Martha Mansfield, Photoplay July 1920 Card
Martha Mansfield, Photoplay July 1920 Card by FirstNightVintage

Martha Mansfield [1899-1923] was an American actress who was always determined on a stage career. At the age of fourteen she appeared on Broadway in Little Women (1912), while her film debut came in 1917 with a short called Max Comes Across. She made twenty-four further films, including Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde [1920] with John Barrymore but her life and career was cut tragically short in 1923 when she was filming a Civil War picture called The Warrens of Virginia. A lighted match was thrown in her vicinity and it ignited her costume which went up in flames. She was rushed to hospital but had sustained ‘substantial burns’ [Wikipedia] and died a day later. A sad story. It has never been known who discarded the match thus.

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Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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