THE windy city, Chicago, claims all the honors for ushering into the
world Blanche Sweet. Sweet is her family name and not an adopted stage name,
as many are wont to believe. At the age of one and one-half years she entered
the theatrical profession, being carried on as "the babe in arms"
for a stock company in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Her school days were spent in Berkeley, California, at a private boarding
school. Just as she was graduating, the film rush was sweeping the country,
and from her early theatrical appearances she was in great demand. Her career
before the footlights had been with Gertrude Hoffman as a dancer and then
with Chauncey Olcott. Her first part on the screen was in "The Man
With Three Wives," and, as Miss Sweet explains, she was "one of
One of her earliest pictures under D.W. Griffith was "Judith of
Bethulia," which has been often mentioned as the starting point in
the high tide of both careers. She also made "The Escape," under
the guidance of Griffith, and played in "The Warrens of Virginia"
and "The Storm" for Lasky. She did "The Unpardonable Sin"
as an independent release, and then vent with Hampton, appearing in such
pictures as "A Woman of Pleasure," "Cressy," "The
Deadlier Sex," "Cinderella Jane," "Simple Souls,"
"Girl in the Web," "Help Wanted-Male," "Her Unwilling
Husband" and "That Girl Montana."
Her one and only, romance, which culminated in May, 1922, in her marriage
to Marshall Neilan, began when they were playing two-reelers together back
in the old Biograph days. Some of their early successes together were "The
House of Discord," "Classmates" and "Men and Women."
Mr. Neilan was not always her leading man, but was sometimes the villain,
as in "Classmates" where Henry B. Walthall as a dashing West Point
cadet walked off with the lady's love, while Mickey tried to foil them at
every turn. When Neilan went into the directorial end of picture making,
Miss Sweet became his star. "The Unpardonable Sin" will be remembered
as one of their greatest pictures under this arrangement.
Her next vehicle will be with Bert Lytell in "The Meanest Man in
the World," in which she returns to her appealing girlish type of characterization.
Her first picture under her husband's direction will be "Tess of the
D'Urbervilles," in which she will create the title role.