Francelia Billington – photos and quotes

Francelia Billington 1914

“I’m so accustomed to operating the machine now that I forget that there is anything unusual in it, but I suppose that it is still a novelty to see a girl more interested in a mechanical problem than in makeup. No, it isn’t because of any advanced idea of woman’s work that I’m interested in this, at least, from none that I feel consciously. But I’ve always had an obsession of interest in cameras. My father gave me a small camera almost as soon as I was able to hold it, so keen was my desire to own a ‘clicker,’ as I used to call it. I was a camera fiend before I was ten years old.  — Francelia Billington

Source: Katherine Synon (1914)

Photo: Witzel (1914)

Francelia Billington cowgirl

“You see, a child out on a ranch is so dependent upon her own resources for amusement that she learns to notice things that city children usually pass over. I photographed everything on that ranch that I could level the camera at. I had to find details for pictures unless I kept on taking range pictures forever. You’d think, wouldn’t you, that I’d have outgrown the fad when I left the ranch! I didn’t, though. Even when I was at school I took pictures with the faithfulness of an aspirant for prizes. When I finished school I fitted up a dark room where I could develop and print the pictures. It was better and cheaper. And the first thing I bought with the money I earned in my acting was a press camera. I worked two months to learn its operations, but I beat that mechanism. Now I’ve graduated to a moving picture camera, and Mr. Cabanne promises me an operator’s job if I ever go on a strike from acting.” — Francelia Billington

Source: Katherine Synon (1914)


Francelia Billington 1920

“As long as I can do two things at once, I want to keep on doing them. I’ve heard of people who could take their own photographs. I’ve done a few of myself, in fact, but I’ve been wondering if I couldn’t take a moving picture of myself. I’d really like to do that.” — Francelia Billington

Source: Katherine Synon (1914)


Francelia Billington

“In spite of my interest in photography, I hadn’t taken much interest in the movies. I’d hardly ever been to see motion pictures and the idea of posing for them, in fact of going on the stage at all, never entered my thoughts. We were living out here in Los Angeles, though, and Mr. and Mrs. George Medford were our friends. We’d never talked, however, of any possible connection that I might have with this business until one night when Mr. Medford asked me if I would not like to be a motion picture actress. I laughed at him, but he insisted. I thought it might be something of a joke, and went to the Kalem studios next day. He gave me a lead part to take the place of Alice Joyce who had just left Los Angeles. The work wasn’t so hard, but the other girls at the studio were awfully nasty to me, and that first day was one of ostracism for little me. But I stayed right on the job. I was there a year, then I came to the Majestic.” — Francelia Billington

Source: Katherine Synon (1914)


Blind Husbands 1919 Erich von Stroheim Francelia Billington

Blind Husbands (1919).  Starring Erich Von Stroheim.

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One thought on “Francelia Billington – photos and quotes

  1. Did you know that there are a few items of Francelia Billington and Lester Cuneos available on Ebay. A silent film book and photo Scrapbook. All from there daughter’s estate. Just fyi.

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