A child star and a longtime member of director D.W. Griffith’s Biograph stock players, Adele De Garde was an American child actress of the Silent era. She was a familiar face to movie audiences of the early ‘teens, first appearing with Florence Lawrence in Griffith’s 1908 short comedy, “The Christmas Burglars,” when she was just 8 years old.
Along with fellow Griffith child actors John Tansey and Gladys Egan, Adele continued to work for Biograph, making approximately 50 more features and shorts over the next four years. In 1911 De Garde moved to Vitagraph to remain for the rest of her career, making another 63 films.
By 1918, when some stars were just starting their careers, Adele De Garde was closing in on the end of hers.
She appeared in 114 films between 1908 and 1918.
Born Adelaide de Gard in Brooklyn, New York, DeGarde was a Biograph studios child star in the early 20th century. Later she became a Vitagraph Studios in the lead role.
In 1939, she attended an old home week at Ohrbachs in New York with other movie actors such as Mae Murray and June Elvidge.
In 1908, DeGarde, at the age of eight years, began to appear in Vitagraph Studio. Adele and her boyfriend, Kenneth Casey, cast as the mischievous, spoiled, or ill-treatment of children around whom centered many a melodramatic plot. As new stars joined the Vitagraph forces, DeGarde and Kenneth played with them.
Career and Appreciation
As the years grew and DeGarde until finally, it grew too big for a little girl-to-grown-up part. Her Directors had to “rent it” and cast anxious looks around for another promising child. Not wanting to part with his two clever minor players, the company has made some hilarious pictures of fully adopted children of about fourteen or fifteen. These comedies became the top-rated because they were so typical of children at this age.
When Vitagraph worked the cast of Within The Law, the had a dilemma about who they should give part of aggie Lynch, a character on whom all the comedy relief of the play depends. After careful study, they decided that DeGarde had to have it. Press critics had nothing but lavish praise for his performance as Lynch. They announced it “a huge success.” declaring that her portrayal equaled that of any of the well-known actresses.
She used to delineate the character without the assistance of the witty and slangy lines that the stage made possible. Miss De Garde became the newest “O. Henry” girl, having given a most successful interpretation to the ingénue part in “Whistling Dick’s Christmas Stocking.”
Her personality was so piquant that she can portray any character — good, bad, or indifferent. She was a veritable child of the film.
Adele de Garde died on November 1, 1972. She was 73 years old at the time of death.
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