Volume III: Biographies


SWAYNE, Marion *

Actress (1916)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Marion Swayne was an actress with Thanhouser in 1916.

Biographical Notes: Marion Swayne was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was on the stage for several years and was seen in The City, The Greyhound, The Deep Purple, The Awakening of Helen Ritchie, as Effie in The Blindness of Virtue, as Cicely in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and as the squaw in The Squaw Man. She was in vaudeville for a year on the K. & P. circuit. Her stage career was followed by film work. An article in The Moving Picture World, December 16, 1911, stated that Miss Swayne was a newcomer to the screen, had joined the Solax stock company, and had appeared to advantage in several films, including An Interrupted Elopement, Husbands Wanted, The Little Shoe, and A Revolutionary Romance.

The same article told of the actress' preferences: "Like other women, Miss Swayne is a bundle of inconsistencies. Although she is of the home-loving-back-to-the-farm kind, she loves excitement. The moving picture studio, she says, nourishes her craving for excitement without disturbing her home-loving disposition. 'In the Solax Studios,' she declared, 'I always have felt at home. The home spirit permeates the place. The spirit is perhaps fostered by our getting together at lunch hour and like a big family eating at the same table the delicious food which Madame Blaché so generously provides. Unlike work in the legitimate, one has a good deal of time to one's self. For example, I can spend my evenings any way I like. I don't have the inconvenience of hustling and packing to catch trains. The actress who wants to develop her act should pose for moving pictures. There, she has no excuse for nerves, headaches or indigestion. The life is as regular as one would want it to be.'"

The Moving Picture World, May 18, 1912, noted that she had been a leading lady with the Solax Company but had resigned to take a position on the stage in summer stock at Syracuse, New York. However, the following autumn she was back with Solax in Fort Lee, New Jersey. She worked for Solax through 1914, where she appeared opposite Billy Quirk, Lee Beggs, and others. Miss Swayne was seen as Kitty in the serial, The Adventures of Kitty Cobb, which was adapted from a series of drawings by artist James Montgomery Flagg. Miss Swayne also worked with Méliès' American company in 1914, and for Gaumont in 1915.

Her screen debut with Thanhouser was in The Net, a 5-reel film released April 1, 1916. The March 18, 1916 issue of Reel Life described her as "the most recent addition to the players" at the Thanhouser studio in Jacksonville. In the autumn of 1916 she joined the Arrow Film Corporation. In May 1917 she was in Little Miss Fortune, an Erbograph film released on the Art Dramas program. In September 1925 she was on stage in New York City at the Cort Theatre in Clouds, a play by Helen Broun.

Note: Her first name often appeared as "Marian" or "Miriam," and her surname was occasionally misspelled as "Swain."

Thanhouser Filmography:

1916: The Net (4-1-1916), The Carriage of Death (4-29-1916)

# # #


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