Who was known as the first movie star ever?
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". She was thought to be the first film actor to be named publicly until evidence in 2019 indicated that Max Linder was the first.
She appeared in almost 300 films for various motion picture companies throughout her career.
In 1906, she appeared in her first motion picture. The next year, she appeared in 38 movies for the Vitagraph film company.
During a meeting with D.W. Griffith she managed to convince Griffith that she was the best suited for the starring role in "The Girl and the Outlaw". Griffith offered her a job, for $25 per week.
After her success she appeared as a society belle in "Betrayed by a Handprint" and as an Indian in "The Red Girl". In total, she had parts in most of the 60 films directed by Griffith.
She achieved great popularity in the "Jones" series, her first comedy series, in which she played Mrs. Jones in around a dozen films.
While filming of "Pawns of Destiny" in 1915, a staged fire got out of control. Lawrence was burned, and her hair was singed, she also suffered a serious fall which fractured her spine. All her film work after 1924 was in uncredited bit parts.
On December 28, 1938, Lawrence ingested ant poison and cough syrup at her home. She was rushed to the Hospital, and died at 2:45 p.m. She left a suicide note in her home addressed to her housemate.