Mary Fuller

Mary Fuller – photos and quotes

Posted on Posted in Silent Film Stars

“I doubt if anyone could ever realize how I struggled to learn the art of expressing my ideas in language, and how I worked, and observed and read and took every opportunity to go about in order to train myself to ‘see things’ and to make myself think.”Mary Fuller

Source: Colgate Baker (PhotoPlay/1915)

 

Mary Fuller as Cleopatra“I began acting when I was a little girl. I lived in a land of make-believe, though I had never been to the theater and hardly knew there such a thing. I used to make dolls out of handkerchiefs, put them in grape baskets, and drag them about. In my eyes these grimy, shapeless, doll-people were real beings. I loved fairy tales, and when I could find no one to tell me stories, I made them up myself. My handkerchief dolls were princesses, giants, dwarfs, kings, queens – everything. From moment to moment they changed character. They played more parts than I ever hope to. The grape baskets, in which they scraped over the ground, were royal coaches, railway trains and automobiles. I got the other little girls and boys with whom I played to play ‘make-believe’ also. Those who didn’t have what I considered ‘talent’ I placed in the audience and charged them two pins each. I made up each play on the spur of the moment, and I have seen some picture-plays that were scarcely less improbably than those productions of my childish imagination.”Mary Fuller

Source: H.H. Van Loan (1917)

 

 

Mary Fuller profile“I was magnificent in the bandit’s cloak of bed-ticking. My! But I was proud! At the end of the season, we always gave a vaudeville performance, and I often wrote the sketches. The price of admittance was three pins.”Mary Fuller, discussing her childhood play-acting.

Source: Gladys Roosevelt (1912)

 

Mary Fuller bear“I learned to play the violin and the piano when I was a little girl. They were hard to master; but I have learned another thing since I grew up that has proven quite as difficult – I should say, a great deal more difficult – than either of them, and that is writing….I would say to myself, ‘Now, if I were to start a story, I would – let me see – well, have my heroine meet with a motor accident. Then she is picked up unconscious from the road by the hero, who is an eccentric young millionaire weary of conventionalities. He carries her to his house and has his dear old white-haired housekeeper take care of her, then–‘ Ah, that was always it. What then? With poised pencil I would find myself facing reams upon reams of white paper without a single thought in my head to be put down upon a single page of them.”Mary Fuller

Source: Colgate Baker (PhotoPlay/1915)

 

Mary Fuller 1912“I grew up, finished school, and came to New York, with all my dollies packed in my trunk, to carry out my ambitions. I didn;t know the name of a single manager. It was hard work, discouraging work getting a start. I worked early and late. I wrote for the newspapers, and I wrote plays, most of which I rejected before anyone else had a chance to. I studied and finally found a place in drama; and while I was never a star, I did play leading parts in several productions. Then, deciding I would perfect myself in the art of expression, I went into Motion Pictures.”Mary Fuller

Source: H.H. Van Loan (1917)

 

Mary Fuller

“I have great, great ambition – I want to do something that will elevate people; that will mean something more to them than just an hour or two of entertainment. To accomplish some good in the world, that is what I am striving for. I want to give the best that is in me and I think much good may, and is, taught on the motion picture screen.”Mary Fuller

Source: Mary Condon (1913)

 

“That is what I aim for – to try, and keep on trying till I reach perfection. I am always interested in watching my work on the screen, to see where I can improve it.”Mary Fuller

Source: Gladys Roosevelt (1912)

 

“My work, to me, is very serious work, so I go about it earnestly. I read and study all of the proposed scenarios I am to do, and, as many of these – just now particularly – are books, it fills in many of my evenings. I don’t mind, because I never have company anyway, and I love to read. I’m by myself, most all of my spare time – and I’ve never had a girl chum.”Mary Fuller

Source: Mary Condon (1913)

“I love books, and I have done some writing myself – magazine stories and Motion Picture scenarios. Some people call my work bizarre, but I know that it is good, and that in the matter of scenarios, I am simply ahead of my time.”Mary Fuller

Source: Gladys Roosevelt (1912)

