Who is Myrtle Gonzalez?
During the early days of Hollywood, there was a luminous star that captured the hearts of audiences with her charm and talent. Her name was Myrtle Gonzalez who was the first Latin star that was selected as model in Hollywood early days. She was born on September 28, 1891 in Los Angeles, daughter of Lillian L. Cook and Manuel George Gonzalez.
In this blog post, we will explore the personal and professional life of Myrtle Gonzalez, her successful projects, and also Google’s tribute for her honor.
Parental side of Myrtle was Maxican-Hespanic that had settled in that territory for long time before US took control over it. She had 2 siblings; Manuel G. Gonzalez and Stella M. Gonzalez. Her father was owner of grocery store and her mother was popular singer.
Myrtle Gonzalez had incredible dramatic talent since her childhood and also had good soprano voice that had benefited her to sing in church and also invited in local concerts.
Personal Life of Myrtle Gonzalez
Myrtle Gonzalez was married to James Parks in 1910 and had one son together before they got divorced.
On 1st December, 1971, she was married to a director/actor Allen Watt in Los Angeles. After marriage, she gave up her filmy career and retired. She met with Allen when he was working at universal as assistant director. At the time of their marriage, World War I had started and Allen was also an officer in US army. So he transferred to Lewis camp near Washington. But the climate conditions were not suitable for Myrtle Gonzalez health. As Allan was placed on the list of retirement so he returned back to work at universal.
As she grew up in her home town, Los Angeles, her journey from Los Angeles to silver screens is really fascinating. Shifting of a movie production to her home town was a great advantage for starting her career. She worked with famous studios such as universal and Vitagraph. She also began to dance to improve her capabilities among various forms.
At Vitagraph, She appeared in five movies opposite William Desmond Taylor; the drama Captain Alvarez (1914), the drama The Kiss (1914), a comedy drama Her Husband’s Friend (1913), the comedy Millions for Defence (1914) and the drama Tainted Money (1914).
Myrtle Gonzalez appeared as vigorous out of doors type heroine in many of her projects. In her last six years career, she was starred in stories of the forests and snow country.
Most Successful Projects of her Career
Myrtle Gonzalez was starred in almost 80 films during her career; her first film was “Yellow Streak”. During her time at Vitagraph studio, she worked best opposite to William Desmond Taylor.
Here are 2 of her famous successful projects of her career;
The Chalice of Courage
This film was directed by Rollin S. Sturgeon and released in 1915. Star cast was including Myrtle Gonzalez (portrayed as Enid) opposite to William Duncan (portrayed as William). Story begun when William and his wife tried to escape from her former suitor but during a mountain ride, horse fall over and William’s wife got seriously injured and she begged William to kill her to end her suffering and he did so.
After five years, William met Enid and fell in love with her and rescued her in violent storm during a camping trip .They spend winter in his camp due to snow and she also fell in love with him.
It is one of her most famous short film that was directed by Ulysses Davis and released in 1914. Myrtle Gonzalez played the role of Carolyn; a motherless young girl having unloving father. Carolyn is short tempered and wild personality .She met accidently with Bob Arnold who is soft and caring man unlike her father .They got married but after marriage Bob starts to behave brutally with her but strangely Carolyn eventually falls in love with him.
Awards and Honors
Myrtle Gonzalez passed away at the age of 27 but in such short time duration she almost worked in films. So she was awarded with posthumous Oscar for her multiple roles.
In 1919, she received Bronze Plaque for her film “The Mexican”. In 1920, she was awarded with honorable medal for being the most beautiful Mexico woman.
Legacy of Myrtle Gonzalez
The impact of Myrtle Gonzalez is still felt today and her legacy still inspires the movie lovers and entertainment members who value her. Her impact is visible on silver screens and digital cinemas.
Tribute from Google
In US, Google featured her Google Doodle on 23 Nov, 2022 that is the anniversary of release date of her film “The Level”.
Google Doodle illustrated the actress going on a winter hike.
Myrtle Gonzalez died due to the worldwide Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 at the age of 27. At the time of her death, she was at her parents’ home in Los Angeles.
Myrtle Gonzalez was well known actress that silently impacted the Hollywood film industry .She faced many hurdles during her journey but remained dedicated and consistent. She will always be remembered due to her charm, bravery and her legacy that she left for upcoming generation.