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17 January 2012

Queenie Thomas

British actress Queenie Thomas (1898 – 1977) appeared in dozens of silent British films. She often worked with writer-producer-director Bertram Phillips.

Queenie Thomas
British postcard in the series Screen Plays. Photo: Bertram Phillips.

Aerial Honeymoon
Marjorie Violet Queenie Thomas was born in Cardiff, Wales, Great Britain in 1898. In 1914 she made her film debut, probably in Jessie (1914) for the Bamforth Company. In the next year she played the lead role in several films, such as The White Star (1915, Bertram Phillips), John Halifax, Gentleman (1915, George Pearson) with Fred Paul, and Infelice (1915, L.C. MacBean, Fred Paul). During the First World War she also appeared in leading roles in several more silent films, such as Frills (1916, Bertram Phillips), and What Would a Gentleman Do? (1918, Wilfred Noy). In the post-war years she continued to star in comedies and romantic dramas, often written, produced and directed by Bertram Philips. These films include A Little Child Shall Lead Them (1919, Bertram Phillips) with South African actor Bruce Gordon, and Trousers (1920, Bertram Phillips). In 1919 Queenie Thomas was married to George Newman. After their wedding ceremony at St. Margaret's Church in Westminster they had an ‘aerial honeymoon’, while they flew from London to Paris. See the Pathé Gazette clip about their flight.

Hiatus
During the early 1920’s, the film appearances of Queenie Thomas were less frequently. She returned to the screen in the comedy Tut-Tut and His Terrible Tomb (1923, Bertram Phillips). It was one of six episodes in the Syncopated Picture Plays 2-reel series. Another series in which she appeared was the Rainbow comedy series, produced by the company of Bertram Phillips and directed by Bernard Dudley. Other comedies in which she starred were The School for Scandal (1923, Bertram Phillips) with Basil Rathbone, and The Alley of Golden Hearts (1924, Bertram Phillips). She also played in crime dramas, such as Her Redemption (1924, Bertram Phillips) with John Stuart, and The Last Witness (1925, Fred Paul) starring Isobel Elsom. In the comedy Safety First (1926, Fred Paul) she starred with Brian Aherne. At the end of the 1920’s there was a new hiatus in her film career and then she played in her last film, the late silent production Warned Off (1930, Walter West). Queenie Thomas died in 1977 in Great Britain. She was 79.


Pathé newsreel (23/10/1919) item 'Film Star's aerial honeymoon'. Source: British Pathé.

Sources: BFI, Wikipedia and IMDb.

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