About Martha Mansfield
July 14, 1899 - November 30, 1923
|Place of Birth||:||New York City, New York, USA|
|Also Known As||:||Martha Ehrlich, Martha Early|
|Imdb Profile||:||IMDB Profile|
From Wikipedia Martha Mansfield (July 14, 1899 – November 30, 1923) was an American actress in silent films and vaudeville stage plays. She was born Martha Ehrlich in New York City to Maurice and Harriett Gibson Ehrlich. She had a younger sister, Edith, born in 1905. Although many biographies state that Martha was born in Mansfield, Ohio, her birth record and death certificate both have New York City as her place of birth. Her mother, Harriet, was from Mansfield, Ohio, having emigrated there from Ireland in 1885. Martha later adopted the name of the town as her stage name. Her first Hollywood movie was Civilian Clothes (1920) directed by Hugh Ford. She gained prominence as Millicent Carew in the film adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which starred John Barrymore. She then signed with Selznick Pictures where she was cast with Eugene O'Brien in The Perfect Lover (1919). In 1921, Mansfield returned to the stage in a vaudeville tour. She appeared in two independent films the following year: Queen of the Moulin Rouge and Till We Meet Again. She spent the remainder of the year touring the vaudeville circuit. In 1923, Mansfield completed her contract for Selznick and signed with Fox Film Corporation. Her first film for Fox was The Silent Command, starring Edmund Lowe and Béla Lugosi. The final completed features in her short film career were Potash and Permutter and The Leavenworth Case, both from 1923. On November 29, 1923, while working on location in San Antonio, Texas on the film The Warrens of Virginia, Mansfield was severely burned when a tossed match ignited her Civil War costume of hoop skirts and flimsy ruffles. Mansfield was playing the role of Agatha Warren and had just finished her scenes and retired to a car when her clothing burst into flames. Her neck and face were saved when leading man Wilfred Lytell threw his heavy overcoat over her. The chauffeur of Mansfield's car was burned badly on his hands while trying to remove the burning clothing from the actress. The fire was put out, but she sustained substantial burns to her body. She was rushed to a hospital where she died less than twenty-four hours later of "burns of all extremities, general toxemia and suppression of urine". Mansfield was 24 years old. Accompanied by actor Phillip Shorey, Mansfield's body was transported back to her home in New York City. She was interred at the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx.