Agnes Ayres

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Agnes Ayres
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{{short description|American actress}}{{Use mdy dates|date=June 2014}}

| birth_place = Carbondale, Illinois, U.S.19402504|04}}| death_place = Los Angeles, California, U.S.| other_names = Agnes Eyre| resting_place = Hollywood Forever Cemetery| occupation = Actress| years_active = 1914–1929, 1936–1937| spouse = Frank P. Schuker (m.1921–div.1921)S. Manuel Reachi (m.1924–div.1927) | children = 1}}Agnes Ayres (born Agnes Eyre Henkel; April 4, 1898 – December 25, 1940) was an American actress who rose to fame during the silent film era. She was known for her role as Lady Diana Mayo in The Sheik opposite Rudolph Valentino.

Early life and career

Agnes Eyre Henkel was born in Carbondale, Illinois on April 4, 1898 to Solon A. Henkel (1858–1899weblink and Emma Slack Rendlemanweblink She had an older brother, Solon William Henkel, who was a decade her seniorweblink She was of English and German descent.She began her career in 1914 when she was noticed by an Essanay Studios staff director and cast as an extra in a crowd scene.After moving to Manhattan, New York City, with her mother to pursue a career in acting, Ayres was spotted by actress Alice Joyce. Joyce noticed the physical resemblance the two shared which eventually led to Ayres being cast in Richard the Brazen (1917), as Joyce's character's sister. Ayres' career began to gain momentum when Paramount Pictures founder Jesse Lasky began to take an interest in her. Lasky gave her a starring role in the Civil War drama Held by the Enemy (1920), and also lobbied for parts for her in several Cecil B. DeMille productions.BOOK, Brettell, Andrew, King, Noel, Kennedy, Damien, Imwold, Denise, Leonard, Warren Hsu; von Rohr, Heather, Cut!: Hollywood Murders, Accidents, and Other Tragedies, Barrons Educational Series, 2005, 23, 0-7641-5858-9, It was during this time that Ayres married, and quickly divorced, Captain Frank P. Schuker, an army officer whom she had wed during World War I. She also began a romance with Lasky.BOOK, Parish, James Robert, The Hollywood Book of Death: The Bizarre, Often Sordid, Passings of More Than 125 American Movie and TV Idols, Contemporary Books, 2002, 3, 93, 0-8092-2227-2, (File:Agnes Ayres 002.jpg|right|250px|thumb|Agnes Ayres as Helen Allen in the 1920 film Go and Get It - Munsey's Magazine, 1920)In 1921, Ayres shot to stardom when she was cast as Lady Diana Mayo, an English heiress opposite "Latin lover" Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik. Ayres later reprised her role as Lady Diana in the 1926 sequel Son of the Sheik. Following the release of The Sheik, she went on to have major roles in many other films including The Affairs of Anatol (1921) starring Wallace Reid, Forbidden Fruit (1921), and Cecil B. DeMille's epic The Ten Commandments (1923).(File:Agnes Ayres.jpg|250px|thumb|Ayres, c. 1921)By 1923, Ayres' career began to wane following the end of her relationship with Jesse Lasky. She married Mexican diplomat S. Manuel Reachi in 1924.BOOK, Parish, James Robert, The Hollywood Book of Death: The Bizarre, Often Sordid, Passings of More Than 125 American Movie and TV Idols, Contemporary Books, 2002, 3, 94, 0-8092-2227-2, The couple had a daughter in March 1926,NEWS, Associated Press, Agnes Ayres Has a Daughter,weblink The New York Times, March 27, 1926, before divorcing in 1927.NEWS, Associated Press, Agnes Ayres Gets Divorce,weblink The New York Times, June 25, 1927, In 1929, Ayres lost her fortune and real estate holdings in the Wall Street Crash of 1929. That same year, she also appeared in her last major role in The Donovan Affair, starring Jack Holt. To earn money, she left acting and played the vaudeville circuit. She returned to acting in 1936, confident that she could make a comeback. Unable to secure starring roles and somewhat overweight, Ayres appeared in mostly uncredited bit parts and finally retired from acting for good in 1937.

