Carol Dempster

1901 - 1991

The actress Carol Dempster had one of the most controversial careers in film history. She won the heart of the most famous director of his time - D.W. Griffith - and took part in a considerable number of his movies. But the audience and the criticism never accepted her really.

Carol Dempster began her film career with a small part in "Intolerance" (16), it followed the movie "The Greatest Thing in Life" (18). From 1919 she nearly appeared exclusively in movies of D.W. Griffith. They were connected with a long-standing flirtation although D.W. Griffth was married.

Carol Dempster played in the movies "The Hope Chest" (19), "A Romance of Happy Valley" (19) and eventually followed her first leading role in "The Girl Who Stayed at Home" (19). 
D.W. Griffith was so obsessed with Carol Dempster that he overlooked that she didn't have the talent for a great star and that her abilities suited more in comical fields than in the drama. Moreover Carol Dempster didn't have the chance to be shaping well in acting. Too fast came the success, only after four little movies she was pulled into the limelight as a new star. Dempster and Griffith realised many movies in the 20's in which Carol Dempster could also convince as a well actress, especially in "Isn't Life Wonderful" (24) - a movie which was listed by the New York Times as a Top Ten movie.

But the audience looked only at her on the surface as the successor of the former Griffith-star Lillian Gish. But in this position she couldn't gain anything because no one was a patch on her.
Carol Dempster never looked at herself as a second Lillian Gish. She put in her comedy talent into the movies and acted in the productions "The Love Flower" (20), "Dream Street" (21), "Sherlock Holmes" (22), "The White Rose" (23), "America" (24) and "The Sorrows of Satan" (26). 
In "Sally of the Sawdust" (25) she showed once more that she was matured as an actress but the critics weren't able to become friends with her.

Carol Dempster cancelled her contract with Griffith in 1926 and retired from the film business.

Today they concede a greater actin talent to Carol Dempster than in those days - a destiny she shares with the actress Marion Davies (her promotor was William Randolph Hearst).

Other movies with Carol Dempster:
The Liberty Loan Bond Short (18) True Heart Susie (19) Scarlet Days (19) One Exciting Night (22) That Royle Girl (25)