Bayne, Beverly (1894–1982)

views updated

Bayne, Beverly (1894–1982)

American silent-screen star, best known for her films with Francis X. Bushman. Born Beverly Pearl Bain in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1894; died on August 12, 1982, in Scottsdale, Arizona; married Francis X. Bushman, in 1918 (divorced 1924); married Charles T. Hvass, in 1937 (died 1953); children: (first marriage) son Richard.

Major films:

The Loan Shark (1912); Under Royal Patronage (1914); One Wonderful Night (1914); The Diplomat Service (1916); Romeo and Juliet (1916); The Great Secret (1917); Social Quicksands (1918); Graustark (1925); Seven Keys to Baldpate (1935).

In the early 1900s, when the nascent motion-picture industry was centered in Chicago, Beverly Pearl Bain was a freshman at Chicago's Hyde Park High School. Intrigued with the glamour of the new medium, she and a friend visited Essanay Studios, where Bain's dark beauty caught the eye of a director who offered her a role in The Loan Shark. Young and naive, Bain asked for a salary of $25 a week, a fortune compared to her weekly allowance of 25 cents. In less than a year, she was making $350 and had adopted a more sophisticated spelling, Bayne, of her last name.

Of the 500 movies Bayne made before her retirement, many of which were one- and two-reelers, by far the most successful were the "love team" films with Francis X. Bushman, beginning with Under Royal Patronage in 1914. The first film version of Romeo and Juliet, in 1916, catapulted the pair to superstardom. They commanded outrageous salaries and even formed their own production company, Quality Pictures. In 1917, they orchestrated a $15,000 deal to co-star in the serial The Great Secret for Metro Pictures, then headed by Louis B. Mayer.

The pair married in 1918, but because wedding bells were known to sound the death knell for romantic actors in those days, the marriage was kept a secret from the public. They had a son Richard, and the relationship ended in a bitter divorce in 1924. Bushman would die in 1966, to be followed a year later by the death of their son. In 1937, Bayne married manufacturer Charles Hvass.

After her divorce from Bushman, Bayne continued to make movies, but never again achieved star status. She had some success on the vaudeville circuit during the '20s, and in 1927 starred in the stage production of The Road to Rome, followed by the plays Once in a Lifetime (1931),

As Husbands Go (1932), and The Shining Hour (1934). In 1935, she made her last movie, Seven Keys to Baldpate, with Gene Raymond. During the '30s, Bayne worked in radio and wrote some magazine articles on beauty and diet. In the 1940s, she appeared in the Chicago company of Claudia and returned to Broadway in the short-lived play Loco (1946). Following the death of her second husband in 1953, Bayne and her son moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, which she called "The West's most Western Town."

Barbara Morgan , Melrose, Massachusetts

More From