German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6502/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Atelier Marion, Berlin.
Senta Söneland (1882-1933) was a German actress whose peaks in her film career were in the later 1910s and the early 1930s.
Senta Söneland was born in Diedenhofen, Lorraine (then Germany; now Thionville, France). She was originally a stage actress who specialized in comedy. Despite the clause in her contract not to work for film, she went over to cinema during the First World War, when the German theater world imploded. Between 1915 and 1919 Söneland was a popular comedian on screen with films like Der Onkel aus Amerika (1915), Benjamin, der Schüchterne (William Karfiol 1915), and Der Gattestellvertreter (Adolf Gärtner 1918); in all she played the female lead. In addition she played supporting roles in several comedies as in Pension Lampel (Max Mack 1915), starring Hanni Weisse. In the 1920s she did just two films and focused on the stage, but when sound cinema set in, Söneland returned to the screen and did many films in the early 1930s. She had major parts in Der Weg nach Rio (Manfred Noa 1930), Reserve hat Ruh (Max Obal 1931), and Die Bräutigamswitwe (Richard Eichberg 1931), but she more often played minor parts now, as the comical sidekicks in Susanne macht Ordnung (Eugen Thiele 1930) starring Truus van Aalten, Der unbekannte Gast (E.W. Emo) starring Szöke Szakall, and Hasenklein kann nichts dafür (Max Neufeld 1933) with Jakob Tiedtke and Lien Deyers. Söneland also played herself in the filmed musical medleys Wiener Wald (1931), Der Durchschnittsmann (1931), Das Publikum singt mit (1931); often with The Comedian Harmonists. In 1934 Senta Söneland’s premature death at age 51 made an abrupt end to her career.
Pretty brunette Peggy Hyland (1884–1973) was an English film actress and director, who starred in more than 45 British and American silent films. She remained active in films until 1925.
Peggy Hyland was born Gladys Lucy Hutchinson in Harborne a suburb of Birmingham, in 1884. She was educated in Britain and at convents in Europe. The first convent she attended was Seroule in Verviers, on the frontier of Belgium. In 1910, she began to act on stage, according to Wikipedia after consulting a seer who foretold her great success. She toured with legendary stage actor Cyril Maude in the play The Yellow Jacket. Hyland began her screen career in 1912. Women and British Cinema (WSBC) mentions as her first film the Clarendon production The Love of an Actress (Wilfred Noy, 1914). According to Paul Rothwell-Smith at IMDb, she made her film debut for the Neptune Film Co. in In the Rank (Percy Nash, 1914) starring Gregory Scott. That year, she also married her first husband, Owen Grant Evan-Thomas. The next year, she starred for G.B. Samuelson Productions in the drama John Halifax, Gentleman (George Pearson, 1915). She played Ursula March opposite Fred Paul in the title role. For Samuelson, she also appeared in Infelice (L.C. MacBean, Fred Paul, 1915) with Fred Paul and Queenie Thomas. In the following year, she reunited with George Pearson for the romance Sally Bishop (George Pearson, 1916) starring Marjorie Villis and Aurelio (or Aurele) Sidney. Between 1916 and 1920 she was based in America working for Fox, Vitagraph and Famous Players. For Vitagraph, she co-starred with E.H. Sothern in The Chattel (Fred Thomson, 1916) and appeared as Olette in The Sixteenth Wife (Charles Brabin, 1917). Opposite Antonio Moreno, she played in the drama Her Right to Live (Paul Scardon, 1917) as the head of a of a family of orphaned children destined for the poorhouse. The Moving Picture World in 1917: “In selecting a cast for Her Right to Live, the five-reel Vitagraph Blue Ribbon Feature written by Paul West, the man in charge has had the courage to give Peggy Hyland the part of a heroine of the most pronounced soubrette type. All the stage tricks that tradition has bequeathed to the simple but roguish village maiden, are to be expected in the character of Polly Biggs. The star of Her Right to Live discards them entirely and makes the orphan girl a natural human being with a bright sunny nature, and an innocence that is not more wise than nice.” In the Fox Film drama Debt of Honour (O.A.C. Lund, 1918), Hyland sacrifices her good name to shield the reputation of a U.S. Senator who has taken her in his home as an orphan. Perhaps her best known film was the Fox production The Merry-Go-Round (Edmund Lawrence, 1919) in which she played both a Gypsy and heroin Susie Alice Pomeroy opposite Jack Mulhall. Newspapers of the era described her double role in this romance as one of the actress’ best performances. The crime film Black Shadows (Howard M. Mitchell, 1920) was another Fox Film feature in which Peggy portrayed Marjorie Langdon, a victim of hypnotism who begins to have compulsions to steal.
Peggy Hyland’s film credits number more than forty-five, in both British and American productions. Back in England, Australian Fred Leroy Granville directed her for G.B. Samuelson Productions in films like the romances The Honeypot (1920) with Lillian Hall-Davis, and the sequel Love Maggy (1921) with James Lindsay. The Australian director became her husband, but also this second marriage later would end in a divorce. She also starred in the comedy Mr. Pim Passes By (Albert Ward, 1921) with Henry Kendall. It was based on the 1919 play of the same title by A.A. Milne. In 1922 Hyland told in Kinematograph Weekly that a woman was ‘as capable a director as a man’ and hoped to prove the truth of this assertion with a series of two reel comedies she was to direct. Hyland wrote, produced, directed and starred in With Father’s Help (Peggy Hyland, 1922) and she directed and starred in The Haunted Pearls (Peggy Hyland, 1924), according to Paul Rothwell-Smith at IMDb, although there is no lemma of this film on IMDb. In 1923, she was back in the U.S. to star in the Arabian adventure Shifting Sands (Fred Leroy Granville, 1923). She stopped making films in 1925. Her final film was the British adventure film Forbidden Cargoes (Fred LeRoy Granville, 1926). There is only little information about her later life. Wikipedia: “The date of death for Hyland has not been definitively determined. The last whereabouts of her was her marriage to Universal film producer Fred LeRoy Granville in September 1921. (…) She may have after the divorce from Granville reverted to her birth name to allow a clean exit from the film industry. A search of the Find a Grave database, non-famous section, yields no Peggy Hyland (August 2010). However there are several Gladys Hutchinsons, one of whose date of birth is unknown and who apparently died in England in 1944 during World War II and was possibly a casualty of an air raid.” IMDb notes that Peggy Hyland died in 1973 at the age of 88 in Tonbridge, England, UK.
Sources: Paul Rothwell-Smith (IMDb), Women and British Cinema, Wikipedia and IMDb.
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Russian actor Vladimir Maksimov (1880-1937) was known for Skorb beskonechnaya/Infinite Sorrow (Aleksandr Panteleyev, 1922), Katsi katsistvis mgelia/Man Is Enemy (Ivane Perestiani, 1923) and Dekabristy/The Decembrists (Aleksandr Ivanovsky, 1927). He died in 1937 in Moscow, Soviet Union.
German postcard by Hermann Leiser Verlag, Berlin, no. 4293. Photo: Becker & Maass. Publicity still for a stage production of Die Braut von Messina (The Bride of Messina) by Friedrich Schiller with Moissi as Don Manuel.
Albanian-Austrian Alexander Moissi (1879-1935), born as Aleksandër Moisiu, was one of the great European stage actors of the early-20th century. The attractive and charismatic women’s idol also appeared in several silent and early sound films.