BETTY COMPSON has made many pictures. But the one her friends remember
best never was filmed. She appeared in it as a little vagabond maid playing
the violin in a Salt Lake theatre. This was when she was a little girl and
the Compson funds were low.
She had been playing the violin in the orchestra of the theatre, until
one day one of the acts failed to show up. She was given the opportunity
to fill in. Her supply of suitable frocks for a public appearance being
extremely low, there was a great scurrying around, until her mother hit
on the happy suggestion that she appear in the attire of a street musician.
This she did, but she was a very peaked and anxious littie maid until the
thunder of applause assured her that the audience liked her act.
This was the beginning of Miss Compson's public career. Her success on
her initial appearance prompted her to go into vaudeville in a violin-playing
sketch. She managed to obtain an engagement playing on various circuits.
The producers of film plays were impressed by her charm and magnetism, and
in 1915 she accepted an offer from Al Christie to act in Universal comedies.
But one fact stood out very early in her career which largely influenced
her entire career, and this was her determination to avoid "slapstick"
fun making. She held to this determination, although it caused her much
anxiety and appeared to retard progress. But again her opportunity came,
this time in an offer to do some serials, which were more along the line
she wanted to go. Next came a comedy with William Desmond.
Then she made the big hit in "The Miracle Man," a Paramount-Artcraft
picture. Three pictures - Betty Compson productions - were made, but the
actress found the work too difficult for her young shoulders, and she returned
to Paramount pictures as a star.
Since then she has played in "The Little Minister," "The
Green Temptation," "To Have and To Hold" and "Kick In"
with Bert Lytell, "The Rustle of Silk," "The White Flower,"
"The Bonded Woman," "The Law and the Woman" and "At
the End of the World.'' Miss Compson was born on March 18, 1897. She is
five feet two inches tall and weighs 118 pounds. Her hair is brown and her
eyes blue. Her education was obtained in the public schools of Salt Lake
City. She and her mother, devoted chums, live in Hollywood.