Who is often referred to as "The First Movie Star"?
The main catalyst for change was the public's desire to know the actors' names. Film audiences repeatedly recognized certain performers in movies that they liked. Since they did not know the performers' names they gave them nicknames (such as "the Biograph Girl," Florence Lawrence, who was featured in Biograph movies).
Florence Lawrence (January 2, 1886 – December 28, 1938) was a Canadian-American stage performer and film actress. She is often referred to as "The First Movie Star", and was the first film actor to be named publicly. At the height of her fame in the 1910s, she was known as "The Biograph Girl" for work as one of the leading ladies in Biograph Studios motion pictures. She appeared in almost 300 films for various motion picture companies throughout her career.
Producer Carl Laemmle promoted the first movie star. He was independent of the MPPC and used star promotion to fight the MPPC's control. Laemmle acquired Lawrence from Biograph. He spread a rumor that she had been killed in a streetcar accident. Then he combated this rumor by saying that she was doing fine and would be starring in an upcoming movie produced by his company, the Independent Moving Pictures Company (IMP).