“The educational films are splendid if we don’t give people and overdose. I believe in educating the people, but there must be plenty of sugar coating on the pill.”Mary Fuller

Source: Gladys Roosevelt (1912)

“I go to all the new plays and seek to learn something from every one of them; and I do. That’s just what I want to give people – something instructive. I went on the stage when I was 17-years old and after several years, I went into picture work. But I’m still cultivating my voice, lest I should ever return to the stage and though I’m not thinking of that now, one never knows.”Mary Fuller 

Source: Mary Condon (1913)

 

 

 

Mary Fuller“Oh, politics don’t interest me much. That sort of thing isn’t in my line. There’s nothing artistic about it – except the lies they tell. I don’t believe the majority of women are ready for suffrage yet – they are not broadminded enough. But I would like to vote for [Teddy] Roosevelt.”Mary Fuller

Source: Gladys Roosevelt (1912)

“I guess I am an old maid now. I shall never get married. Oh, but I am not like the other girls. I am wrapped up in my work. Improvement, self-cultivation – that is my ambition – that, and having people like me.”Mary Fuller

Source: Gladys Roosevelt (1912)

“I live in dreams – I have wonderful dreams of things that I hope some day to do; and my dreams seem so real to me that I guess that is why I don’t need people for companions, in my out-of-work-hours.”Mary Fuller

Source: Mary Condon (1913)

“I wonder if you saw ‘The Prophecy?’ You did – Really? Well, I’m so glad you liked it, because I wrote it myself, and it was two years before they’d put it on. And all that time I had my costumes packed away, waiting to play the countess and, because the director didn’t particularly like that part for me, I’ve been anxious to know how others liked it so you can know I’m glad it pleased.”Mary Fuller

Source: Mary Condon (1913)

“I admire Mary Fuller very much. I’ve never met her, though I tried to on Edison night at the Exposition, but she had gone home.”Mary Pickford

Source: Mabel Condon (1913)

 

 

Mary Fuller“I am camera-shy. I suppose you men will never understand women, and I shall have to forgive you, although your question involved a certain discourtesy to me. No, do not interrupt me, for I shall explain the point at issue to you. There is an immense difference between acting and posing before the Moving Picture camera, in a professional way, and being photographed in a bathing-suit by those staring boys….I refuse to laugh at such slapstick. When I represent a character in a play, you know, I live my part. I do not feel that there is any such thing as a camera glaring at me. And, what is more, I need not care. Whatever the camera describes is not Mary Fuller, but  Jane Jones, impersonated by Mary Fuller. So this impersonation is at liberty, and even obliged, to show itself as it is, body and soul. Mary is out of it, even though she is ever so much in it. Now, when I represented Miss Headswell Moneybag at her best or worst, whatever you may call it, then the camera was required to show her bathing-suit on the film most accurately. However, those impudent young fellows did not want to photograph me as Miss Headswell Moneybag; no, they wanted to photograph Mary Fuller in her bathing-suit – a spectacle which is seldom witnessed by even a maid.”Mary Fuller

Photo: 1914

Mary Fuller sailor“Edison made quite a name for itself by sending a company twice to England. My wife, Miriam Nesbitt, and I were members of both companies. Miller directed the first expedition and Brabin the second. It was during the second trip that we made a number of ‘What Happened to Mary’ series. We had an exceedingly rough voyage back and it was necessary to stage some of the deck scenes with a rolling sea that would almost capsize the camera. Mary Fuller was frightfully seasick. I’ve always remembered how she would lean against the deck rail until the heartless Brabin would cry, ‘Camera!’ for the start of a scene.” — Marc MacDermott 

Source: James S. Frederick (1917)

Photo: 1913

 

Mary Fuller“Requests coming from the general public are by no means troublesome; they are easily satisfied with the reproduction of some of my photos. And the troublesome requests are not unfair because they come artists, magazines, newspapers and trade journals desirous of giving me publicity. That’s really very nice on their part, and I am thankful for it. However, they always want something new. So they ask for a novel and original picture to accompany the article. One would think that recent pictures would be sufficient for the purpose. This seems to be an error. I labored under it myself.”Mary Fuller

