Silent Film Stars

Lilie Leslie (aka Lila Leslie) – photos and quotes

Lilie Leslie 1915

Just as there are wild, glorious spirits amongst men who are too different from a humdrum world to get along with its shopkeeping multitude, and whom, for want of a better name, we call ‘the men who don’t fit in,’ so there are women of the same type. They are beautiful, they are talented, they are clever and above all, dissatisfied. They realize the ridiculous cruelty of conventions which force some to go blind sewing while others drink champagne. Such people become either saints or great sinners, in a greatness according to the measure of their spirit.” Lilie Leslie

Source: George Vaux Bacon (1915)

Lilie Leslie flirting“There are women who become adventuresses in a small way, who are the Cleopatras of a coterie, of a small town, of a profession of a business. Such women exist in many manifestations, from the businesslike young person who conceals her Borgia-like proclivities under a tailor-made suit, to the artistic woman who excuses everything in the name of art.”Lilie Leslie

Source: George Vaux Bacon (1915)

 

Lilie Leslie 1915

“The dramatic relies upon contrast, and is there a more vital contrast than the physical appearance of the super-adventuress, whose features have all the soft beauty given woman for her greatest charm, whose figure is divine in its proportions and graceful outline, the sound of whose voice is so musical that every word is a caress, and the soul of that same adventuress, which is as hard, as scheming, as unscrupulous as that of the coldest statesman who to favor his own greatness will send thousands of men to their deaths, devastate homes, raze cities and starve the wives of the dead.”Lilie Leslie

Source: George Vaux Bacon (1915)

Lilie Leslie “To any woman with the instinct of the actress strong in her, what can, therefore, be stronger in appeal than the role of the adventuress who is, by her very existence, super-dramatic? I love to play those parts. I love to slink into a room, to find a big, strong man, a master of men, waiting there for me, and to feel that he is in my power, that with a smile I can twist him about my little finger, wreck him with a kiss, drive him to frenzy with a granted caress – or to suicide with a caress withheld.”Lilie Leslie 

Source: George Vaux Bacon (1915)

 

Marah the Pythoness

“The first time I ever played a dark and dire villainess, I played the part of ‘Martha [sic] the Pythoness’ and had to go about with a python around my neck. I was scared almost to death, and as a result made a tremendous success as the most intent sort of villainess. People told me how my eyes sparkled with hate and vengeance and all those Rex Beach emotions; but it was all just the story of the Mona Lisa over again. As a matter of fact they didn’t sparkle with anything except pure fright.”Lilie Leslie

Source: George Vaux Bacon (1915)

Siren of Corsica 1915 Lilie Leslie

“I wish I could play in a series of what I call ‘Hellion parts.’ Somehow, they rest one so. It gives a woman the opportunity to get all the nastiness out of her disposition and to be achieving something instead of making trouble while she is doing it. All women have some of the adventuress in them, all have the tigery quality somewhere. We are, every one of us, little sisters of the leopards and panthers. Men as a rule seem utterly unable to appreciate that fact until they have gotten a lot of experience. They they are referred to by their fellows as cynics, and laughed at; but there isn’t a woman in this whole world who won’t scratch if she feels like it and gets mad enough with someone when no one else is looking; and the more she likes the person – or loves the man – the harder and deeper and more enthusiastically will she scratch.”Lilie Leslie

Source: George Vaux Bacon (1915)

Photo: Siren of Corsica (1915). With Florence Hackett

Siren of Corsica Lilie Leslies

“Of course no villainess is all bad. Every villainess has her good traits. Most of them, when not on the trail of the victim, are generous and good tempered to a fault and easily imposed on by those few of who she is really fond, just as every woman – and every man – is, for that matter. When anyone refuses to be imposed on by anyone else, that person shows that either he or she does not care very much for the other. The mind is wise; but the heart is not and thinks only of being kind, not of the cost of being kind. The adventuress bargains with the world; but everyone, even the adventuress, has somewhere in her heart someone she really loves.”Lilie Leslie

Source: George Vaux Bacon (1915)

Photo: Siren of Corsica (1915). With Lenore Hackett (left)

 

Lilie Leslie

“Emotion with your true villainess is thoroughly superficial and is all put on solely for the purpose of obtaining her ends, whatever they may be. The villainess to be successful, while on the surface she appears to have every easily moved emotion of the average woman, must at heart be really as unemotional as a theatrical manager or a bank president. She must have a heart upon which her victims cannot play in their pleadings for mercy. Emotional people can never be cruel enough to be successful villains or villainesses. You never hear, for example, of a truly sensitive nature doing evil things without suffering horribly as a result, and the villainess never suffers. She takes what the world lays at her feet with a smile, and if one or more lives are ruined that she may have silks and comforts and jewels – she smiles.”Lilie Leslie

Source: George Vaux Bacon (1915)

 

Lila Leslie 1920

“Balzac or some other famous literary man said once that a good story has no beginning and no end – that it is merely a finished episode in the life of one or more persons, and that it leaves the thread of life just as it took it up.”Lilie Leslie

Source: George Vaux Bacon (1915)

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