Here is her biography from Fandango:
Professional and financial reverses forced both Theby and her husband into bit parts and extra roles during the talkie era. Several of Theby's 1930s assignments were obtained through the kindness of comedian Oliver Hardy, who'd been a minor player in some of the actress' pre-WWI vehicles. Rosemary Theby's best talkie role was the laconic Mrs. Snavely in the classic W.C. Fields two-reeler The Fatal Glass of Beer (1932). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Theby is present throughout Terror Island, and even has the distinction of being the only Houdini leading lady to die onscreen (she's shot on the sinking submarine -- blink and you'll miss it). However, Theby's best scene, in which she vamps Houdini's Harry Harper in an attempt to get a map from him, is contained on one of the two reels that are missing from the only known print of the film. There isn't even a description of this scene on the explanatory cards that summarize the missing action on the DVD. All we have of Theby's performance here are a few stills, including a lobby card that reads: "Are you crazy, madam?".
This may be why she is often forgotten among the pantheon of Houdini's leading ladies. In fact, poor Theby's photo in The Secret Life of Houdini is misidentified as being Nita Naldi in The Man From Beyond (wrong vamp, wrong film).
Rosemary Theby died on June 10, 1973 at the Virgil Convalescent Center in Los Angeles, CA.
|Rosemary Theby and Houdini in their lost scene from Terror Island.|
More Houdini leading ladies:
This is a fun series. Good stuff.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Dean. It fun to get the backstories of these actresses, isn't it? Like I've said, by in large they don't even get a mention in the major Houdini bios.Delete
Thanks for sharing. I am enjoying this series. It is a bummer that we may never get to see parts 3 and 4 of Terror Island; the description of these missing reels on the DVD explanatory cards is pretty sparse.ReplyDelete
You're right, Joe. I actually fret more about these missing reels than I do about The Grim Game. At least we know there's a way to see that, but I don't know if there is any way we will ever see these. I have read the missing sections in the screenplay and it's great stuff, including two escapes. Some of the best moments in the movie are on these missing reels.Delete
Yeah, it's so frustrating to watch these films with all the missing reels.ReplyDelete
Then again, I'm thankful we have even bits and pieces of them. They could all have been so easily lost forever and ever, like, what, 80 or 90% of all silent films that were every made? *sigh*