Gerda Holmes

Active - 1914 - 1917  |   Born - Jan 1, 1882   |   Genres - Drama, Mystery

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Maid Marian to William Russell's Robin Hood in 1913, brunette Gerda Holmes had made her stage debut in Denmark, the home country of both her parents. She returned to America at the age of 16 to study music and then starred as Echo in the Klaw and Erlanger production of The Round Up, a role she would recreate many times between screen assignments in the future. Married to stage actor Rapley Holmes, she made her screen bow with the Thanhouser company in 1913, remaining with the New Rochelle, NY, firm for a mere five months. By late 1913, she had become the leading lady of the Chicago-based Essanay company, where a neophyte actress named Gloria Swanson supported her in Elvira, Farina and the Meal Ticket (1914), a comedy based on a George Ade fable. Holmes played a blind girl who discovers the beauty of her own voice in A Song in the Dark (1914) and according to some reports, the actress stood in the wings and sang to her celluloid image at the film's Chicago premiere, apparently not an uncommon occurrence in the early years of film exhibition. Leaving Essanay in early 1915, Holmes co-starred with her husband in The Victory of Virtue, a moralistic melodrama produced by another Chicago firm, the United Photoplay Company. She then found a berth with the New York-based World Film Corporation, who cast her opposite Molly McIntyre, "Scotland's Greatest Actress," in Her Great Hour (1916). She did a couple of popular programmers with Robert Warwick, played villainesses in both As Man Made Her (1917) and The Iron Ring (1917), and was Madge Evans' mother in Wanted -- A Mother (1918), her final film.