Florence LaBadie

Active - 1909 - 1917  |   Born - Apr 27, 1888 in New York, NY  |   Died - Oct 13, 1917 in Ossing, NY  |   Genres - Drama, Western

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Florence LaBadie's sweetly feminine presence enhanced many dozens of films made by the Thanhouser Studios, where she was one of the main stars. She was best known for the two serials she made for the company, the excellent Million Dollar Mystery (1914-1915) and the not-as-successful Zudora (1914). According to Thanhouser historian Q. David Bowers, LaBadie was born Florence Russ on April 27, 1888, and was adopted by the LaBadie family. After receiving a convent education in Montreal she modeled for illustrator Penrhyn Stanlaws, who later became a film director. Like many other girls back then (and now), she went from modeling to acting. From 1908 through 1910, she toured in a variety of stage productions. In the summer of 1909, LaBadie went to the Biograph Studios to visit her friend, actress Mary Pickford, who was performing in a D.W. Griffith-directed picture Getting Even. LaBadie was cast in a small role and she also appeared a few months later in In the Window Recess. Within a year she signed on at Biograph as a regular, but switched over to Thanhouser in 1911. LaBadie gained prominence as Thanhouser's leading lady. Like many of the stars of her day she did her own stunts, and when it came to serials, some of them were pretty risky. She stayed with the company up until its demise in 1917. Sadly, the actress died not long after she left the studio. She was out on a drive with her fiancé, scenarist Daniel Carson Goodman, when the brakes failed and the car careened down a hill. Goodman survived his injuries, which were mostly minor, but LaBadie, who was thrown from the car, received a compound fracture of the pelvis. Over a period of weeks, infection set in and she died on October 13, 1917, at the age of 29.