Florence Turner

Florence Turner

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Florence Turner

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Florence Turner (January 6, 1885 – August 28, 1946) was an American actress, who became known as the "Vitagraph Girl" in early silent movies.

Born in New York City, she was pushed into appearing on the stage at age three by her ambitious mother. Turner became a regular performer in a variety of productions.

In 1906, she joined the fledgling motion picture business, signing with the pioneering Vitagraph Studios. Turner made her debut in Cast Up by the Sea (1907).

At the time, there were no stars, unless an already famous stage star made a movie. Performers were not even mentioned by name. Long, drawn out screen credits were not thought of. There was nothing but the name of the company and the picture. As the content of movies evolved from simple incidents, or situations, into definite stories, some of the heroes and heroines were conceded a vague identity, such as the "Edison Girl", etc.

Though she was known only as the "Vitagraph Girl" in the early motion picture shorts, Turner became the most popular American actress to appear on screen (at that time still dominated by French pictures, especially from the Pathe and Gaumont companies). Her worth to the studio, as its biggest box-office draw, was recognised in 1907 when her pay was upped to $22 a week, as proto-star plus part-time seamstress. It was somewhat less than the male leading players, especially those with stage experience, particularly the super-popular Maurice Costello. In March...
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