Sunday, June 17, 2012

The General's Son

Now on to Brigadier General William Whedbee Kirkland's son, Noble Hardee Kirkland (1868-1929). Like his younger sister Bess, he is born in Savannah, Georgia after the American Civil War. Also like Bess, he takes to acting. She takes the stage name Odette Tyler, he sheds the "Noble" part of his name. Which of the two joins the theatre first? I do not, at this point, know. Both become professional actors as the  twentieth century looms ahead. Odette, I learn, files for divorce from a first husband, by 1895, when she's in her twenties. Hardee Kirkland, like his father, remains more of a mystery. 

Lon Chaney and Hardee Kirkland in The Ace of Hearts (1921)

In his forties and fifties, Hardee Kirkland makes a seemingly seamless transition into Hollywood movies. He produces, directs and acts in dozens of silent films from 1912 through 1925.

As director and producer under the aegis of Selig Polyscope, Hardee Kirkland makes movies with titles ranging from The Awakening (1912) and The Post-Impressionists (1913) to A Daughter of the Confederacy (1913) and -- an adaptation of a Washington Irving story -- The Devil and Tom Walker (1913). As an actor, he plays chracter parts, usually a professional of some sort. With Lon Chaney in Wallace Worsley's droll film The Ace of Hearts (1921), he plays the head of a secret assassination society. Also worth noting, he plays a character named John Wayne in Edmund Mortimer's 1925 film, The Arizona Romeo. 

Hardee Kirkland dies in Los Angeles just before the onset of the Great Depression. Whether he's ever worked with Odette Tyler in the theatre or movies, I'm not sure yet either way. 

Today's Rune: Flow.   

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

You hear the name Odette and you gotta know it's southern.