Alice Hollister

Active - 1912 - 1925  |   Born - Sep 28, 1886 in Worcester, MA  |   Died - Feb 24, 1973 in Costa Mesa, CA  |   Genres - Drama, Romance

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Although she would make the character her very own, Theda Bara was not screen history's first "vamp." That distinction should in all likelihood go to Alice Hollister, a dark-haired Kalem stock company player who appeared as Mary Magdalene in From the Manger to the Cross (1912). The following year, Hollister even starred as The Vampire and, like Bara, she did not play a blood-sucking demon but a man-eating femme fatale. Convent educated in Massachusetts and Quebec, Hollister had joined the Kalem company along with her husband, cameraman George K. Hollister, in April 1910 and both were included when the company shipped a troupe to Ireland in 1910 and 1911. Nicknamed the "O'Kalems," the travelers filmed such popular melodramas as The Colleen Bawn (1911) and Arrah-Na-Pogue (1911), both based on the works of Irish playwright Dion Boucicault and featuring Alice Hollister in leading roles. Like most of her contemporaries, Hollister's career declined along with the importance of short films but she continued to appear in supporting roles until the mid-'20s.