Florence Turner

Keil, Charlie; Burrows, Jon

What did it mean to be a film star in the second decade of film’s existence, at a time when the idea of film stardom itself was just beginning to take shape? The career of Florence Turner offers an illuminating opportunity to consider this question, especially as she has been identified as one of the two “first big movie stars” (the other being Florence Lawrence) by no less an authority than Eileen Bowser (Bowser 1994). Aside from sharing the same first name, Turner and Lawrence both found themselves initially identified with the companies producing their motion pictures: Lawrence came to be known as “the Biograph Girl” while Turner gained fame as “the Vitagraph Girl.” The two were also among the first actors to make personal appearances in promotion of their films, ushering in an era when performers were enlisted to publicize themselves, thereby aiding in the emergence of cinema as an institution.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
October 15, 2019