Silent Movie Star: Everything You Want to Know Myrtle Gonzalez

Silent Movie Star: Everything You Want to Know Myrtle Gonzalez

American actress Myrtle Gonzalez lived from September 28, 1891, to October 22, 1918. She appeared in at least 78 silent films between 1913 and 1917. There were 66 one- and two-reel shorts in total. She is recognised as the first Latina and Hispanic movie star actress in Hollywood.

Gonzalez is most known for playing Enid Maitland alongside William Duncan in Vitagraph’s six-reel, full-length drama The Chalice of Courage (1915). She has earned the moniker “The Virgin White Lily of the Screen” from a magazine writer.

Early Life

The daughter of Manuel George Gonzalez (1868-?) and Lillian L. Cook (1874-1932), On September 28, 1891, in Los Angeles, California, Myrtle Gonzalez was born. Manuel G. Gonzalez, Jr. (1898-?) and Stella M. Gonzalez (1892-1965) were her siblings. While her maternal grandparents were born in Ireland, her paternal family is a native Mexican Hispanic Californio family. Her mother was a famous former opera singer, while her father worked as a retail grocer.

Early on, Myrtle showed excellent dramatic talent and a good soprano voice. She performed in church choirs and made numerous local appearances at concerts and fundraisers. Later, she appeared on stage alongside Fanny Davenport and Florence Stone in child roles. Myrtle completed her studies in music and languages at a Los Angeles convent. Before joining Vitagraph and then Universal, she performed in stock companies.

Who were the parents of Myrtle Gonzalez? Parents and siblings of Myrtle Gonzalez

According to Myrtle Gonzalez’s biography, her father was Manuel George Gonzalez, and according to her father’s family, she was born into a Hispanic Californian family from Mexico. Her father was also a retail grocer. On the other hand, her mother’s name was Lillian L. Cook, and she had formerly been a well-known opera singer. Her parents had immigrated from Ireland. The siblings of Myrtle Gonzalez were her brother Manuel G. Gonzalez Jr. and her sister Stella M. Gonzalez.

Who was the husband of Myrtle Gonzalez? – The spouse of Myrtle Gonzalez

Speaking of Myrtle Gonzalez’s two marriages, the first occurred around 1910. At the time, her husband was James Parks Jones, and the pair produced a son together before divorcing. His name was James Parks Jones Jr. On December 1, 1917, in Los Angeles, Myrtle Gonzalez married Allen Watt, an actor and director. The two had first met when Myrtle Gonzalez ‘husband was an associate director at Universal.

Myrtle Gonzalez Doodle by Google

The nearly 78 silent films that Myrtle Gonzalez appeared in between 1913 and 1917, 66 of which were one- and two-reel shorts, were highly lauded by her fans. On November 23, 2022, the Google doodle for Myrtle Gonzalez was displayed in honour of the anniversary of the release of her movie “The Level (1914).”

What was Myrtle Gonzalez’s net worth? (Myrtle Gonzalez) Gross Value

At the time of Myrtle Gonzalez’s passing, her estimated net worth in dollars and cents was $3 million. The links are provided below if you’d like to visit her social media pages. 

Movie Career

Because she was born and bred in Los Angeles, the decision to move movie production there was quite advantageous to her. Gonzalez worked for Universal and Vitagraph, among other studios. Her feature film début was in William J. Bauman’s The Yellow Streak (1913). The comedy/drama Her Husband’s Friend (1913), the Tainted drama Money (1914), the comedy Millions for Defence (1914), the drama The Kiss (1914), and the drama Captain Alvarez (1914) were the five films in which she starred opposite William Desmond Taylor at Vitagraph.

Most Effective Initiatives

(1914) The Level

The Level (1914), a short film by Ulysses Davis, was one of her most suspenseful works.

She portrays Carolyn Johnson, the title character, a young woman without a mother who lives alone with her strict, uncaring father. Carolyn has a ferocious temperament and a wild side. She meets young settler Bob Arnold by chance. In contrast to her father, he is a kind and gentle man. Her father forces her to wed Bob, but Carolyn finds him repulsive after the wedding. She doesn’t like it when men treat her properly and feels her husband isn’t macho enough.

When speaking to her dog, “Wolf,” she expresses her views. Bob overhears her comments and immediately begins to mistreat her. Oddly, Carolyn’s perspective on her spouse shifts, and finally, she develops feelings for him.

1914’s The Little Sheriff

This short film, directed by George Stanley, relates the tale of the arrival of a young, attractive school teacher named Mary Turner (played by Gonzalez) in the small Western town of Lonetown. Carter, a gambler and sketchy figure in the community, seeks to catch Mary’s eye. Carter, who tried to intimidate the town’s residents, fled to the woods, and widower Sheriff Bill shielded her from him. Sheriff Bill and his posse pursue him, but he manages to escape to return to Mary. She screams in terror when she sees him, but Buddy, the Sheriff’s son and Mary’s student, intervenes.

With a rifle he illegally stole from his father, the child threatens Carter. Sheriff Bill is upset with his kid for disobeying after the bad guy is apprehended. Mary comforts him by kissing him, and the Sheriff wraps his arm around her waist. In the epilogue, Buddy is promised a stepmother.

(1915) The Chalice of Courage

Gonzalez plays Enid Maitland opposite William Duncan (William Newbold) in a Rollin S. Sturgeon-directed movie. To escape Louise’s erstwhile lover, James Armstrong, William and his wife Louise travel to the Colorado Rockies. Louise and her horse fall from a high cliff while riding a mountain trail. After suffering terrible injuries, she asks her husband to kill her to end her misery. He does this and attributes her terrible outcome to Armstrong.

Armstrong runs against Enid Maitland five years later and develops feelings for her. Enid, who was camping, gets caught in an unexpectedly fierce storm and is saved by William Newbold, a former mountain man who has since turned reclusive. She falls in love with him while spending the winter in his tent due to the snow. When Armstrong returns for Enid, he sees his old foe, Newbold.

Facts Worth Knowing About Myrtle Gonzalez

  • She appeared in an impressive 80 pictures within five years that her cinematic career lasted.
  • Gonzalez co-starred in five motion pictures with William Taylor from 1913–1914. The comedies ” Her Husband’s Friend” and “A Mix-Up in Pedigrees” were among them.
  • Gonzalez embodied a vital outdoorsy sort of heroine in many of her performances. Many of the films she starred in throughout her final six years in the industry were about forests and snowy lands.
  • Despite playing physically robust female roles, she was not sporty; she never rode a horse, punched a bag, or played tennis; she could not swim and never attempted to learn.
  • Myrtle Gonzalez, who signed a studio contract with Universal in 1912, was Hollywood’s first prominent Latina actor.
  • She acted in various genres, including comedies, dramas, romances, and action flicks.
  • Gonzalez insisted on using a double ‘z’ for her last name because, in her own words, “that is aristocratic Spanish; spell it with an’s,’ it is Plebian Mexican.”
  • Her significance in the history of Latinx representation in cinema is widely recognised.

A Selection of Films

  • 1914 film The Level
  • An Ordinary Man (1915)
  • Honolulu (1916): It Occurred
  • (1916) The Secret of the Swamp
  • Greater Law, 1917
  • (1917) Mutiny
  • The 1917 book God’s Crucible
  • Coastal Justice (1917)
  • In 1917, The Showdown

Death of Myrtle Gonzalez

Myrtle Gonzalez, an American actress, retired after getting remarried. At the same time, the US entered World War I, and Myrtle Gonzalez’s husband, an officer in the US Army, was stationed at Camp Lewis, not far from Tacoma, Washington. Myrtle Gonzalez’s death was on the horizon since she had become too fragile due to the weather. Her husband then requested retirement to be with her again, but she passed away on October 22, 1918. The information is towards the conclusion of this blog entry. More about Myrtle Gonzalez’s husband and death details.

Why Did Myrtle Gonzalez Die?

Many of you would be curious to learn about the cause of death of American actress Myrtle Gonzalez, who passed away on October 22, 1918. As a result, the silent film star passed away in 1918 amid the global Spanish flu pandemic. It was also Myrtle Gonzalez’s cause of death.


Myrtle Gonzalez was covered in this article. Myrtle Gonzalez was an American actress who lived from September 28, 1891, through October 22, 1918. She appeared in at least 78 silent films between 1913 and 1917, 66 of which were one- and two-reel shorts. She is credited as becoming Hollywood’s first Latina and Hispanic movie star actress. Myrtle Gonzalez’s fans praised her highly for the roughly 78 silent films she starred in between 1913 and 1917, 66 of which were one- and two-reel shorts. The first of Myrtle Gonzalez’s two unions occurred around 1910.

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