Volume III: Biographies


FULTON, Helen *

Actress (1915)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Helen Fulton was an actress with Thanhouser in 1915.

Biographical Notes: Born in Virginia in 1894, Helen Fulton was educated in Paris, after which she lived in New York City. Her stage career included playing lead ingenue parts with Minnie Maddern Fiske and Elsie Ferguson, and appearances with William Hodge in The Road to Happiness, in 1913.

The Columbus Dispatch, June 1, 1912, told how Miss Fulton began her stage career: "Helen Fulton, one of the two charming ingenues of the Stubbs-Mackay players [the stock company at the Southern Theatre in Columbus] is a New York girl. At least her home is now in New York, although Miss Fulton says she is a Virginian 'by accident of birth. Miss Fulton is very young and has been on the stage a short time only, in which time, however, she has had extraordinary success. When asked how she happened to go on the stage, Miss Fulton laughed and said:

"'It is funny. A girl friend and I used to talk in jest of going about to the theatrical firms in New York to look for a job, and one day we did it. I went to see Mr. Frohman, and had a little talk with him. Two weeks later I got a letter from him saying he had a place for me with Willie Collier. But it was really only a 'walking part, and I did not care for it. I then was with Mrs. Fiske for a time, being her understudy of Hannele in Pillars of Society.

"'Then I was engaged to play the part of Sadie in Officer 666. This play was one of the great successes of this season, and on the opening night we all thought it was going to be a complete failure. At the dress rehearsal Mr. Cohan said it was the rottenest thing he ever saw. We opened at Atlantic City, and when we heard the laughter in the first act we all gasped. After the first act there were seven or eight curtain calls, and even then Winchell Smith, who produced the play, came back behind the scenes and told us to hold our breath, that it was all too good to be true. Now they think Officer 666 will run all summer in New York.

"'Miss Fulton is not only talented, but beautiful as well, and is sure to be extremely popular with her Columbus audiences. She has a small part this week, that of the French maid in Lady Frederick."

The screen career of Helen Fulton included Ideal, for whom she acted with Holbrook Blinn in The Unpardonable Sin, released by World Film Corporation on June 28, 1915. By spring 1915 the actress was with Thanhouser, where she stayed for just a few months. Soon thereafter she was employed by Edison, for whom she acted in the part of Amelia, with Mrs. Minnie Maddern Fiske, in Vanity Fair, released in October 1915. The New York Morning Telegraph, May 18, 1915, reported that Miss Fulton had been engaged to play the leading role of Bettina Dean in the stage play, The Show Shop (also known as Lifes Shop Window) scheduled for the following season. The same newspaper on May 21, 1915 informed its readers that Helen Fulton was writing a history of the motion picture industry and requested anyone with information to contact her at the Edison studio. An article in The Rochester Union & Advertiser, September 2, 1915 (and in other papers as well) noted that in her leisure moments she designed cubist dolls and wrote one-act plays.

In spring 1916 she was on stage with Laura Nelson Hall at the Palace Theatre in The Cat and the Kitten and other roles. In March 1917 she was at the Duquesne Theatre in Pittsburgh, in The Man Who Lost. In the autumn of the same year she was seen at the Philadelphias Broad Theatre in Among Those Present. Helen Fulton was the author of Baby Blue, a vaudeville sketch, and The Dramatist Revealed, a one-act play. A 1916 listing in the Motion Picture News Studio Directory noted that she was 5 tall, weighed 118 pounds, and had light brown hair and brown eyes. At the time she lived at 152 Lexington Avenue, New York City. The 1917 and 1918 editions of the same directory noted that she was 55" tall, weighed 120 pounds, and enjoyed horseback riding and swimming. Her home address remained the same.

Thanhouser Filmography:

1915: Mercy on a Crutch (7-13-1915), The Picture of Dorian Gray (7-20-1915)

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