Clara Kimball Young

Photo: Albert Witzel (1879-1929)

1890 - 1960

The actress Clara Kimball Young was born as Clarisa Kimball. Her parents were both actors at a stock company.
Because of the profession of her parents Clara Kimball Young came in touch with acting at an early age, she made her stage debut at the age of three.

Later she attended the St. Francis Xavier Academy in Chicago and joined another stage troup where she met her later husband James Young.

Finally followed the step the the film business and Clara Kimball Young as well as her husband were signed by Vitagraph. James Young soon became established as a busy director.

However Clara Kimball Young became a demanded actress. To her first movies belong "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (09), "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (10), "Lady Godiva" (11), "The Pipe" (12), "Lulu's Doctor" (12), "The Money Kings" (12), "Popular Betty" (12), "The Little Minister" (13), "Beau Brummel" (13), "The Mystery of the Stolen Jewels" (13), "The Lonely Princess" (13), "The Pirates" (13), "Extremeties" (13), "The Portrait" (14) and "David Garrick" (14).

From 1914 came also first feature movies into being besides the than usual short movies and with the movie "My Official Wife" (14) she became definitely a top star in Hollywood together with her husband who made a name for himself as a director. 

At the same year she changed to World Film Corporation by Lews J. Selznick. It followed other cinematical heighlights but at the same time her private life got into a spin. Selznick courted Kimball Young's favour and finally her marriage broke. The marriage was divorced in 1919.
Fortunately she was still able to work successfully for the film business and she took part in "The Deep Purple" (15), "Trilby" (15), "Camilla" (15), "The Common Law" (16), "The Rise of Susan" (16), "Magda" (17), "The Claw" (18), "Cheating Cheaters" (19), "Soldiers of Fortune" (19) and "Eyes of Youth"(19), which became again a box-office hit.

Between these movies a trial took place in which Clara Kimball Young tried to free herself from Selznick because he not only controlled her film career but also her private life almost completely.
After longer proceedings she was able to free from Selznick and to work for other producers too.

Her fame diminished in the 20's, younger actresses were demanded.
To her last silent movies belong "The Forbidden Woman" (20), "Straight from Paris" (21), "Hush" (21), "The Hands of Nara" (22), "A Wife's Romance" (23) and "Lying Wives" (25).

It followed a longer interruption without other engagements in front of the camera. Instead she concentrated to the theater again.

Only with the rise of the talkies she was engaged again for the film but she was not able to revive her former stardom. Subsequently she performed small and sometimes very small roles.
To these productions belong "Kept Husbands" (31), "Probation" (32), "Romance in the Rain" (34), "Fighting Youth" (35), "Ants in the Pantry" (36) with the 3 Stooges, "Love in September" (36), "The Black Coin" (36), "Dangerously Yours" (37) and "The Secret of Treasure Island" (38).

After the movies "The Roundup" (41) und "Mr. Celebrity" (41) she retired from the film business.

Other movies with Clara Kimball Young:
Washington Under the American Flag (09) Richelieu or The Conspiracy (10) Ransomed or A Prisoner of War (10) The Last of the Saxons (10) The Sepoy's Wife (10) Cardinal Wolsey (12) The Haunted Rocker (12) The Jocular Winds of Fate (12) The Old Kent Road (12) Dr. LaFleur's Theory (12) Professor Optimo (12) The Picture Idol (12) Mockery (12) Half a Hery (12) When Roses Wither (12) Lincoln's Gettysburg Address (12) The Troublesome Step-Daughters (12) A Lively Affair (12) Rock of Ages (12) Wanted, a Sister (12) A Vitagraph Romance (12) The Irony of Fate (12) Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgers (12) A Mistake in Spelling (12) Lord Browning and Cinerella (12) Poet and Peasant (12) In the Flat Above (12) The Eavesdropper (12) Love Hath Wrought a Miracle (13) The Interrupted Honeymoon (13) What a Change of Clothes Did (13) The Volunteer Strike Breakers (13) When Mary Grew Up (13) The Old Guard (13) Put Yourself in Their Place (13) The Way Out (13) Getting Up a Practice (13) The Wrath of Osaka (13) The Mystery of the Stolen Child (13) Mr. Mintern's Misadventures (13) The White Slave or The Octoroon (13) Delayed Proposals (13) Jack's Chrysanthemum (13) The Spirit of the Orient (13) The Taming of Betty (13) A Faithful Servant (13) John Tobin's Sweetheart (13) Cupid Versus Women's Rights (13) A Maid of Mandalay (13) The Hindoo Charm (13) When Women Go on the Warpath or Why Jonesville Went Dry (13) On Their Wedding Eve (13) The Test (13) Jerry's Mother-in-Law (13) Fellow Voyagers (13) Betty in the Lions Den (13) A Lesson in Jealousy (13) Beauty Unadorned (13) Love's Sunset (13) Up in a Balloon (13) The Perplexed Bridegroom (14) Goodness Gracious (14) Sonny Jim in Search of a Mother (14) Lola (14) Her Husband (14) Some Steamer Scooping (14) The Silver Snuff Box (14) The Awakening of Barbara Dare (14) The Violin of M'sieur (14) Happy-Go-Lucky (14) Taken by Storm (14) Fixing Their Dads (14) The Fates and Flora Fourflush (15) Hearts in Exile (15) Marrying Money (15) The Heart of the Blue Ridge (15) The Yellow Passport (16) A Race for Life (16) The Feast of Life (16) The Dark Silence (16) The Foolish Virgin (16) The Price She Paid (17) The Easiest Way (17) Shirley Kaye (17) The Marionettes (18) The House of Glass (18) The Reason Why (18) The Savage Woman (18) The Road Through the Dark (18) The Better Wife (19) For the Soul of Rafael (20) Mid-Channel (20) What No Man Knows (21) Charge It (21) The Worldly Madonna (22) Enter Madame (22) The Woman of Bronze (23) Cordelia the Magnificent (23) Women Go on Forever (31) Mother and Son (31) Love Bound (32) File 113 (33) I Can't Escape (34) The Return of Chandu (34) The Drunkard (35) She Married Her Boss (35) His Night Out (35) The Fighting Coward (35) Oh, Susanna! (36) Dangerous Waters (36) Three on the Trail (36) The Rogues Tavern (36) They Wanted to Marry (37) New News (37) Hills of Old Wyoming (37) The Mysterious Pilot (37) The Wages of Sin (38) The Frontiersmen (38)