward" in many publicity notices.

Thanhouser Filmography:

1914: Conscience (8-25-1914), A Mother's Choice (9-1-1914), Sis (Princess 9-11-1914), The Varsity Race (9-22-1914), The Cripple (10-6-1914), The Diamond of Disaster (10-13-1914), The Face at the Window (Princess 10-23-1914), The Turning of the Road (11-3-1914), Keeping a Husband (11-8-1914), Mrs. Van Ruyter's Stratagem (11-24-1914), The Amateur Detective (12-6-1914), The Reader of Minds (12-8-1914), The White Rose (Princess 12-25-1914)

1915: Check No. 130 (Princess 1-8-1915), $1,000 Reward (2-26-1915), A Newspaper Nemesis (2-28-1915), On the Brink of the Abyss (3-2-1915), The Final Reckoning (3-9-1915), The Stolen Jewels (3-21-1915), The Skinflint (Princess 3-26-1915), The Undertow (4-20-1915), The Handicap of Beauty (Falstaff 4-23-1915), Fashion and the Simple Life (4-25-1915), Movie Fans (Falstaff 4-30-1915), Monsieur Nikola Dupree (5-4-1915), The Refugee (5-21-1915), The Angel in the Mask (5-30-1915), Which Shall It Be? (6-22-1915), Crossed Wires (6-29-1915), Fifty Years After Appomattox (7-4-1915), A Maker of Guns (7-6-1915), Tracked Through the Snow (7-11-1915), Getting the Gardener's Goat (Falstaff 7-30-1915), Cupid in the Olden Time (8-10-1915), The Crogmere Ruby (8-15-1915), The Bowl-Bearer (9-7-1915), The Road to Fame (9-28-1915),The Light on The Reef (10-5-1915), The Commuted Sentence (11-2-1915), In Baby's Garden (11-14-1915), Her Confession (12-12-1915)

1916: The Bubbles in the Glass (1-4-1916), The Knotted Cord (2-2-1916), Silas Marner (2-19-1916), The Cruise of Fate (3-8-1916), Hidden Valley (11-5-1916), King Lear (12-17-1916)

1917: The Vicar of Wakefield (2-25-1917), Her Beloved Enemy (3-4-1917), The Woman and the Beast (Graphic Features 4-17-1917), Hinton's Double (5-6-1917), The Woman in White (7-1-1917), War and the Woman (9-9-1917), The Man Without a Country (Jewel 9-9-1917)

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