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The Gladys Sylvani Tribute Page

This page contains information about Gladys Sylvani (18th December 1884 - 20th April 1953), silent film actress of the Hepworth Stock Company.

Gladys Sylvani between 1911 and 1913 - buy it from the BFIA particular delight when building this website has been the people that have contacted me.

Lornie McCormick-Goodhart of Oregon, Gladys Sylvani's granddaughter, made contact (August 2009) and has a great deal of family history to contribute to this page - so it's work in progress.

Here is her birth certificate - Born Gladys Sylvani Smith.

A major artifact is the contract between the Hepworth company and Sylvani made on 3rd July 1911.

Brief details of this actress follow - much more to come as the information is organised! She is mentioned in this local history too.

Gladys started life as an actress in the West End of London and appeared in "The Chryseans", one of the 7 actresses who put in 810 performances. She appeared in "The Arcadians" between 4 April 1909 and 29 July 1911.

She appeared in 35 films released between December 1910 and July 1913. Only 6 have been preserved, one being "A Woman's Wit", released December 1912, about 9 minutes long.

The magnificent photo of Gladys Sylvani on the left is available from the BFI. It is not known who took the photo but it could well have been Hepworth himself - the cartouche at the bottom left suggests that. Cecil Hepworth was also a talented artist and painted an oil painting of Gladys Sylvani (and also Alma Taylor).

She was a hit with the public and the studio made several memoires of her including glass paperweights.

"Her work was so good and her appearance so effective that if our films had been of the importance and calibre to which they afterwards attains she would have left a very significant mark upon them and made an even greater impression upon the industry"

- Cecil Hepworth's Autobiography p.107 on Gladys Sylvani

FROM Lornie McCormick-Goodhart: "Briefly, my grandparents did end up divorcing because my grandfather wanted to live in the US and Gladys wanted to stay in the UK.  My father grew up mostly in the UK and then went to boarding school here in the US and back to England (Cambridge) for a few years of university, but somehow ended up back in the US (the war?) where he married, etc.  My grandmother did end up moving to the US to contest my grandfather's will - he remarried and his new wife coerced him into a new will excluding his first two children by Gladys.  Eventually Gladys won a small victory, but she remained in the US near my dad and died in 1952(?).  You can also see that the witness on her marriage certificate was Madge Campbell and Gladys was the witness for the marriage (in 1912) of Chrissy White".

Gladys Sylvani Filmography

View the Gladys Sylvani IMDB entry here showing 31 known films.
If you know of a surviving copy of any of her films please contact us.
Some surviving films exist in the British Film Institute National Film and Television Archive.

I am indebted to Lornie McCormick-Goodhart of Oregon, Gladys Sylvani's granddaughter,
and to Fred Lake, longtime Hepworth Scholar of Walton on Thames, for the information on this page.


Can you help? Do you have more information about the events or people on this page? If so, please contact us! Thank you.

This site hepworthfilm.org - material developed from 2005-2012 - Page Last Updated: 25/08/2013 - Contact us