Ben Lyon — Footlight or Shadows (1925) 🇬🇧

Ben Lyon — Footlight or Shadows (1925) |

February 17, 2024

Ben Lyon was finishing his first part in which he was a co-star and, naturally, was all enthusiasm for the screen.

by Elizabeth Lonergan

“I started to be an actor,” he said to me as we chatted over luncheon in the Studio, and I had great hopes of being a star of the stage but now I find that I prefer the studio to the theatre and hope some day to reach the top of the ladder.

“My first part was in Seventeen (a juvenile play by Booth Tarkington). I played the rich little boy who was more or less of a snob. Didn’t care so much for the type of part but the play stayed two years on Broadway and then I received a juvenile role in The Wonderful Thing which Jeanne Eagels, the star of Rain played.

“Then I went on the road with Three Live Ghosts and later in Sun Up and realising that I needed experience in different types of parts, I joined Jessie Bonstelle’s Stock Company and for eight months played a great number of roles.

“Next came Mary the Third in which Louise Huff also played and when the show closed, I had my first offer for pictures. It was in the first Potash and Perlmutter picture directed by Clarence Badger for Mr. Rowland of First National.

“It led to an offer to go to the coast and while there I made several pictures for First National and two for Famous: Lily of the Dust with Pola Negri and Wages of Virtue.

“Now I am back in the East working for Earl Hudson — First National and I hope with all my heart that I shall make good.”

“There is much less hardship in a screen career,” he said. “No long jumps and one night stands, no uncertainty as to whether the play will be a success or failure and no long waits between engagements.

“The size of the audiences, too. is important to a beginner. On the stage, you are limited to the people of one city or to those you reach in your tour. Others have never heard of you but screen audiences are limitless.

“Will. you ever go back to the stage?”

“Probably, but not for a while. I am enjoying the pictures so much and feel that I want to give the best that is in me to my work. Later — who knows?”

Ben Lyon — Footlight or Shadows (1925) |

The tiny folding gramophone seen above was a present from England from Gloria Swanson.

Ben Lyon in “Lily of the Dust.”

Ben Lyon in “The Wages of Virtue”

Collection: Picturegoer Magazine, April 1925

Ben Lyon — Footlight or Shadows (1925) |

Ben Lyon has no business to be in The Picturegoer again so soon. But we have had many requests for another plate of Ben, who is filmland’s pet juvenile lead at the moment, and every fan’s ideal lover.

Collection: Picturegoer Magazine, July 1925