MovieChat Forums > In the ParkĀ (1915) Discussion > Leona Anderson Is The Count's Fancy

Leona Anderson Is The Count's Fancy


Her film with Charlie Chaplin & Edna Purviance IN THE PARK(1915) is uploaded on YouTube. She was rather attractive with a cute smile. Tall lady as well. She plays the love interest of the top-hatted count.

Leona Anderson was NOT the younger sister of cinema's very 1st cowboy star Gilbert M. Anderson. Leona Anderson was the WIFE of 'Broncho Billy' Gilbert M. Anderson!

In 1906, Leona moved with her brother Max to Chicago, Illinois from St. Louis, Missouri. In 1907, she was hired at the newly formed Essanay Film Company as a studio secretary by her future husband Gilbert M. Anderson. In 1908, her brother Max married Mollie Schabbleman (born Molley Schabblemms in 1882 in Chicago, Illinois); who was listed as a Stearns, Minnesota resident in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census and whose mother's birthplace was listed as Russia.

Leona married America's very 1st movie star Gilbert M. Anderson in Chicago, Illinois on 11 June 1910 (erroneously listed as 11 July 1910). Leona made her screen debut co-starring with Francis X. Bushman in THE SHANTY AT TREMBLING HILL [released on 1 Jan 1915]. She co-starred in 5 more films that same year: One with Charlie Chaplin and three with her husband Gilbert M. Anderson. Her last silent film was with Stan Laurel in a parody of Rudolph Valentino's film BLOOD AND SAND(1922) titled MUD AND SAND(1922). This silent comedy short also co-starred Stan Laurel's common-law wife Mae Laurel.

Leona Anderson's silent screen career was from 1915-1922. All her silent films were made by her husband Gilbert M. Anderson. When G. M. Anderson left the film business, she too left the film business.

However, there was a another performer entirely also named Leona Anderson (b. 23 Nov 1897; Philadelphia, PA-d. 29 Mar 1985; Columbus, OH). This other Leona Anderson was a Broadway musical performer who made her Broadway debut at age 15 in a George M. Cohan production. She also appeared in a few silent films for Famous Players-Lasky's Astoria Studios in New York City (founded in 1920 by Adolph Zukor). Her Broadway credits were in musical comedy and operatta. She later had a career revival as a comic opera singer in the mid-1950s. This other Leona Anderson released the album "Music To Suffer By" in 1957 and also became a regular on the Ernie Kovacs show as well as some other variety shows of the 1950s. She was also credited with appearing as Mrs. Slydes in the Vincent Price horror film HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL(1959).

Leona Anderson left Woodland Hills, Los Angeles County, California after the death of her husband 'Broncho Billy' Gilbert M. Anderson. She moved to Fremont, Alameda County, California right next to Niles, where Essanay Studios were once located. She died almost 3 years later on 25 December 1973; her death certificate listed her birthdate as 20 April 1885.

The facts are that Gilbert Maxwell Anderson was the REAL NAME of Gilbert M. Anderson and he was born on 20 March 1883 in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas. He was the son of Harry Anderson, who was of Scottish descent and whose birthplace was Troy, New York. The Anderson family had moved from Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas to Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas in 1891 when Anderson was 8; he was always called 'Max' by his family and friends, which was short for his middle name Maxwell. Also, Leona Anderson was NOT his younger sister but was his WIFE. They actually played a married couple on-screen in the film SUPPRESSED EVIDENCE(1915).

"Broncho Billy" Gilbert M. Anderson was NOT Max Aronson, the 6th of 7 surviving children born to Henry Aronson (born Feb 1846 in New York state) & Esther Ash-Aronson (born Sep 1847 in New York state). That Max Aronson was the brother-in-law of "Broncho Billy" Gilbert M. Anderson. He was the elder brother of Anderson's wife Leona Aronson. In 1908, Leona's brother Max Aronson married a woman named Mollie Schabbleman (born Molley Schabblemms in 1882 in Chicago, Illinois); who had Anglo-Americanized her birthname.

The birthplace of both of Leona's paternal and maternal grand-parents was listed as Prussia in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Leona Anderson's father Henry was a traveling dry goods salesman. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Henry Aronson was listed as an immigrant from Germany in the year 1858; with Germany listed as his birthplace and also that of his parents. However, he had been confused with another individual altogether of the exact same name born in 1845 that had actually immigrated to America 27 July 1855 from Hamburg, Germany; the birthplace of this person and also that of his parents was listed as Germany.

