Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/11/19: Silent Movie Stars

Silent film actress Pola Negri (real name Apolonia Chalupec)

The first movie stars to appear were not the glamourous creatures of today. They were experimental subjects, warm bodies whose only requirement was to do what the operator of the camera told them to. They were anonymous for the most part. Some of the earliest experimenters in film, like Georges Melies, used themselves as the stars. When films began to be developed commercially, the need came for named actors and actresses the audiences could relate to. Many of them came from Vaudeville and Broadway. Others were models and dancers — men and women who knew how to project themselves, create a presence.

Then, as now, the star-making machinery made them over, giving them new names and identities. A Jewish girl from Cincinnati named Theodosia Goodman became the vampy man-eater Theda Bara. A young man from Italy with the lengthy name of Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguella became hearthrob Rudolph Valentino. Star names back then were required to be easy to spell and say, and also easy to read, as many in the U.S. still never made it beyond grade school. They also had to be of the era. While some 1920s names like Rose and Violet have come full circle and made it back into style, others, like Ira and Blanche, have not.

Some randomly generated names if you need to create your own silent film star, or someone from the 1910s – 1920s in general.


Randomly generated silent movie stars


Pearl Bold

Rumor Grayson

Olive May

Violet Aster

Stella St. Pierre

Emeline LaCroix

Chloe Sweet

Rose Blythe

Vera Hunter

Odile Gracille

Trudy Farthing

Blanche Valentine

Irene Swan

Thelma Lawshe

Mabel Reese

Nola York

Nellie Angel

Mae Summers

Dolores Radnor

Tessie True

Fanny Rivers

Irene Coronet

Zora Gray


Rudolf Sands

Ira Hanover

Miles Blair

Julian Stanhope

William Swain

Oscar Knight

Gardner Perry

Dudley Cross

Reuben Carlyle

Victor Knightsbridge

Renton Cross

Paul Adler

Fredrick Bynes

Glen Downs

Leon Bakshi

Maurice Hunter

Owen Nestor

Boris Ostrov

Simon Valentine

Ramon Silva

Henry Stewart

Oran Rich

Chick Toth


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