The Actress is a silent-film adaptation of Arthur Wing Pinero's evergreen stage play Trelawny of the Wells. Norma Shearer plays Rose Trelawny, who becomes an accomplished actress only after she learns to "love the players"-that is, to believe in what she's doing. While touring with a second-string company, Rose falls in love with aristocratic Arthur Gower (Ralph Forbes), whose parents frown on show folk. Impressed by Rose's pluck, Arthur's grandfather (O.P. HEGGIE) changes his mind about the theatre. The old man bankrolls a play that will make Rose a star, paving the way for a happy third-act curtain.
by Hal Erickson synopsis