Clarine Seymour was born Dec. 9, 1898, in Brooklyn,
NY, to a well-to-do family. When she was 18 years old, they lived
in New Rochelle, and her father had to liquidate his business
due to illness. In order to help out the family's finances, Clarine
sought and obtained work with the Thanhouser Film Company which
was located in New Rochelle. As a result of her work here, Pathé
offered her roles in a Pearl White serial and the 1917 serial
"Mystery of the Double Cross" starring Mollie King.
Pathé the offered her an opportunity to work for them on
the West Coast, which she accepted. The job gave her work in the
Toto the Clown series for the Rolin Company. She wasn't happy
with the series, which, by the way, wasn't very successful. Rolin
brought a lawsuit against her because of a stunt she refused to
perform, but she won, assuming her career was at an end. She soon
got work with Al Christie Comedies, but only for a short time.
In 1918, she was introduced to D.W. Griffith as a result of a
screen test she took for the director. She was given a part in
"The Girl Who Stayed at Home" (1919), and, although
the film didn't receive high praise from the critics, Seymour's
performance did. She was immediately cast as "the other woman"
in "True Heart Susie" (1919) with Lillian Gish and Robert
Harron in the leads. Once again she was cast in a secondary role
to the two leads, played by Richard Barthelmess and Carol Dempster,
in Griffith's "Scarlet Days"(1919), sometimes referred
to as Griffith's worst feature. Seymour was really given an opportunity
to shine in "The Idol Dancer" (1920) as she played the
female lead, island girl Almond Flower, opposite Richard Barthelmess.
Again, the film is one of Griffith's best, but Seymour's performance
received good reviews. After being signed for a four-year contract,
it appeared Seymour's future was assured. She began work on "Way
Down East" (1920), but died suddenly on April 25, 1920, her
part being assumed by Mary Hay. Most historians believe Seymour's
looks and style would have been well-suited for the 1920's, and
that a promising career for a future major star was cut short
with her death.
Selected films of this star available for viewing:
Mystery of the Double Cross (1917)
The Girl Who Stayed at Home (1919)
Scarlet Days (1919)
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