Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Actors in uncredited bit parts in The Street of Forgotten Men, part 1 Anita Louise

On May 10th, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival will screen its new restoration of Herbert Brenon's The Street of Forgotten Men - Louise Brooks' little seen first film. More information about that special event can be found HERE

This month, and ahead of that special event, I am running excerpts from my forthcoming book, The Street of Forgotten Men, from Story to Screen and Beyond, which I expect will be published later this year. 

This excerpt is the first of four focusing on some of the actors who had uncredited bit parts in The Street of Forgotten Men. There are many, in fact. The scenes inside the saloon, for example, are crowded with extras - most all of whom are likely to remain anonymous. However, the bartender is the stage and film actor Riley Hatch (1962-1925). He died just a month after The Street of Forgotten Men was released.

The first uncredited actor profiled is Anita Louise (1915-1970, born Anita Louise Fremault), who at the age of 10 reportedly played a flower girl in the film. (I can't trace the origins of this claim, except that it shows up on IMDb and Wikipedia, etc.... Does anyone know anything more about this supposed credit?) The screen grab shown below, which depicts the wedding seen at the end of the 1925 film, includes the only two girls seen in the surviving footage. I am assuming Louise is one of them, perhaps the girl to the left? Or are they too young?

Although I haven't been able to find any contemporaneous mention of Anita Louise appearing in The Street of Forgotten Men, I have come across a couple of images of the child actress from around the time; does either of the flower girls in the screen grab above resemble little Anita, as shown below? Possibly. [I would appreciate hearing from anyone who might have any information which would help confirm or deny Anita Louise's role in The Street of Forgotten Men.]

Anita Louise in 1924, and in an Edison film in 1927

By the time she appeared in The Street of Forgotten Men, Anita Louise was already something of an experienced actress. She had made her Broadway debut at age seven. And soon, she was appearing in films; also at age seven, she had an uncredited bit part in the film Down to the Sea in Ships (1922), which includes aspiring teenage actress Clara Bow. Louise made her credited screen debut at age nine in The Sixth Commandment (1924), which featured Street star Neil Hamilton, followed by uncredited or small parts in F.W. Murnau’s 4 Devils (1928) and the Garbo-Gilbert film, A Women of Affairs (1928).


        The film referred in this clipping, "The Children," was re-titled The Marriage Playground.

Noted for her delicate features and blonde hair, Louise was named a WAMPAS Baby Star in 1931. In his book, Hollywood Players: The Thirties, James Robert Parish writes "Artist McClelland Barclay described Anita Louise as 'a piece of Dresden china and probably the most beautiful woman in the movies.' No overstatement! — she looked like a model for the angelic figures in Renaissance paintings. There was about her a cool detachment and an unearthly radiance that constantly evoked the comment that she was the most ethereal ingenue in pictures."

Her best known films from the 1930s include The Florodora Girl (1930), Our Betters (1933), Madame Du Barry (1934), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), The Story of Louis Pasteur (1935), Anthony Adverse (1936), Marie Antoinette (1938), and The Little Princess (1939). She was also featured in Harmon of Michigan (1941).

By the early 1940s, her career started to slow, but revived somewhat in the 1950s and 1960s with appearances on television in The Loretta Young Show (1953), Ethel Barrymore Theater (1956), My Friend Flicka (1956-1957, as the gentle mother), and Playhouse 90 (1957). Her last TV appearances were in Mannix (1969) and Mod Squad (1970). Louise has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ( at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard) in recognition of her contribution to Motion Pictures.

Anita Louise in 1931



  1. I greatly enjoyed your write-up on Anita Louise -- I've never read anything about her, and I had no idea she'd been in films so long. I will look for her star when I go to L.A.!


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