Anita Stewart

by Hugh Neely

Anita Stewart began her career as an actress at the Vitagraph Company in 1911, and rose to become one of the most popular stars of the teens. In 1918 she started Anita Stewart Productions, in partnership with Louis B. Mayer, and began to produce her own feature films for First National Exhibitors Circuit. Anita Stewart Productions produced seventeen feature films between 1918 and 1922. After concluding her association with Mayer, Stewart accepted an offer from William Randolph Hearst to appear in Cosmopolitan Productions. She continued to make films with Fox, Columbia, and lesser studios through the end of the silent era, appearing in her last feature in 1938.

Anita Stewart (a/p). PC

Anita Stewart. Private Collection.

Anita Stewart (a/p), Theatre Magazine, 1921. PC

Anita Stewart, Theatre Magazine, 1921. Private Collection.

Anita Stewart (a/p) 10-inch Ceramic Souvenir Plate. PCJY

Anita Stewart on a 10-inch Ceramic Souvenir Plate. Private Collection.

Anita Stewart, actress-producer. The Invisible Fear (1921). First National. Yranski Collection. PCJY

Lantern slide, Anita Stewart, The Invisible Fear (1921). Private Collection.

Anita Stewart (a/p) Slide The Suspect (1916). PCJY

Lantern slide,  The Suspect (1916). Private Collection.

Anita Stewart (a/p), Photoplay cover painted by Rolf Armstrong, appeared twice, in 1915 and 1920. PC

Anita Stewart, 1920 Photoplay cover, painted by Rolf Armstrong, appeared twice. Private Collection.

Anita Stewart (a/p) Reverse of Publicity Photo, Anita Stewart Productions, 1918. PC

Publicity for Anita Stewart Productions, 1918. Private Collection. 

Anita Stewart (a/p) First National Exhibitors Circuit Promotional Still, 1918. PCJY

Anita Stewart, First National Exhibitors Circuit Promotional Still, 1918. Private Collection.

Anita Stewart (a/p) Motion Picture Magazine (1919), The Model Waif(1919). PC

Anita Stewart, Motion Picture Magazine, 1919. Ad for The Model Waif (1919). Private Collection.

Anita Stewart on sheet music for A Midnight Romance, composed by Stewart. Private Collection.

Anita Stewart (a/p) Munsey's Magazine(1915). PC

Anita Stewart in Munsey’s Magazine, 1915. Private Collection.

Anita Stewart (a/p) Lobby card, The Love Piker (1923). PC

Lobby card, The Love Piker (1923). Private Collection.

ziegfeld star - anita stewart - by Alfred Cheney Johnston

Portrait of Anita Stewart by Alfred Cheney Johnston. Private Collection.

Anita Stewart (a/p) Dust jacket, The Devil's Toy (1935). PC

Dust jacket, The Devil’s Toy (1935) by Anita Stewart. Private Collection.

Born Anna Marie Stewart in Brooklyn in 1895, she was the middle of three siblings. Her older sister Lucille Lee and younger brother George also became film actors. Lucille Lee Stewart was the first to work in films, starting with the Biograph Company in 1910, and shortly thereafter moving to the Vitagraph Company, where she met and married director Ralph Ince, younger brother of Thomas Ince. Anna Marie Stewart was a high school student who had done a little modeling when Ralph Ince telephoned to say he needed some extra juveniles for a film. After her start in early 1911, sixteen-year-old Anna quickly became a Vitagraph regular, appearing in vehicles that featured the “Vitagraph Girl,” lead actress Florence Turner. Within a year Anna was herself given lead roles, receiving popular recognition for The Wood Violet (1912). After a typographer’s error changed her name from “Anna” to “Anita” in publicity for The Song Bird of the North (1913), she decided she liked it, and kept “Anita Stewart” as her professional name (Bodeen 120). Her career was assured when she became a hit in the lead role of Vitagraph’s second multireel feature, A Million Bid (1914).

