Blanche Sweet

Active - 1909 - 1982  |   Born - Jun 18, 1895   |   Died - Sep 6, 1986   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Western

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Actress Blanche Sweet was typically cast as the strong-willed heroine in silent films. She was a favorite of D.W. Griffith. Born in Chicago into a family of show people, she began her professional career as a dancer at age 4. A decade later, in 1909, Sweet, now a 14-year old stage veteran, debuted in films working for Biograph. Unlike other heroines of her time such as Lillian Gish and May Marsh, Sweet did not play fragile shrinking violets in constant need of salvation; instead she played confident and resourceful women who attempted to save themselves. Her most famous films, both directed by Griffith were The Lonedale Operator and Judith of Bethulia. She later went on to Lasky studios where she began working with Cecil B. DeMille and others, one of whom was Marshall Neilan. She married him in 1922, but, by 1929, they had divorced. She continued to be successful until the early thirties when she appeared in three talkies, and then retired to the stage. She married her stage costar Raymond Hackett in 1936. After he died in 1958, she returned to the screen one last time to play a bit part in the Danny Kaye movie The Five Pennies.

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