Guy Coombs

Active - 1912 - 1920  |   Born - Jan 1, 1882   |   Genres - Comedy, Adventure, Drama, Action, Historical Film

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A popular early silent leading man, Washingtonian Guy Coombs had toured with the legendary Minnie Maddern Fiske in Becky Sharp (Fiske having had the title changed from Vanity Fair to reflect her stardom) and the operetta The White Horse Tavern prior to making his screen debut with the Edison Company in 1911. Later that year, he defected to the Kalem Company and starred opposite a very young Anna Q. Nilsson in Molly Pitcher (1911), a Revolutionary War melodrama depicting, in one reel, how the brave Mary Ludwig Hays earned her nickname by carrying water to the parched soldiers during the famous battle of Monmouth. Nilsson played her heroine as a graceful ingenue despite the fact that the real Hays had been a plump, middle-aged hag and Coombs was dashing as her leading man, a brave officer. They became man-and-wife in real life as well, a union that lasted until 1916. Kalem specialized in Revolutionary and Civil War melodramas in those early years and Coombs appeared in almost all of them, including: War's Havoc (1912), Under a Flag of Truce (1912), The Drummer Boy of Vicksburg (1912), Shenandoah (1913), and Wolfe; or The Conquest of Quebec (1914). Coombs' fortunes, however, were tied to single- or two-reel films and like most of his contemporaries, his career waned with the influx of multi-reel feature films in the mid-1910s. His final appearance seems to have been a bit role in Marion Davies' When Knighthood Was in Flower (1922).