Norma Talmadge home

Documenting the work of silent film actress Norma Talmadge

I've been given word that some of Norma and Constance's relations will be selling some artifacts which belonged to the sisters on Ebay, taking place over the next few months. If you are interested, watch for them!

Norma Talmadge was one of the greatest stars of the silent era. She began her film work as a teenager in 1910 at the Vitagraph Studios in Flatbush, just a streetcar ride from her home. In 1916 she met and married exhibitor Joseph M. Schenck, and together they formed the Norma Talmadge Film Corporation, one of the most lucrative partnerships in film history. Talmadge became one of the top box office attractions for the rest of the silent era, evolving from a spunky teenager into one of the finest dramatic actresses of the screen. One of the wealthiest women in Hollywood, she retired after her two talkies proved disappointing at the box office. She died on Christmas Eve, 1957.

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with a listing of archival holdings, video availability and links to contemporary reviews

Woman Disputed
Who was Norma Talmadge and why aren't more of her films available?

Talmadge Films on the Web

Smilin' Through (1922)
European Film Gateway

The Safety Curtain (1923)

Ashes of Vengeance (1923)

New York Nights (1929)

The Forbidden City (1918)

The Helpful Sisterhood (1914)
The Internet Archive

Mrs. 'Enry 'Awkins (1912)
the EYE youTube channel

Fortunes of a composer (1912)
the EYE youTube channel

A lady and her maid (1913)
the EYE youTube channel

Father's hatband (1913)
the EYE youTube channel

Stenographer troubles (1913)
the EYE youTube channel

The troublesome stepdaughters (1912)
the EYE youTube channel

Solitaires (1913)
the EYE youTube channel

The Heart of the King's Jester (1912)
the EYE youTube channel (she's the shortest lady in waiting)

The Loyalty of Sylvia (1912)
the EYE youTube channel (bit part, dancing at left at 7:15, sitting on stairs at 7:50)

Video Reviews

The Films of Norma Talmadge, 1911-1916
Children in the House
Going Straight
The Social Secretary
Forbidden City
The Heart of Wetona
The Safety Curtain
DuBarry, Woman of Passion
Within the Law
A Lady and her Maid.
The Devil's Needle.
Song of Love.

Picture Gallery

Homes and Haunts
Addresses associated with Norma Talmadge

Rediscovering Norma Talmadge
From Griffithiana

The Talmadge Sisters
From the The Women Film Pioneers Project

Hear Norma Talmadge's Voice
A short excerpt from the radio program "Thirty Minutes in Hollywood"
broadcast January 23, 1938, in which she tries her hand at
husband George Jessel's familiar comedy routine of a phone
conversation with his mother

For the rest of the extant episodes of the "Thirty Minutes in Hollywood," check the OTRR Library

More Pictures on the Web

Dr. Macro's movie scans

Contemporary articles

A Day with Norma Talmadge of the Vitagraph Company
By 'The Stroller'
Motion Picture Magazine, November 1914

Norma Talmadge: Post-Impression of a Girl of the Photoplays ...
By Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Photoplay, August 1915, p. 99-102 (incomplete)

Norma Splash
by Sanford Stanton
Picture Play Magazine, Vol. V, No. 1, September 1916, p. 83-87
Many thanks to William M. Drew for this article

Norma Talmadge Gives an Idea of Children's Films
By Elizabeth Sears
Film Flashes, 1916?

Norma Talmadge: a Modern Female
by Margaret I. McDonald
Moving Picture World, July 21, 1917, p. 390

The Extra Girl Plays Divorce Court Audience
by Ethel Rosemon
Motion Picture Classic, November 1918, p. 39-40+
The author's experiences as an extra in a Talmadge film. Many thanks to Randy Bigham for this article

"Sisters Three: the Life Story of the Talmadge Sisters"
Picture Show, October 30, November 6 and 13, 1920.
Many thanks to Gabby Talmadge for this article

Before They Were Stars VI: Norma Talmadge
By an Old Timer
New York Dramatic Mirror, April 17,1920, p. 744 +

Those Three Talmadge Girls!
in Who's Who on the Screen
ed. by Charles Donald Fox and Milton L. Silver
1920, p. 101-104

Norma Talmadge: A Great Moving Picture Star
by Keene Sumner
American Magazine, June 1922, p. 36-39 +

