Volume III: Biographies


GREGORY, Fannie *

Actress (1912-1915)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Fannie Gregory appeared in minor roles in several Thanhouser films and was with the firm from at least 1912 until 1915.

Biographical Notes: Fannie Gregory's given name also appeared in print as "Fana," "Fanna" (her personal preference), and "Fanny." The 1914 and 1915 editions of the New Rochelle city directory gave her name as Fauna Gregory. In the summer of 1915 she was a member of the Thanhouser employees' female baseball team. She lived with her younger sister, Anne (who acted in Thanhouser films), and her older brother, Carl (a Thanhouser photographer), at 19 Rhodes Street, New Rochelle. In 1922 the New Rochelle directory gave her occupation as that of an actress, and her address as 76 Echo Avenue, the same address listed for Carl and Anne (Anna) Gregory.

A 1914 Sketch: This article by John William Kellette appeared in The New Rochelle Pioneer, December 26, 1914, and was part of a series of sketches of Thanhouser players: "Fanna Mae Gregory was born in Ohio, where she took on grace and embonpoint until her migration eastward from Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the spring of 1910. Her first screen appearance was with the Edison Company, in Fordham, New York, when Miss Gregory went into a scene 'for the fun of the thing.' The fun developed a desire to remain, and in August of that year she came to New Rochelle and identified herself with Thanhouser Company, of which her brother, Carl Louis Gregory, was a cameraman. During her spare time she learned to operate a moving picture camera, and did the work so well that she was prevailed upon to make the titles, which position she held until the work grew to such proportions that Miss Gregory didn't have time for anything else but titles, so she gave it up. When the Thanhouser players went to Los Angeles in 1912, Miss Gregory went with them, returning the next spring to the studio at the present site. She has been in about 500 scenarios, from one of 'the mob' to a 'stately lady,' and enjoyed every frame of it, but liked best of all the part she played as 'the bearded lady,' with the one exception that they placed her too near 'the charming snake charmer.'

"In Jean Havez's original production [on the stage], Curse You, Jack Dalton, Miss Gregory put over a fine bit of work as the adventuress, and is pleased to know that the production is successfully doing the 'big time.' When her brother Carl directed the Princess playlets, Miss Gregory took many important parts, and since that time has successfully essayed larger roles. With her brother she keeps house at 19 Rhodes Street, recently being joined by a younger sister, Miss Anna, from Colorado. She loves New Rochelle and intends to remain here in preference to going to some other studio where her opportunities would be greater. She tried to fool herself for a long time that she was only staying in pictures for 'the novelty of it,' but the dramatic germ has become predominant, now. Miss Gregory will remain until she's all alone in the scenes, putting over the expression stuff - or, in other words, until she becomes a star of the first magnitude."

Thanhouser Filmography:

1912: The Star of the Side Show (4-2-1912)

1913: Bread Upon the Waters (Princess 11-14-1913), Her Right to Happiness (Princess 11-28-1913)

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