 

Mary Fuller“I have heard so many people remark that hardly two of my pictures have a striking similarity that I am entitled no more to doubt it. My friends claim the reason for it lies in the striking discrepancy of my ‘classical’ profile and my ‘modern’ front view – whatever that may mean by it. Under the circumstances, there is nothing left for me to do but to respond to the numerous and most courteous, even flattering, invitations, to pose, and to pose, and pose again. How could I refuse people who mean well?….Well, nearly every time I pose before cameras – just to comply with requests – of the kind now under discussion, I feel a little camera-shy….I cannot account for it. I imagine though, that the reason is closely related to the one we discussed before. When I pose in a Moving Picture, why, then I play a part. A photographer, on the other hand, does not want me to act, to show action; no, he wants the picture of Mary Fuller; he wants a picture which not only gives the looks of her, but, if possible, shows her very soul, tells her character, of her characteristics, her likes and dislikes; shows exactly wherein lies her strength and what are her shortcomings. Now, the art of Mary Fuller can stand, and even invites, closest investigation – Mary Fuller the girl, Mary Fuller the woman, and Mary Fuller the lady. Must she be different from her sisters? I suppose, I may be permitted to be natural and to keep what is usually called a charm of my sex – the shy demureness.”Mary Fuller

 

Mary Fuller 1914

“”Not many girls are qualified to make a success of it. Natural talent is the first requisite; intelligence and a quick brain the next. The technique of acting for the screen is more intricate than most people think. But no amount of technique will insure success without natural talent for expression. One must act with more feeling and sincerity than is required on the dramatic stage.”Mary Fuller

Source: Colgate Baker (1915)

Photo: 1914

Mary Fuller

“No, I will not tell you where I was born, nor when. They always ask me that, too. But while it wouldn’t matter now, in ten years or more people will begin to reckon and say, ‘Let’s see – she was so and so old at that time.’ No, my dear, I might mind then, you know, so I’ll not tell. “Mary Fuller

 

Mary Fuller 1914

“Let’s see – I wonder why I am not beautiful. It must be because beautiful women are very self contained, and I am not; I give out so much fire that I lose energy. But, between you and me, I ask in my prayers every night to be beautiful. It is a great asset, but I am afraid I will never become so.”Mary Fuller

 

Mary Fuller

“I like to produce my own pictures, do the designing of the costumes and select the prints myself. Whenever I have ideas, they simply clamor for expression. I like to make some of my costumes myself, although my sewing is done somewhat as a scene-painter goes at his work.”Mary Fuller 

 

Mary Fuller dramatic

“I want to do character studies, people who have been formed by circumstances, either good or bad, I don’t care, but some definite personalities. I want to play queens and other great people. I even aspired to Richard the Third and Hamlet, and characters of that kind.”Mary Fuller 

 

Mary Fuller macabre

“I am beginning to feel lonely – I don’t know what it is – I am unsatisfied. When I am working very hard I am satisfied, but I never really had a home, and at times, I feel, oh, so lonely. Lately it has been worse than usual, and I don’t know why.”Mary Fuller

Source: Helen Batchelder Shute (1914)

 

Mary Fuller dolls“Most girls lay aside their dolls when they begin to grow up, but I just couldn’t part with mine, even when mother said I was too big to be seen playing with such little people. I owe a great deal to these little creatures, for it was while playing with them that I discovered my talent for make-believe,’ and whatever progress I have made in my profession I owe to the doll family tucked away in my trunk. And sometimes, when I feel just a little lonely; my thoughts go back to the days when they were part of my daily life, and I quietly sneak away to the top of the house, take them out of my trunk, and recall every one of the dear, past days I spent with them. It must be foolish – it probably is. But I do it, anyhow!”Mary Fuller

Source: H.H. Van Loan (1917)

 

Mary Fuller 1917

“As for pictures – I’m sorry. I haven’t any new ones. Not one as big as a postage stamp. I wanted to get away from all cameras, for cameras to me just means work, work, work.”Mary Fuller in 1917.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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