The Lady of the Vase
by Adela Rogers St. Johns
Photoplay, August 1923, p. 38-39+

Norma ... a Woman ... a Paradox ... a Riddle (This Is Not An Interview!)
By Adele Whitely Fletcher
Movie Weekly, unknown date, probably 1925

How One Woman Built Up a Fan Club
unidentified clipping, mid 1920s

Our One and Only Great Actress
by Adela Rogers St. Johns
Photoplay, February 1926, p. 58 +

What I Think of Constance / What I Think of Norma
by Norma and Constance Talmadge
Movie Magazine, April 1926, p. 32 +

Norma Tolmedzh
by A.L. Abramov
A 1926 booklet in Russian (don't worry, it has pictures too)
This is also in the Internet Archive

Going ... Going ... Near the End of the Road, Norma Talmadge Looks Back
by Gladys Hall
Motion Picture Classic (February 1931): 38-39+

Selected Bibliography

Other Talmadge materials on the Web

Constance Talmadge
I couldn't go without mentioning Constance, this is chiefly a filmography

The First One Hundred Noted Men and Women of the Screen
by Carolyn Lowrey (1920) includes an article on Norma Talmadge

"Beauty and the Bean"
A 1922 Picture Play magazine article on "Welcome to Silent Movies"

"Talmadge Sisters, Film Stars, Arrive"
A clipping from the New York Times, February 25, 1922, posted on the Taylorology website

"Film Stars Must Face Responsibility"
A clipping from the San Francisco Chronicle, February 19, 1922, posted on the Taylorology website

"Silencing the New Woman: Ethnic and Social Mobility in the Melodramas of Norma Talmadge"
By Greg M. Smith
Article from Journal of Film and Video, 48, no. 3 (Fall 1996): 3-16.

Star of the Month, November 1997, By Kally Mavromatis, on Glen Pringle's Silent Movies

Norma Talmadge page on The Silent Era

"Norma Talmadge, the Queen of Versatility" on Golden Silents

Norma Talmadge, the Adorable
by Elsie Vance, Photoplay, February 1915, in the Internet Archive

"Just a Shop Girl from Brixton"
an article on actress Margaret Leahy, Talmadge's "protegee," on the Damfinos website

"Screened but not Heard"
an article on the 1928 radio broadcast of Talmadge and other United Artists stars

Blog post on the 2008 Talmadge series at the Donnell Media Center in New York
on the Alternative Film Guide

Various real estate formerly owned by Talmadge includes a house with other famous occupants (courtesy of Silents Are Golden) , the Villa Riviera in Long Beach (and more here), and the Talmadge Apartments. The community of Talmadge, in San Diego, was also named for the sisters.

Links to other general silent film sites

Alt.movies.silent FAQ
Great source of basic information from the alt.movies.silent newsgroup, including links to other silent film sites

The American Film Institute catalog of motion pictures produced in the United States : Silent Films
The online version of the AFI catalog contains information about silent features, plus some short films up to 1911. There is also members' only access to catalog entries on sound features.

Media History Digital Library
Scans of extensive runs of several important trade journals and fan magagazines including Moving Picture World, Photoplay, Wids/Film Daily, and others.

The Women Film Pioneers Project
Articles on women filmmakers of the silent era, edited by Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta,

Glen Pringle's Silent Movies
Silent star of the month, links to silent film interest groups, and lots of links to other silent film sites

Silents are Golden
Nice features, lots of vintage reviews, great list of silent films on video. Host to The Virginia Lee Corbin Scrapbook

The Silent Film Still Archive
A collection of fascinating film stills of the silent era

Silent Era
A new, but growing, site with information and reviews on silents on DVD and VHS, information about stars, book reviews, and Presumed Lost, a preliminary listing of lost films

100 Years of Hollywood and the Stars of 1910 to 2010
A nice new site by film historian William Drew on the movie stars of the 1910s.

Gilda's Blue Book of the Screen
Great articles on Silent Film, as well as lots of links

Welcome to Silent Movies
Features, calendars, and assorted facts on the silent film era

Norma Talmadge home
Unsung Divas

Created and maintained by Greta de Groat.
Photos from the author's collection
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License. Special contents © 1999

Last revised, December 29, 2016