Francelia Billington

Active - 1916 - 1923  |   Born - Feb 1, 1895 in Dallas, TX  |   Died - Dec 24, 1924 in Glendale, CA  |   Genres - Drama, Action, Adventure, Romance, Comedy

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American silent-screen actress Francelia Billington began her career with the pioneering Kalem company in the very early 1910s. Acceptably blond and pretty on screen, Billington was also an accomplished camera operator, not an uncommon combination in the early years of California film production. After several years of hard labor for very little pay, she was cast by director-star Erich Von Stroheim as the neglected wife in Blind Husbands (1919). The role, alas, did not prove the breakthrough the actress had hoped for; there was only one star in a Von Stroheim film: Von Stroheim himself. So instead of major stardom, Billington continued to toil in obscure programmers, often starring opposite her husband, Lester Cuneo. She was in the process of divorcing the "Italian Stallion," as Cuneo was nicknamed, when he killed himself November 1, 1925. Billington's own career went into an almost immediate decline, and she was very much retired when succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of 39.