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Constance Talmadge

4/19/1897 to 11/23/1973
Constance was blonde; her star sister Norma Talmadge was brunette. She was buoyant and a comedienne; Norma was introspective and a tragedienne. Nicknamed "Dutch" by her stage mother Peg as she looked like a cherubic Little Dutch Boy, silver screen star Constance Talmadge was one of silent picturesí most popular and enduring stars of romantic comedy. By the time Norma had become a commodity for Vitagraph Studios, Constance, in her early teens, begged to follow. Her first comedy short for Vitagraph was In Bridal Attire (1914). As the two sisters were as different as night and day, professional jealousy never entered into the picture. In fact, all three sisters remained consistently loyal throughout their lives. Appearing in a number of two-reel comedies predominantly with comedian Billy Quirk, Constance drew major acclaim in the role of The Mountain Girl in D.W. Griffith's epic masterpiece Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916). Her role was so inspiring that when Griffith re-issued her segment as a solo feature entitled The Fall of Babylon (1919), he re-shot her death scene ending so that her character would wind up living happily ever after.

Throughout the late '10s and early '20s the elegant Constance charmed audiences with a number of flapper-era comedy vehicles, many of them co-starring silent film great Harrison Ford (not related to the present-day star. Constance, as did sister Norma, abruptly left films with the advent of sound. Both she and Norma's pronounced and rather squeaky Brooklyn accent did not prove all that suitable for talkies. Both sisters invested wisely in business ventures in later life. Married four times, Constance became reclusive and fell victim (as did sisters Norma and Natalie) to alcohol abuse in later years. She died of pneumonia in Los Angeles on November 23, 1973.
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