Gladys Egan: An American Child Actress Of The Silent Era

2 min read

Gladys Egan was an American child actress during the silent film era. She appeared in 110 film shorts, between 1908 and 1914. Gladys Egan is one of the successful actors. Gladys Egan is one of the richest actors who was born in United States. She also has a position among the list of Most popular Actor.

Early life and stage work

Born in Manhattan, New York in May 1900, Gladys was the fifth child of seven children of Margarette (née Sheeran) and Thomas Francis Egan. Both were New York natives whose own parents had immigrated from Ireland. By 1910, the large Egan family lived at 425 West 30th Street in Manhattan. Thomas worked as a “letter carrier” for the United States Postal Service. The circumstances of young Gladys’s entry into show business are uncertain. By the age of seven she was already performing on Broadway. In October and early November 1907, credited as “Gladys Eagan”, she portrayed the character “Ne-Ne-Moo-Sha” in the two-act musical comedy Miss Pocahontas. During this period, the young actress became a regular cast member in stage productions outside of New York.

Film career|Gladys Egan

Throughout 1908 and into early 1909, Egan performed on tour in additional presentations of Shore Acres and in at least two other plays. Rip Van Winkle starring the popular New York actor Thomas Jefferson and the The Wishing Ring featuring Marguerite Clark. Egan in those tours received many accolades for her performances in towns and cities in California, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Montreal, Canada.

Gladys Egan – Movies, Bio and Lists on MUBI
Gladys Egan

In 1908 and 1909, Egan, at the zenith of her success on the stage, she also ventured into acting in the rapidly expanding industry of motion pictures. Her initial screen performance was for the Biograph Company in the summer of 1908. The eight-minute short, directed by Griffith, shot in two days–August 10 and 13, 1908–at the company’s main studio at 11 East 14th Street in Manhattan. Released on September 11, the film promoted by Biograph in advertisements as “a true and pathetic story of life in Stageland, where all that glitters is not gold.”

Later years

After the 1916 publication of her personal advertisement seeking acting job, Egan never came up again. Not even in available trade journals of the period or in theatre and film sections in local or regional newspapers. Records show that Egan left New York and relocated to Detroit, Michigan, where she resided for over a decade. She then moved to California by the early 1950s.

Personal life and death

Egan married three times. The details of her first marriage in 1920, as noted, are uncertain. Records do document and confirm that in the mid-1930s she married John Edson Jacoby. During their marriage, they had one child, a daughter, Joyce Angela Jacoby, who was born in 1936. The federal census of 1940 shows four-year-old Joyce residing with her parents in Detroit. Gladys’s marriage to him lasted until 1948 when he died.

Pictures of Gladys Egan, Picture #159198 - Pictures Of Celebrities
An amazing american child actress

Twelve years after John Jacoby’s death, on June 26, 1960, Gladys married Melvin Babbitt Rice in California. That union was a short one, for Rice died only six months after the couple’s wedding. No subsequent records indicate that Egan married again.

Gladys Egan spent her final years in Chula Vista, California nursing home. In March 1985, at age 84, she died in the Cresta Loma Convalescent Hospital in nearby Lemon Grove. After cremation, Telophase Society scattered her ashes in accordance with her wishes.

Also read: Jorge Cori: A Former Chess Prodigy Who Has Inspired The Youth

Get to Know about the Latest Child Prodigies!

Subscribe to our Newsletter