Eleanor Boardman


Actor
Eleanor Boardman

About

Also Known As
The Kodak Girl
Birth Place
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Born
August 19, 1898
Died
December 12, 1991

Biography

Charming, gentle-featured leading actress of the silent screen. A former model and 'Kodak Girl', Boardman typically played well-bred flappers or troubled heroines in "women's pictures," though she was able to surpass star glamour and add a note of sympathetic ordinariness to her screen roles. Joining MGM upon its consolidation in 1924, Boardman was one of the new studio's first stars, an...

Family & Companions

King Vidor
Husband
Director. Born on February 8, 1894; married on September 8, 1926; wedding was almost a dual ceremony with Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, but Garbo changed her mind at the last second and never showed up; divorced c. 1931; engaged in custody dispute over two daughters; died on November 1, 1982.
Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast
Husband
Director. Married in 1940; separated in late 1930s; divorced c. 1946; born in 1897 in Argentina; died on March 17, 1968.

Biography

Charming, gentle-featured leading actress of the silent screen. A former model and 'Kodak Girl', Boardman typically played well-bred flappers or troubled heroines in "women's pictures," though she was able to surpass star glamour and add a note of sympathetic ordinariness to her screen roles. Joining MGM upon its consolidation in 1924, Boardman was one of the new studio's first stars, and one of its busiest, starring in 11 films during her first two years with the studio.

A number of her films, including "Wine of Youth" (1924), the pleasing comedy "Proud Flesh" (1925) and the lavish swashbuckler "Bardelys the Magnificent" (1926), costarring John Gilbert, were directed by King Vidor, whose second wife she would become in 1926. Vidor also helmed Boardman's best-remembered film, "The Crowd" (1928), a remarkable study of an urban Everyman. While critics who generally pictured her in roles on a higher social plane thought her miscast in "The Crowd," Boardman achieved a performance of great subtlety that ranks among the finest in the history of silent screen acting. Unfortunately, her career in sound films, hurt by a series of either poor or unpopular films, quickly waned and she retired to marry director Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast.

Life Events

1918

Appeared on Broadway with Edna Hibbard, Louise Dresser and Frank Morgan in "Rockabye, Baby"

1922

Brought to Hollywood by Samuel Goldwyn

1922

Made feature film debut in "The Stranger's Banquet"

1923

Acted in several early films for Goldwyn Pictures, including "Day of Faith" and "Gimme"

1923

Played first leading role, as Remember Steddon, in "Souls for Sale"

1924

Contract with Goldwyn assumed by newly consolidated company, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

1928

Played what is her best remembered role, as the wife of an office clerk (James Murray) in King Vidor's "The Crowd"

1929

Appeared in a part-talkie, "She Goes to War"

1930

Made full-fledged talking film debut in "Mamba"

1931

Acted in best remembered sound film, Cecil B. DeMille's remake of his 1914 silent success, "The Squaw Man"

1931

Left MGM; effectively retired from the screen

1933

Played small supporting role in independently-made, low-budget feature, "The Big Chance"

1934

Made another one-shot (and final) return to film, in husband Harry d'Arrast's "The Three-Cornered Hat", shot independently in Spain

1979

Appeared in Kevin Brownlow and David Gill's Thames TV documentary series about the silent movie era, "Hollywood"

Family

Antonia Vidor
Daughter
Born in November 1928; father King Vidor and Boardman planned name 'Boardman Vidor' if child were a boy; when daughter was born they had no name chosen; went nameless for several months, though 'Joyce' was tried briefly.
Belinda Vidor
Daughter
Born in the summer of 1930; father, King Vidor.
Suzanne Parry
Step-Daughter

Companions

King Vidor
Husband
Director. Born on February 8, 1894; married on September 8, 1926; wedding was almost a dual ceremony with Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, but Garbo changed her mind at the last second and never showed up; divorced c. 1931; engaged in custody dispute over two daughters; died on November 1, 1982.
Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast
Husband
Director. Married in 1940; separated in late 1930s; divorced c. 1946; born in 1897 in Argentina; died on March 17, 1968.

Bibliography