Leona Anderson's mother Esther was a housewife and homemaker of North German ancestry; her maiden name was originally spelled Asch. Leona's father Henry came from a Jewish family while her mother Esther was born Lutheran. Leona and all her siblings were raised Lutheran. There were also the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Federal Censuses which listed Russia as the birthplace of Leona's maternal grand-parents; however, in the case of Leona's maternal grand-parents, it was an obvious typographical and/or phonetic clerical error from 'Prussia' to 'Russia'.

Leona Anderson's parents were married in 1868 and had a total of 11 offspring with 4 infant deaths. Of their 7 children who reached adulthood, the following were born in New York state: Gertrude (b. 1870); Jerome (b. 1872); Edward (b. 1874); Hattie (b. 1875). In 1876, Leona's parents and siblings moved to Texas where brother Nathan (erroneously listed by one source as Nathaniel) was born in 1878. The Aronson family then moved to Little Rock, Arkansas in 1879 where brother Max was born a year later in 1880. In 1883, the Aronson family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where Leona was born on 20 April 1885 (erroneously listed as 3 April 1885 in some places).

Leona's older brothers Jerome, Edward, Nathan, and Max were office clerks in St. Louis, Missouri. Her brother Max was listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as residing in St. Louis, Missouri. Leona's brother Max left his clerical job in 1900 to work for a cotton broker named Louis Roth, who was a German immigrant. Louis Roth ended up marrying Leona's eldest sister Gertrude in 1903 and shortly after made Max his junior partner in his small business. In 1906, Roth had relocated his small brokerage firm to Pine Bluff, Arkansas and moved there with Leona's sister Gertrude and her 2 children. Leona's brother Max had declined to relocate and sold his share of the business to Roth and shortly after moved to Chicago, Illinois from St. Louis, Missouri accompanied by Leona herself. In 1907, Leona got hired as a studio secretary at the newly formed Essanay Film Studios by her future husband Gilbert M. Anderson. In 1908, Leona's brother Max married Mollie Schabbleman (b. Molley Schabblemms in 1882 in Chicago, Illinois).

The census records for Leona Anderson's brother-in-law Louis Roth (b. 1858) lists Germany as his birthplace as well as that of his parents; however, it erroneously lists his year of immigration as 1850. Roth was Gertrude's 2nd husband and the stepfather of her 2 children who were both born back in Little Rock, Arkansas: Harold (b. Dec 1888) and Idalia (b. Mar 1890). Gertrude's 1st husband was a Polish Cathoic immigrant who was the son of the Aronson family's neighbors back in Little Rock, Arkansas. Gertrude had moved back to Little Rock and settled there and had 2 children. However, Gertrude's 1st husband abandoned her in 1898, primarily due to denominational conflicts, and left when his parents had moved away from Little Rock, Arkansas. Gertrude and her 2 children then moved in with her parents in St. Louis, Missouri in 1898. She later remarried to Louis Roth, her youngest brother Max's business partner who also happened to be Lutheran, and moved with him to Pine Bluff, Arkansas with her 2 children in 1906.

After the death of Leona Anderson's father Henry in 1908 in St. Louis, Missouri, her mother Esther; elder brother Edward and his wife Theresa (daughter of an Italian immigrant father and an Illinois-born mother); and older brother Nathan moved to New York City in 1909; her eldest brother Jerome and older sister Hattie remained in St. Louis, Missouri. Leona's eldest sister Gertrude remained with her 2nd husband and 2 children in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Leona's older brother Max died aged 70 in 1950 in California, while Leona's sister-in-law Mollie Aronson died aged 86 in 1968 in California.

Gilbert M. Anderson had married Leona Aronson on 11 June 1910 (erroneously listed as 11 July 1910) in Chicago, Illinois. They had only one child, daughter Maxine Anderson, who became a casting director and ran her own casting agency. Gilbert M. Anderson died on 20 January 1971 aged 87 at Brierwood Convalescent Hospital in South Pasadena, California. He was survived by his daughter Maxine and his wife of over 60 years, Leona, who died in Fremont, Alameda County, California on 25 December 1973.

Gilbert M. Anderson's death certificate lists his birthdate as 21 March 1884 (which was incorrect). The U.S. Passport Applications lists a U.S. passport issued on 10 March 1920 in New York City, New York to Gilbert M. Anderson (b. 20 March 1883; Little Rock, Arkansas). Leona Anderson's death certificate lists her birthdate as 20 April 1885.

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