Violet La Plante: A WAMPAS in Westerns

Violet La Plante (1908-1984) was Laura La Plante’s kid sister, and benefited from her stardom, though she never achieved anything like the success of her famous sibling. Violet made just ten films in four years. Half of them were made the first year! Most of them were westerns.

The first was Battling Buddy (1924) with Buddy Roosevelt (half her films were opposite this now forgotten western star). Then came The Clean Heart, directed by Vitagraph founder J. Stuart Blackton. Then came Walloping Wallace, His Majesty the Outlaw, and The Red Rage.

In 1925, like her sister, Violet became one of the prestigious WAMPAS Baby Stars, but the distinction seemed to have an effect opposite of the usual one: rather than a flood of offers, she received fewer of them. There was The Hurricane Kid (1925) with Hoot Gibson. Then the Ramblin’ Galoot (1926), The Haunted Homestead (1927, an early William Wyler picture), My Hometown (1928), and her final picture How to Handle Women (1928) with Glenn Tryon, in which she essentially had a bit part.

When sound arrived, Violet La Plante did not. According to Jennifer Ann Redmond’s excellently useful Reels and Rivals: Sisters in Silent Film, she briefly ran a club for actors, acted a little on the stage, and married a chiropractor in 1934, whom she divorced five years later. She was to live nearly another six decades after stepping away from the cameras and klieg lights.

For more on silent film, please see Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube