Rebecca De Mornay’s Grandmother, Child Star in Silent Movies & Vaudeville

July 5 is the birthday of Eugenia M. Clinchard (1904-1989). From the ages of 3 through 19, Clinchard acted and performed locally in San Francisco area vaudeville theatres. At the time, this geographical base was enough to give her national reach, as well, for Broncho Billy’s Essanay Studios were based in nearby Niles. From 1911 through 1914 she appeared in nearly a dozen Broncho Billy western pictures, usually as a cowboy’s daughter.

At age 18 she retired to marry shipping magnate Walter G. Pearch. But the family wasn’t done with show business. Eugenia’s son became radio and television personality Wally George, most famous for the syndicated conservative talk show Hot Seat.  With Eugenia’s support and encouragement, George had become a radio disc jockey in the mid 1940s. George, in turn, was the father of film actress Rebecca de Mornay. 

For more on Clinchard, this article will probably tell you more than you ever wanted to know!

For more on vaudeville consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. For more on early silent film,  consult Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube,  released by Bear Manor Media, also available from etc etc etc. 


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