Silent Film Stars

Ruth Stonehouse – photos and quotes

Ruth Stonehouse

“All my life, I have loved dancing. I was born in Denver, but spent the greater part of my childhood in Arizona. And night after night I have sung and danced with my shadow, with only the sagebrush for an audience and dear old moon for a spotlight, and with only an occasional yell from some lost or hungry coyote to break the spell of the evening. But I was happy. I fancied myself a great dancer, and called myself ‘Theresea Vincennes.’ Just how or where that name originated with me I am at a loss to say, but Theresa was indeed a great personage. I would practice my dancing every night, and one big sagebrush I called Mr. Dick was always there, and, to my childish fancy, he would either smile or frown, as occasion called for – and oh, how hard I tried to please him when he wore a frown! That was my beginning as a dancer. I really think, tho, that my reincarnation must have been from some Roman or Greek dancer, as I love the Greek and classic dances so much. Yes, indeed. I love all of the modern ‘classic’ dances. I think the tango and maxixe are beautiful and are so artistic and lend such a charm to one’s personality.”Ruth Stonehouse

 

Ruth Stonehouse

“Oh, yes, I wrote plays, too, in those old Arizona days. I think I must have been around ten years old when I thought I had written a wonderful play. I remember I was in the fifth grade at school and had a perfectly horrible teacher, a Miss Grey, one of those cross old women…with a mouth turned down at the corners. Well, she caught me reading my play – the one in which I myself was to play the heroine in my theater of fancy – took it away from me and read it before the class, and ridiculed both the play and me. She was very narrow-minded and, like most people who do not know anything about the stage, thought all professional people were bad and all things pertaining to the stage a direct road to ruin. I shall never forget how hurt I was and how my face burned with shame. She told all the children what a very bad little girl I was, and said she wanted to make an example out of me. Well, she must have, for I have never forgotten that morning, and I don’t suppose I ever will. My heart was just broken.”Ruth Stonehouse

 

Ruth Stonehouse

“Later I was sent to Monticello to school. There I used to dance for the girls and take part in all the concerts we had. Well, it just seemed like dancing was to be my career. I had never taken lessons, but had learnt all from observation. I used to take my various positions from pictures I saw in magazines, and dreamed of the time when I would be a great dancer. When we came to Chicago, I played at many of the clubs here, dancing at all the exclusive receptions given by society folk. And at most of these I was somewhat under the care of Mrs. Spoor. You see, her daughter, Gertrude Spoor, and I have been great friends at school, and it made it so nice for me. I attended all of the teas and lawn parties. I did my classic dances, very similar to those popular dances of today, al fresco, and seemed to make a tremendous hit. Well, I at last decided on a vaudeville career; had my act all intact and my time booked. I wrote to Gertrude Spoor, who had gone back East to the ‘Castle’ to school, and told her of my plans. She wrote back, ‘Don’t do that. Why don’t you go into pictures? Run out to the studio and see dad.’ I did. I went over on Sunday to talk to Mr. Spore. I guess because I had been thrown with pictures so much thru my acquaintance with the Spoors it had never occurred to me to take them seriously; but upon receipt of Gertrude’s letter I went to see her father. He gave me a position, but wouldn’t help me a bit. He said, ‘Ruthie, if it’s you to make good, do it on your own ability.’ Long I waited for an opportunity to show them what I could do, until I was desperate, when one day, at last, my chance came. I remember the play was called ‘Chains.’ Well, I did make good, but of course it has been one continual go forward and step back, then work up again – but I love the pictures. They give one such a wonderful advantage of seeing all the good and bad there is in them.”Ruth Stonehouse

 

“Not long ago, while I was standing in a ‘set,’ our wardrobe lady said, ‘Ruth, I have some nice new wardrobe for you.’ My! I was delighted. When I had finished my scene, I went tearing up to the wardrobe room in hopes of getting some good-looking new clothes, when – what did she hand me but a bunch of old ragged clothes she had gotten from the Salvation Army! You can imagine my surprise. So that’s where Ruth of Ragged Heart comes in. But I don’t mind. I love those kinds of parts. Everybody in the audience is with you from the beginning of the picture, and it’s so much better to have their love and sympathy than it is for them to dislike you; and it’s strange but true – the kind of parts you play have a lot to do with how the Moving Picture world takes you.”Ruth Stonehouse 

 

Ruth Stonehouse (Bizarre Los Angeles)

“I suppose I’m too quiet a sort of person. I sometimes stop all of a sudden and wonder what in the world I – I, of all people, can be doing as an actress. It strikes me as being absurd, as being incongruous, sort of out of keeping. Why, I don’t even look like an actress, do you think so?”Ruth Stonehouse

Source: Grace Lamb (1919)

 

“I often think it isn’t only the stage and the screen where we get terribly miscast – it is often life itself. At home in California, for example, we live so very, very quietly, my husband and I. We are just plain, everyday Mr. and Mrs. Roach. We have a darling home, and I fuss about in it, and cook and clean, and we entertain, very modestly, a few of our intimate friends, and that is all. My husband, you know, has been in the service for over a year,  was invalided home and is now resting. I had a letter from him this morning, asking me if I was never, never coming home. It was quite plaintive and little-boyish. If I were not so terribly and enjoyably involved with Houdini I would feel that I should go.”Ruth Stonehouse

Source: Grace Lamb (1919)

 

“We-ll, of course I do want to be a star…for awhile…but, eventually, I want to be a directress, a producer; I want to be in the business end of it, that is, at the same time, the artistic end of it. A star shoots from his or her place sooner or later, but always inevitably…but a directress…may be like Tennyson’s immortal brook and go on forever, so long as her artsistry is keen, her conception broad…”Ruth Stonehouse

Source: Grace Lamb (1919)

 

“I am a devout Christian Scientist, you know, and I believe in the Divince Beneficence. It – hasn’t failed me yet.  Just a while ago, right here in New York, I don’t mind telling you, I was without a penny. In a really dreadful plight…there had been so many Liberty Bonds – various misadventures. I-I couldn’t seem to – to come to pawning my very clothes and they were just about all that I had left. And I put my trust in the All-God of things and like a direct answer came a letter from a lad fighting in Italy with a draft for three hundred dollars enclosed. He was a young cameraman I had once befriended when he was ill – hospital bills and all that … it was truly bread upon the waters…a hundredfold…other loves fail…the Divine love—never…”Ruth Stonehouse

Source: Grace Lamb (1919)

 

“One can love a great many times, in a great many different ways, for a great many different qualities of person and of mind. Each love may be fine in its separate way. One need not infringe upon the other. All are parts of the Divine Love from which they must, of necessity, come, and that love is Omipotent as it is Omnipresent.”Ruth Stonehouse

Source: Grace Lamb (1919)

 

“I call myself a curtain cootie…”Ruth Stonehouse

Source: Grace Lamb (1919)

 

 

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