Later years and death

After her retirement, Ayres became despondent and was eventually committed to a sanatorium. She also lost custody of her daughter to Reachi, in 1939.She died from a cerebral hemorrhage on Christmas Day, December 25, 1940, at her home in Hollywood, California, at the age of 42; she had been ill for several weeks.NEWS, Associated Press, Agnes Ayres, Star Of Silent Pictures. Actress Who Played Opposite Rudolph Valentino in 'Sheik' Dies in Hollywood, Calif. Lost Her Fortune In 1929. Tried to Make Comeback in the Talkies. Had Small Role in Cooper-Raft Film in '37,weblink The New York Times, December 26, 1940, BOOK, Katz, Ephraim, The Film Encyclopedia: The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of World Cinema in a Single Volume, HarperCollins She is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, CA. Publishers, 1994, 68, 0-06-273089-4, registration,weblink She is interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. In 1960, Ayres was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a motion pictures star at 6504 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to the film industry.WEB,weblink Hollywood Walk of Fame - Agnes Ayres,, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, November 8, 2017, Her daughter Maria Reachi (1926–2009) had a small part in the movie East Side, West Side (1949).Kevin Sweeney, James Mason: A Bio-bibliography (Greenwood Publishing, 1999), p. 118

Selected filmography

(File:The Sheik 3.jpg|250px|thumb|Ayres on a lobby card for The Sheik){| class="wikitable sortable"|+ ! Year! Title! Role! class="unsortable" | Notes UncreditedHis New Job>| Alternative title: Charlie's New Job1917 ''Motherhood (1917 film)''>| Credited as Agnes EyreLost filmThe Debt (1917 film)>The Debt Countess Ann Credited as Agnes EyreLost filmMrs. Balfame>| Credited as Agnes EyreHedda Gabler>| Credited as Agnes EyreThe Mirror (1917 film)>The Mirror undetermined Credited as Agnes EyreLost filmThe Dazzling Miss Davison>| Credited as Agnes EyreLost film Alicia Van Der Pool Credited as Agnes Eyre1918 Maida Ida BatesSisters of the Golden Circle>|One Thousand Dollars>|1919 >| Lela Trevor In Honor's Web>|Sacred Silence (1919 film)>Sacred Silence Isabel Merson1920A Modern Salome>| Lost film >|Go and Get It>|Held by the Enemy (film)>Held by the Enemy Rachel Hayne Lost film1921 The Love Special Laura GageToo Much Speed>| Unknown/presumably lostCappy Ricks>| Incomplete filmThe Affairs of Anatol>| Lady Diana Mayo1922>| Lost filmBought and Paid For>| Lost filmThe Ordeal (film)>The Ordeal Sybil Bruce Lost filmA Daughter of Luxury>|Clarence (1922 film)>Clarence Violet Pinney Lost film1923 The Heart Raider Muriel Gray (a speed girl) Racing Hearts>| Lost filmThe Ten Commandments (1923 film)>The Ten Commandments The OutcastThe Marriage Maker>| Lost filmDon't Call It Love (film)>Don't Call It Love Alice Meldrum Hollywood (1923 film)>Hollywood Herself (cameo)Lost film1924 When a Girl Loves Sasha Boroff Bluff (1924 film)>Bluff Betty Hallowell The Guilty One>|Detained (film)>Detained Short filmThe Story Without a Name>| Lost film1925 Tomorrow's Love Judith Stanley Her Market Value>|The Awful Truth (1925 film)>The Awful Truth Lucy Satterlee Morals for Men>|>|Eve's Love Letters>|Into the Night (1928 film)>Into the Night Billie Mardon The Donovan Affair>|Small Town Girl (1936 film)>Small Town Girl Catherine Uncredited1937 Maid of Salem Bit Part UncreditedMidnight Taxi (1937 film)>Midnight Taxi Society woman UncreditedSouls at Sea>| UncreditedMorning Judge>|

Further reading

  • BOOK, Michael G. Ankerich, Dangerous Curves atop Hollywood Heels: The Lives, Careers, and Misfortunes of 14 Hard-Luck Girls of the Silent Screen, BearManor, 2010, 1-59393-605-2,



External links

{{Commons category|Agnes Ayres}} {{Authority control}}

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