Lucille Ricksen

Active - 1921 - 1925  |   Born - Aug 22, 1909 in Chicago, IL  |   Died - Mar 13, 1925 in Los Angeles, CA  |   Genres - Drama, Romance

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A child model who had entered films with the old Essanay company in Chicago in the late 1910s, beautiful but ultimately tragic Lucille Ricksen arrived in Hollywood in 1920, courtesy of producer Samuel Goldwyn who starred her in The Adventures of Edgar Pomeroy (1920), a series of two-reelers based on Booth Tarkington stories. She signed a personal contract with director Marshall Neilan who cast her as a flapper in Strangers Banquet (1922) and hailed her as "one of the screen's best young actresses." The film was a major success and Ricksen continued to play girls much older than her tenders years -- even if her mother, Ingeborg Ericksen, did insist on subtracting a year or two from her real age. Signing with producer Thomas H. Ince, Ricksen was voted a 1923 WAMPAS Baby Star and put through her paces in film after film opposite the likes of Jack Pickford and Sydney Chaplin -- apparently with little regard for her health. She looked visibly ill in Galloping Fish (1924), a comedy with Chaplin, and by Christmas of 1924 it had become dreadfully clear that she wouldn't recover. Ricksen's mother tirelessly stayed by her bedside night and day and in late February, her strength gone, the middle-aged woman collapsed on top of her dying daughter, felled by a fatal heart attack. Ricksen survived her mother by less than two weeks. The official reports blamed tuberculosis but there was speculation of a botched abortion. Lucille's older brother, Marshall Ricksen (1907-1975), also appeared in films as a child.