Siddhesh Joshi

Helen Gardner (actress)

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Years active  1910–1924
Name  Helen Gardner
Children  1
Role  Film actress
Helen Gardner (actress) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Full Name  Helen Louise Gardner
Born  September 2, 1884 (1884-09-02) Binghamton, New York, U.S.
Alma mater  American Academy of Dramatic Arts
Occupation  Actor, producer, writer, editor, costumer
Died  November 20, 1968, Orlando, Florida, United States
Education  American Academy of Dramatic Arts
Movies  Cleopatra, A Tale of Two Cities
Spouse  Duncan Clarkson Pell, Sr. (m. 1902–1964), Charles L. Gaskill
People also search for  Charles L. Gaskill, Victorien Sardou

Helen Louise Gardner (September 2, 1884 – November 20, 1968) was an American stage and film actress, screenwriter, producer, editor and costume designer.



Gardner was born in Binghamton, New York. An alumna of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Gardner began her acting career as a stage actress. She became a Vitagraph Studios player in 1910 and earned critical acclaim for portraying Becky Sharp in the film version of the novel Vanity Fair. In 1912, she became the first film actor, male or female, to form her own production company, the Helen Gardner Picture Players in Tappan, New York with capital provided by her mother. Hiring her lover Charles L. Gaskill as a director and scenarist, she produced eleven feature films before closing her studio in 1914. She was known for her portrayals of strong female characters. Her first production was Cleopatra (1912) which was one of the first American full-length films. The film was re-edited and re-released after Fox released the 1917 adaptation starring Theda Bara. Gardner was considered the screen's first vamp and predated Theda Bara, Valeska Suratt and Louise Glaum in roles of this type.

In 1915, she returned to Vitagraph briefly before signing with Universal. By this time, her popularity began to wane and she retired from acting in 1924.

Personal life

Before Gardner embarked on an acting career, she married socially prominent businessman Duncan Clarkson Pell, Sr., on October 16, 1902, in West Haven, Connecticut. The marriage took place shortly after Gardner's 18th birthday and one week after Pell's divorce from his first wife, Anna. Duncan and Anna Pell's divorce was covered in the gossip columns of The New York Times. The couple had one child. Gardner left Pell in 1906 to continue her acting career but they never divorced. They remained married until Pell's death in 1964.

Some sources state that Gardner married for a second time to Charles Gaskill, the director of many of her films. Gardner's granddaughter and biographer, Dorin Gardner Schumacher, states that this is incorrect and that Gardner never divorced Duncan C. Pell, Sr.

Later years and death

In the 1950s, Gardner returned to Orlando, Florida where she had previously lived with her estranged husband. Gardner died in Orlando on November 20, 1968 at the age of 84.


Helen Gardner (actress) Wikipedia

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