Rubye De Remer: Beauty and Beverly Hills

As is not unusual in Hollywood, Rubye De Remer (Ruby Burkhardt, 1892-1984) was to become best known for her house. Her mansion “Sunkist” was located at the highest point in Beverly Hills, a well-known landmark for decades. As for her movie career, fewer than two dozen movies, most of them between 1917 and 1923, it was quickly forgotten.

Originally from Denver, she attracted attention in the mid teens when she won a New York beauty contest, modeled for famous illustrators like Harrison Fisher and Paul Helleau (who called her the beau ideal Americain) and appeared in Ziegfeld revues like the Follies and the Midnight Frolic, Ziegfeld calling her “the most beautiful blonde since Venus”. Regionally she also did some time with a stock company in Dayton, and appeared in the Weber and Fields show Back Again.

Her first film was the scaremongering Enlighten Thy Daughter (1917). This was followed by Tillie Wakes Up (1917), Marie Dressler’s follow-up to the hit Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1916). The Auction Block (1917) in which she plays a daughter sold into white slavery by her parents, was one of her more significant hits. Three of her films, The Way Women Love (1920), Luxury (1921), and Unconquered Woman (1922), were directed by Marcel Perez. The last film of her original period of stardom was Don’t Marry for Money (1923).

In 1924 de Remer married a coal and iron baron named Benjamin Throop. When he died in 1935, the pair had spent his fortune. She attempted a return to the screen in The Gorgeous Hussy (1936) with Joan Crawford and Robert Taylor, but naught came of it.

To learn more about the variety arts, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, and for more on silent film please read Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube.