Silent Film Stars

Courtenay Foote – photos and quotes

Courtenay Foote

“I was born in Yorkshire, England, and was educated at what my parents considered a most desirable school. at Oxford, and in Germany. I was neither a dullard at my studies nor did I ever set the Thames on fire with exhibitions of brilliant learning. I studied engineering in Germany and practiced the profession of civil engineering in Scotland. (I always say ‘practiced the profession,’ it sounds so well.) I had numerous friends and used to recite blank verse to them because I loved it, and they would advise me to go on the stage and were even rude enough to suggest I could earn more that way than at engineering. So I broached the subject to the family and the head of the house, my Grandfather, (you know what the head of the house is in the older countries, the high panjandrum so to speak) stamped his foot in the most approved manner and also said he would cut me off with the annual shilling if I persisted in my nefarious intentions. So I dropped it for awhile and went into the brokerage business where I soon convinced everybody that I was a bad businessman and the old gentleman evidently thought I could not do much worse that I was doing and removed his objections.”Courtenay Foote

Source: Frederick Brooke (1914)

 

Courtenay Foote“On my family tree hangs the name of one Samuel Foote, actor, playwright and wit, who died in 1777, and was buried in Westminister Abbey. Yes, I suppose it’s the same instinct for the buskin and hose that has strained through the generations into my spirit. I love my work, and better, I’m proud of it. Influences? Pooh, pooh! the influences of both the stage and the studio are often better than you’ll find in many a refined home!”Courtenay Foote in 1913

 

Courtenay Foote

“I often wish I had struck a heroic pose and defied everybody, because it sounds so much better, doesn’t it? However, I got an introduction from a relative, the wife of Sir Charles Flower, to F.R. Benson, the Shakespearean actor and scholar, and for that matter, an incomparable teacher and kindly gentleman. I recited to him one night, in the manufacturing town of Oldham. I say recited. But when he said, ‘enough,’ I quite agreed with him, and expected a tart command to return where I came. But evidently I had impressed him enough for a trial.”Courtenay Foote

Source: Frederick Brooke (1914)

 

Courtenay Foote Hypocrites

“My thoughts had for a long time been turning screenwards. I cannot own that I ever despised the motion pictures, and the more I studied them the more I was interested in acting which could make itself felt without the use of words. So I visited the Vitagraph studios and met Mr. Smith and Mr. Blackton, both charming men bu the way. I repeated my visits, becoming more enamored each trip, and I finally decided to try the experiment to see if I could make good.” Courtenay Foote

Source: Frederick Brooke (1914)

Photo: Hypocrites (1915)

“My word, old man, only two yeahs ovah, y’know, and a photostar! ‘Pon honah! that’s going somewhat, as you Americans say. Funny thing, that, eh?” — Courtenay Foote in 1913

“Well, one naturally misses the audience and their applause, and often craves the use of verbal expression – in photoplay only the director says just what he wants to, you know – but I do believe that one can train the face and body to express as much as words. On the whole, I believe I like photoplays the best….I spend many a red-letter evening at the photoshow.” — Courtenay Foote in 1913

“Parts I prefer? Character, comedy leads….Yes, I could suggest improvements in Moving Pictures, but I am too busy trying to better myself in pictures; perhaps this will improve the Courtenay Foote Vitagraph pictures at least.” — Courtenay Foote in 1913

“My ambition is to achieve the best results in whatever I undertake and that can’t be done without putting the whole of me into everything I do. Life’s an obstacle race; you have to overcome the obstacles by walking around them, jumping over them, or plunging head first through them, and it keeps a man in jolly good form to do any of these.” — Courtenay Foote in 1913

“I take picture myself – snap-shots and so on. Real autobiographies of famous people, and write children’s stories and picture plays. My particular fad is to study types of people and their mannerisms, Then m for a real mustache-twister, there’s gold and gardening; nothing like ’em. It gives a man self-respect to raise a batch of cauliflowers and to make hard hole on the green.” — Courtenay Foote in 1913

“You American chaps seem to be very keen on politics, and I can’t see why, myself. Like the Irish railroad porter, who, when asked what time the next train for Dublin was due, replied, ‘Shure, sir, ye missed it – it lift foive minutes ago,’ I say of statemen, ‘ The last real one died dome time ago.'” — Courtenay Foote in 1913

“If you want a jolly joke on me, here’s one: Two friends of mine went to a picture house one evening for the first time. A picture with myself as lead was shown, and one of my friends exclaimed, ‘ Why, there’s dear old Foote!’ ‘Why, so it is,’ said the other. ‘Let’s go round to his dressing room after the show.'” — Courtney Foote in 1913

 

 

 

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