Corinne Griffith, often known as the Orchid Lady of the Screen, was a well-known American actress in the 1920s who was famed for her mesmerizing beauty and natural talent. She was largely regarded as the most attractive actress of the silent era, with grace and charm to match. Griffith’s cinema career began in 1916, when Vitagraph studios signed her. Her acting abilities quickly earned her leading roles in major films starring well-known actors. Griffith’s best work occurred in the 1920s, when she starred in several blockbuster films such as ‘Black Oxen’ and ‘Déclassé.’ With the hugely successful picture ‘The Divine Lady,’ she concluded the decade on a high note. The picture was well-received, and she was nominated for an Academy Award. Griffith’s success in silent pictures, on the other hand, did not carry over to talkies. Her voice, which sounded as if she was speaking through her nose, was universally criticised. Griffith’s comeback was further complicated by her old-school acting technique, which was strongly established in the pre-sound era. As a result, she stopped acting in the 1930s. She began writing after her acting career ended, and between 1947 and 1973, she published eleven books. She was also a savvy entrepreneur who built a sizable fortune through real estate investments. She died as one of the world’s wealthiest women.
Early Years and Childhood
John Lewish Griffin and Ambolina Ghio had Corinne Griffith on November 21, 1894 in Texarkana, Texas. Griffith was a student at New Orleans’ Sacred Heart Convent School. She worked as a dancer after completing her education.
Career of Corinne Griffith
Corinne Griffith’s star status was secured with her victory in a Mardis Gras beauty pageant in New Orleans. She became a well-known social girl after her accomplishment. Vitagraph director Rolin Sturgeon first noticed her while attending one of the society gatherings. He made her an offer she couldn’t refuse: a part in a film. Her parents were first hesitant, but they eventually agreed, and her mother traveled with her to California.
Griffith started her acting career at Vitagraph Studios in 1916. The majority of her early films were two-reelers. Her talent, on the other hand, quickly landed her leading lady roles in major films starring well-known actors. Griffith worked with Earle Williams and Harry Morey in the beginning of her career. After a year in California, Vitagraph relocated her to New York. Griffith had established herself as a successful actor by 1918. She went on to star in her own films as a leading lady. ‘The Girl of Today,’ her film, was released the same year.
Griffith became ill while filming “The Girl of Today.” Griffith shot in the bitterly cold temperatures because the screenplay required it. Griffith managed for a few days because it was her first exposure to cold weather, but she eventually succumbed. After a long pause, she turned back to face the camera.
Vitagraph was her partner till 1922. Griffith appeared in roughly 35 films during this time period. Before signing with First National Pictures in 1923, she acted in a feature film for Goldwyn and Selznick, respectively. Between 1923 and 1930, Griffith worked for First National Pictures for seven years. During this time, she directed 19 films for the company, with the exception of ‘The Garden of Eden,’ which she directed for United Artists in 1928.
Griffith made his film debut in 1929 in ‘The Divine Lady.’ It was a Vitaphone sound film from the United States, featuring a synchronized musical score and sound effects but no spoken dialogue. The film’s central characters were Lady Emma Hamilton and Admiral Nelson, and it was a historical drama. The audience loved it. Griffith received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her outstanding performance.
Hollywood had successfully transitioned from silent pictures to talkies by the year 1930. Griffith’s debut talkie, ‘Lilies of the Field,’ was released the same year. The picture underperformed at the box office, much to the disappointment of the audience, and Griffith was chastised for her nasally voice.
Following the box office flop ‘Lilies of the Field,’ Griffith starred in ‘Back Pay,’ her final Hollywood film. The film did not help to resurrect her career, and it, like its predecessor, was a box office failure. Griffith’s career practically ended in the year 1932. Before retiring from acting, she appeared in her final picture, a Paramount-British production called ‘Lily Christine.’
Griffith made an exception in 1962, when he returned to the big screen in the low-budget melodrama ‘Paradise Alley.’ ‘Stars in Your Own Backyard’ was a remake of a 1950s film. The film was only released in a limited number of theaters.
Griffith began acting in the theatre after retiring from films in the early 1930s. In Noel Coward’s play “Design for Living,” she was cast. She was also a member of the Washington, DC-based American Newspaper Women’s Club.
She joined the American Society of Composers and Publishers in 1950 and began working with Barnee Breeskin on musical projects. ‘Hail to the Redskins,’ ‘Chanson du Bal,’ and ‘October’ are examples of her song creations.
Griffith wore the hat of a writer in addition to acting in films and on stage. She began her journalistic career after her marriage, writing weekly stories for the Saturday Evening Post about her baseball experiences. ‘My Life with the Redskins,’ a collection of these essays, was eventually published as a book.
Griffith went on to write several additional books after the popularity of ‘My Life with the Redskins,’ including ‘Papa’s Delicate Condition’ in 1952, ‘Eggs I Have Known’ in 1955, ‘Hollywood Stories’ in 1962, ‘This You Won’t Believe’ in 1972, and ‘I’m Lucky – At Cards’ in 1974. The film adaptation of ‘Papa’s Delicate Condition,’ starring Jackie Gleason, was released in 1963.
Griffith’s career did not stop at movies, theater, and writing. She entered the real estate market and quickly established herself as a savvy businesswoman. At the time of her death, her transactions and projects had made her one of the world’s wealthiest women.
Griffith led The Committee for Honoring Motion Picture Stars in the late 1950s. The group funded bronze statues honoring some of Beverly Hills’ most renowned residents, such as Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, Tom Mix, and Will Rogers.
Work on the Big Picture
In the decade of the 1920s, Corinne Griffith gave her most outstanding performances. In the films ‘Black Oxen’ (1923) and ‘Declasse,’ she was commended for her acting (1925). Her outstanding performance was visible in both flicks. ‘The Divine Lady,’ a 1929 historical play, was, nonetheless, her career’s greatest opus. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in the film.
Achievements and Awards
Griffith was nominated for an Academy Award for ‘The Divine Lady,’ a silent film, in the category of Best Actress.
Her star can be seen at 1560 Vine Street on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Life and Legacy of an Individual
Griffith married Webster Campbell in 1920, which was his first marriage. She married Walter Morosco in 1924 after the couple split up after three years of marriage. The team remained in unity for about a decade before splitting up.
Griffith married George Marshall, the owner of the Boston Braves in 1936. In 1958, they separated.
Dan Scholl was her husband in 1965. He was 33 years older than she was. Others claim he is a Broadway actor, while others claim he is a realtor. Six weeks later, the marriage was called off. Griffith lived at her Beverly Hills residence until the last years of her life. On July 13, 1979, Griffith passed away, leaving a $150 million estate behind. She was one of the world’s richest women at the time of her death.
Estimated Net Worth
Corinne is one of the wealthiest movie actresses and one of the most well-known. Corinne Griffith’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.