American actress Anita Stewart, born Anna M. Stewart in Brooklyn, NY, began her movie career working for Vitagraph in 1911. Occasionally billed as Anna Stewart, she went on to star in many of their films through 1917. Just before her contract with Vitagraph expired, Stewart signed a contract with Louis B. Mayer. This caused Vitagraph to launch a successful lawsuit to keep her on board. It is considered a landmark case. Stewart's popularity lasted until the early '30s. Following her retirement, she founded a production company and had Mayer work as her production executive. Stewart was the sister-in-law of director Ralph Ince; her brother, George Stewart, also acted in many silent films.