Today is the birthday of Vilma Bánky (Vilma Koncsis, 1901-1991). Hungarian-born, her film career began in Europe in 1919. A movie from this early phase of her career that grabs our especial interest is her teaming with Max Linder in his poignant last film The King of the Circus (1925), thought by some to be the inspiration for Chaplin’s The Circus (1928).
Discovered in Budapest by Samuel Goldwyn, she was brought to Hollywood, where she was frequently cast opposite Rudolph Valentino and Ronald Colman. Her best known films today are The Eagle (1925) and Son of the Sheik (1926). She made very few films in the talking era, only a couple of which were in the U.S. (her accent was very thick).
And now her most famous movie:
For more on silent film history don’t miss my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc