From Silents to Sound

A Biographical Encyclopedia of Performers Who Made the Transition to Talking Pictures


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About the Book

Garbo talked, Gilbert self-destructed and Chaplin refused—that’s about all many people know about silent film actors who faced the transition into talking pictures. Yes, Greta Garbo’s talkie debut was successful, John Gilbert’s was disastrous, and Charlie Chaplin did not deign to make one for over a decade. But there were many others—both stars and lesser lights—who also made the leap for at least one talking film.
From Renee Adoree to Loretta Young, more than 500 actors who made at least three silent films and had some starring or supporting roles in sound films are included in this reference work. For each performer, vital data are given and a source for filmographic information. This is followed by capsule accounts of the performer’s silent and sound careers, along with contemporary reviews of selected talkies in which they appeared.

About the Author(s)

Roy Liebman, formerly a librarian and film bibliographer at California State University, works at the Los Angeles Public Library. He is the author of several reference books on the cinema, published by McFarland. A book reviewer for Library Journal and Magill Online Reviews, he lives in California.

Bibliographic Details

Roy Liebman
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 319
Bibliographic Info: appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009 [1998]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4062-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      vii


Appendix I: Some Silent Stars Who Did Not Appear in Talkies      299

Appendix II: The One- and Two-Shot Wonders      300

Selected Bibliography      303

Index      305

Book Reviews & Awards

“most interesting…even the most casual browser will be impressed…thought provoking…recommended”—Booklist; “[a] well-written, educational, and eminently readable look at the turbulent history of an industry that affects us all”—ARBA; “wonderful”—Public Library Quarterly; “fill[s] [a] niche in film biography…useful”—Choice; “very readable…informative…the author writes engagingly and his descriptions of the performers and their screen personas are right on target”—The Silents Majority.