Dear Silent Hall of Fame Users:
You have come to this website, because you like silent films and silent movie stars. There are many places like this. But unlike other sites, here at Silent Hall of Fame you can make a real difference. You can help us show for the first time many films featuring your favorite silent stars that have not been seen in generations. This will bring their names back into the public discourse. But you can do much more than that: you can help your favorite silent stars receive belated recognition and glory.
Until now there has never been an organization with the purpose to place a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for movie personalities from a century ago. Silent Hall of Fame is this historic organization. Silent Hall of Fame is the only organization of its kind. We will make history and we invite you to become a part of history by sponsoring a silent movie star for the Hollywood Walk of Fame. All contributions are tax deductible.
Shirley Mason with a necklace and a nice smile
Silent Hall of Fame is looking for contributors to create an original biography for this star.
Shirley Mason, Leonie Flugrath, (June 6, 1900 – July 27, 1979) was an American actress of the silent era. She and her two sisters Edna and Virginia (Viola Dana) went on to pursue careers in the stage, through the insistence of their mother. Mason made her film debut at the age of 11 in the film The Threshold of Life (1911). As a child actress, she was not in very high demand, and it was not until 1915 that she played her next role in the film Vanity Fair. In 1917, her career saw a major advance as she was cast in thirteen films that year alone, and was given the title role in the movie The Awakening of Ruth. Mason continued a vibrant acting career through the 1920s, landing several major roles. In the 1929 film, The Flying Marine, she appeared in her final role (along with her sister Viola) capping her career at 109 films between the years of 1910 and 1929.
The Flugrath sisters were a talented trio, and all three graced the theatrical world with their work in the silent film industry. Edna Flugrath was the eldest daughter, born in 1893, and was the only sister to maintain her original name upon entering the cinematic world. Virginia, who later changed her name to Viola Dana, was born in 1897, followed by the youngest, Leonie, who would one day be Shirley Mason. The mother of the Flugrath sisters was the one who first dreamed of their stage careers, and at a very young age had them enrolled in dance classes. The sisters spent much of their childhood touring with companies at Coney Island, Elks Clubs and other venues.
Eventually, their mother's dreaming and planning paid off, as all three sisters were hired by Edison Studios. Viola met her husband, John Collins, at Edison, and the young director and actress became a successful husband-wife team. Edna also met her future husband at the Studios, and when Harold Shaw left to open the first British Film company, Edna accompanied him and shortly thereafter became his wife. Shirley had appeared in several films and had also met her future husband, Bernard Durning. Durning was a fellow actor and also director, and although eight years her senior, the two were married when Mason was only 16 years old. Mason and Durning enjoyed a very happy marriage, him directing films back East, and Shirley acting in them. All was well until 1923 when Bernard contracted Typhoid Fever and died, leaving 22 year old Shirley a widow. Mason was remarried once more in 1927 to director Sidney Lanfield. The two remained married until Lanfield died of a heart attack in 1972.
Click to enlarge
Shirley Mason pauses before the school gate in "Vanity Fair" (1915).
Shirley Mason plays with the doll as her father looks on in "Vanity Fair" (1915).
Shirley Mason tries unsuccessfully to snatch the money in "Vanity Fair" (1915).
Shirley Mason sits at home alone as her father is out drinking in "Vanity Fair" (1915).
Shirley Mason and Viola Dana (her elder sister in real life) in "Children Who Labor" (1912).
Shirley Mason pleads her father to give jobs to all working class men in "Children Who Labor" (1912).
Shirley Mason - Best Wishes.
Shirley Mason - glamour.
Shirley Mason looking serious.
Shirley Mason - Sincerely with curls.
Shirley Mason - Sincerely Yours.
Shirley Mason and Gaston Glass in The Wife's Relations (1928).
Shirley Mason, Josie Melville and Charles Ogle in Treasure Island (1920).
Shirley Mason with sister Viola Dana.
Shirley Mason blonde.
Shirley Mason with a fur coat.
Shirley Mason with long curls.
Shirley Mason - mirror.
Shirley Mason - poster for The Final Close-up (1919).
Shirley Mason and Edmund Burns in Lights of the Desert (1922).
Shirley Mason - To Dorothy.
Shirley Mason with a necklace and a nice smile.
Shirley Mason on the cover of Theatre Magazine - April 1920.
Click on a button below to sponsor a silent movie star with your tax-deductible contribution.
Please use this button for a one-time donation:
Please use the button below for a recurring donation:
PayPal securely processes donations for Silent Hall of Fame. You can complete your payment with just a few clicks.