Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

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salus

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Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostMon Oct 01, 2012 7:11 pm

What do we know of Beverly Bayne's career ? Was she one of the top stars? What happened to her in later years? Why did her son with Francis X Bushman committ suicide? Was he an actor also?
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostMon Oct 01, 2012 7:13 pm

He started out as Francis X. Bushman Jr. and later was known as Ralph Bushman and died just short of his 75th birthday.
Last edited by drednm on Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Monsieur X

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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostMon Oct 01, 2012 7:23 pm

Francis X. Bushman Jr. was indeed an actor. I have seen one of his films - THE THREE MUSKETEERS (1933) - many times. It's fun, but has absolutely nothing at all to do with the Dumas story. As for Beverley Bayne, the only film of hers I know anything about is THE GREAT SECRET (1917), which was apparently a total bomb.
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostMon Oct 01, 2012 10:50 pm

salus wrote:What do we know of Beverly Bayne's career ? Was she one of the top stars? What happened to her in later years? Why did her son with Francis X Bushman committ suicide? Was he an actor also?


There was a book written about her a decade ago, BEVERLY BAYNE QUEEN OF THE MOVIES by Richard J Maturi & Mary Buckingam Maturi from McFarland Press. (The title comes from her winning a movie magazine contest as favorite female star sometime in the 1910's). The book does not go into her son's suicide, just mentioning that he was living with her at the time (1967). You could probably have your local library get a copy through their inter-loan department.
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostMon Oct 01, 2012 11:04 pm

drednm wrote:He started out as Francis X> Bushman Jr. and later was known as Ralph Bushman and died just short of his 75th birthday.

Francis X Bushman jr/Ralph Bushman is one of "Sr's" five children from his first marriage. Richard Bushman (b. 1919) was the only child of his union with Beverly Bayne. That marriage apparently ended very badly and Bayne did not speak favorably of her ex-husband (apparently one of the biggest egomaniacs in Hollywood) when interviewed; Richard went as far as to legally change his last name to Bayne when an adult. Richard committed suicide in 1967, six months or so after his father's death.
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostTue Oct 02, 2012 11:29 am

I was thumbing through the Maturi book a couple of weeks ago and while well meaning and well researched, it is full of errors, especially in labeling classic photographs. Example, one photo has Bushman in Messalla garb with the original Ben-Hur(George Walsh, Raoul's brother) and Maturi labels Walsh as Ramon Novarro. The Lon and Debra Davis book I have yet to read. The writers talk about the book, Beverly Bayne and "Bush" in a youtube clip from this nitrateville thread:

http://www.nitrateville.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10601" target="_blank


In my opinion, in lieu of the Maturi and the Lon and Debra book, Bushman gets a raw deal not only from an ex-wife with an ax to grind but from Hollywood myth and innuendo. Since he's from my state I have a warm spot in my heart for him but for all the right reasons. Whatever his marital concerns were, they were personal especially the end of his marriage to Josephine. An interview Bushman did on LP has finally showed up in a copy for sale on EBay, it's the same one I listened to 20+ years ago from the public library. When Charles Bronson died in 2003, I was listening to H. Stern and in a recap on Bronson's life Stern of all people paid tribute by saying Bronson took himself up out a Pennsylvania coal mining town and made something of his life by becoming this famous actor. In a nutshell I think the same applies to Bushman, he first of all dedicated himself to bodybuilding sculpting a physique second only to Sandow his hero. This takes work, you're not born with a body looking like Bushman's in his heyday. When in movies he actively promoted himself for the sake of his movies and along the way it helped the fledgling industry as well. In going over some current EBay photos of Bushman, many are taken during the latter part of his life, when his career was supposedly caput. He doesn't look like a man sulking over the loss of his stardom in 1918. He seems to have been a man who enjoyed the rest of his life and not let the system defeat him.

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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostTue Oct 02, 2012 11:59 am

The Lon an Debra Davis book is very good. It is based on Bushman's own diaries. Maturi also wrote a book on Bushman, and I have that one too.

I don't think Bushman was an egomaniac in that he didn't have delusions of grandeur throughout his life. Egocentric, definitely. His actions throughout his life show that he always thought of himself first, and rarely his wives, children, or co-stars. He was more naive than a maniac though, as he rarely made responsible decisions concerning family or money.
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostTue Oct 02, 2012 2:46 pm

I'll second (third?) the opinion on the Davis' book. He made a big impression in the Essanay program that Niles devoted to him a few years back. He had a long, solid career despite bad decisions and bad timing and was quite in demand as a radio actor even when few screen roles came his way. He seems to have been reasonably happy, and his last two marriages were apparently successful.

He was still on the scene when i was a kid, and i've always been rather fond of him.

Beverly Bayne did have a successful stage career, but kept up her bitterness for FXB for the rest of her life. He was able to move on, she wasn't.

As for Ralph Bushman--you've all seen him, he's one of the Canfield Boys in Our Hospitality (as well as being on Rodney's calendar a couple years back). He was a very handsome young man. As Francis X. Bushman Jr. he was in Four Sons, and was fairly busy for a few years before his career petered out in the early 30s. He kept appearing in bits until the early 40s, i'm not sure what he did after that.

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salus

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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostTue Oct 02, 2012 3:34 pm

Beverly Bayne was a big star in the 1910s and was completely forgotten years later.
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostTue Oct 02, 2012 4:46 pm

greta de groat wrote:

As for Ralph Bushman--you've all seen him, he's one of the Canfield Boys in Our Hospitality (as well as being on Rodney's calendar a couple years back). He was a very handsome young man. As Francis X. Bushman Jr. he was in Four Sons, and was fairly busy for a few years before his career petered out in the early 30s. He kept appearing in bits until the early 40s, i'm not sure what he did after that.

greta

he's in the independent silent MIDNIGHT FACES(1926) and is one of the members of Van and Schenks baseball team in the early Tin Pan Alley talkie THEY LEARNED ABOUT WOMEN(1930).
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostTue Oct 02, 2012 4:52 pm

Lon and Debra Davis make one strong point calling Bushman "King of the Movies". Some authors misinterpret this moniker as Bushman passing the moniker on to Clark Gable in the 30s, who in turn passed it on to Elvis in the 1950s. For the record here are the proper labels:

*King of the Movies - Francis X. Bushman

*King of Hollywood - Clark Gable

*King of Rock-n-Roll - Elvis Presley
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostTue Oct 02, 2012 7:23 pm

greta de groat wrote:As for Ralph Bushman--you've all seen him, he's one of the Canfield Boys in Our Hospitality (as well as being on Rodney's calendar a couple years back). He was a very handsome young man. As Francis X. Bushman Jr. he was in Four Sons, and was fairly busy for a few years before his career petered out in the early 30s. He kept appearing in bits until the early 40s, i'm not sure what he did after that.

greta

Richard Bushman was an extremely handsome man as well, much more so than his father. Haven't read the Davis book are there more details about Richard in it?
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostTue Oct 02, 2012 10:23 pm

There's a little about Richard. It doesn't sound like he ever saw his father again. Apparently he and Beverly lived in an apartment in Scottsdale after she retired from the stage. In his mid 40s, he wanted to get married, but Beverly wasn't happy about that. The woman called FXB and told him and his wife Iva that Beverly was pretending to have heart attacks and making Richard feel guilty. They never did marry. The book doesn't talk about the suicide, though it's mentioned in the chronology at the end of the book.

Oh, and more about Ralph, apparently he became the president of a milling machinery company.

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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostSat Oct 06, 2012 12:16 pm

I have a small autographed photo of Francis X. Bushman, about 5” x 3” in size, printed on cardboard, and apparently dating from the First World War era. I don’t have any other samples of his handwriting so I can’t be certain he actually inscribed it, but on the other hand I have no reason to doubt its authenticity. I found it at a garage sale in Tarrytown NY, some years ago, in a basket of old postcards dating from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s.

The photo shows Bushman in an embrace with Beverly Bayne, and appears to be from a movie. He’s dressed in a WWI officer’s uniform, and she’s huddled against his chest as if cowering from an unseen attacker. Under the image is the autograph “Sincerely, Francis X. Bushman,” and across Bayne’s face, in the same hand, the name “Marguerite” has been written in such a way as to obliterate her features. At the bottom, under his signature, is the instruction “(over).”

On the back of the photo is a brief message, apparently written by Bushman. There’s some water damage, but it’s still legible, and says:

To my Beautiful “Unknown”

Here’s hoping to meet you at the Immaculate Conception Church tonight sure. My wife is sick with the measles and can’t come along. Bev is getting too large to be my leading woman.

P.S. Report for rehearsal next Monday at 8:30 for the “lead” in “Frank’s Baby Elephant.”


Now, I’m not trying to start any rumors or anything, but that’s what it says. After buying the photo for a few bucks I tried to find out if Bushman ever appeared in a film or play called Frank’s Baby Elephant. (That’s how naïve I am.) Needless to say, I couldn’t find anything, and when I showed the photo to a film buff friend of mine, and asked if he was familiar with the title, he burst out laughing and suggested that the phrase was most likely a private euphemism. Was my face red!

Anyhow, I’d be interested in knowing why the name “Marguerite” was scrawled across Miss Bayne’s face, if anyone here might know, or would like to hazard a guess. Could be a Faust reference, or a long lost inside joke, or who knows what.
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostMon Oct 08, 2012 11:55 am

Wm. Charles Morrow wrote:Needless to say, I couldn’t find anything, and when I showed the photo to a film buff friend of mine, and asked if he was familiar with the title, he burst out laughing and suggested that the phrase was most likely a private euphemism. Was my face red!


Oh, boy! Francis, you creep! :oops:

To make matters worse, most of Bushman and Bayne's movies were made before they were married, so it's entirely possible that he's telling 'Beautiful Unknown' that he's sick of both his wife and the mistress who was about to replace her!
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostMon Oct 08, 2012 1:33 pm

That sounds like Bushman- he was far from being a stupid man, but he probably WOULD write such an obvious note and sigbn his name.

It reminds me of an item that came on antiques roadshow some years back- a letter from Babe Ruth setting up a meeting with a woman at his hotel- a pretty obvious extra-marital affair. Ruth signed his full name to it.
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostMon Oct 08, 2012 1:53 pm

Regarding 'Marguerite' - are you certain it's a Bayne/Bushman picture? Bushman made a couple of pictures with Marguerite Snow, one of which was an army picture (though not a World War I picture; that war had itself only just begun at the time). Snow and Bayne were quite similar in appearance.
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Re: Beverly Bayne (1894-1982)

PostMon Oct 08, 2012 3:17 pm

Brooksie wrote:Regarding 'Marguerite' - are you certain it's a Bayne/Bushman picture? Bushman made a couple of pictures with Marguerite Snow, one of which was an army picture (though not a World War I picture; that war had itself only just begun at the time). Snow and Bayne were quite similar in appearance.


An interesting possibility! I'd always assumed the woman in the photo was Beverly Bayne because it resembles her (and because of her connection with Bushman), but, as I noted above, the name "Marguerite" is scrawled across the picture in such a way that her facial features are partly obscured. Just now I went to Google Images and compared the photo to pictures of Marguerite Snow, and it may well be her after all.

Unfortunately I don't have a scanner at home, but my wife has access to one at work, so I'll see if she can copy this image so I can post it here.
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