Soon, Stewart was being promoted as “America’s daintiest actress,” and her image was featured on sheet music, souvenir plates, silver spoons, and a collection of paper dolls published in Ladies’ World Magazine. In 1915, Munsey’s Magazine noted that, though she had appeared in but two features and a serial and had never appeared on the theatrical stage, “her face is perhaps familiar to as wide a circle as Maude Adams’s” (88).

Stewart’s career continued at Vitagraph, and with only a few exceptions she was given leading roles in each film. The great majority of her films were directed by brother-in-law Ralph Ince, and she quite enjoyed the familial atmosphere of the company. But beginning in 1916, Vitagraph began to assign other directors to her films, one of which, The Glory of Yolanda (1917), was directed by frequent scenarist Marguerite Bertsch. Still, Stewart did not feel that all of her new directors were equally competent, and during production of two films directed by Wilfrid North, she effectively went out on strike, leaving the productions unfinished while she claimed to be convalescing from an auto accident. The same year, 1917, Anita Stewart quietly married costar Rudolph Cameron, although the marriage was kept secret from her public for over a year (Bodeen 122–123).

Among her thousands of devoted admirers was a newspaper boy named Toby who has been described as a hunchbacked dwarf. Toby took it as his duty to promote the actress to virtually anyone who would listen. “Toby was one of my most ardent fans,” Anita Stewart later wrote. “I never knew his last name. He used to beg pictures from my secretary and gave them away at the opening of the horse show and any large social gathering. Toby met Mr. [Louis B.] Mayer at the train each time he came to New York, (and) he introduced me to him” (“Anita Stewart” n.p. Bosley Crowther Papers; Crowther 1960, 53–81). Mayer, at the time of his first meeting with Stewart, was a young Massachusetts theatre owner who had made a small fortune as a regional film distributor by cornering the New England distribution rights to The Birth of a Nation (1915). Now he wanted to produce films himself; but in order to secure backing and critical attention, he needed to recruit a star.

Mayer knew that the First National Exhibitors Circuit, which had just signed Charlie Chaplin, was looking for established stars who wished to produce their own independent films, so he approached Stewart about forming her own company: Anita Stewart Productions. Why did she accept his offer? “I was completely happy at the Vitagraph,” Stewart wrote many years later, ignoring her battle over her directors, “and have often felt that I made my best pictures there, but Mr. Mayer promised me better parts, better directors, more money—really the moon, and at the time I was anxious to come to California” (“Anita Stewart,” n.p. Bosley Crowther Papers; Crowther 1960, 53-81). Husband Rudolph Cameron became her business manager, and along with Stewart, was promised a cut of the company profits. In reality, however, Mayer had little experience to back up the promises he had made. While Anita Stewart at twenty-three was a seven-year veteran of the industry, having worked her way up through dozens of shorts to the first rank of Vitagraph feature stars, Mayer’s only previous production experience at the time appears to have been as a junior executive on one serial.

Anita Stewart Productions was launched with great fanfare and wide publicity, but in hindsight, it was launched too soon. Before the actress, now producer, could start her new venture, the Vitagraph Company slapped Anita Stewart Productions with a lawsuit, claiming that the star was still under exclusive Vitagraph contract at the time that she signed with Mayer. The suit was decided in favor of Vitagraph, a ruling cited in later cases involving actor contracts (Bodeen 123; Eyman 2005, 56). According to Stewart, as a result of this suit she lost the percentage of profits she was entitled to have received from her Vitagraph films (“Anita Stewart” n. pag. Bosley Crowther Papers). However, while Mayer paid $70,000 to Vitagraph as part of the settlement, Anita Stewart Productions received two unfinished Vitagraph productions that were subsequently completed by Stewart and released by First National (Bodeen 123; Slide 1976, 88).

Stewart’s first new feature for her own company, Virtuous Wives (1918), was directed by George Loane Tucker and filmed at New York studio space rented from Vitagraph, no less. For Stewart, however, it was not a happy shoot. Supporting actress Hedda Hopper, providing her own costumes, reputedly spent her entire salary of $1,000 on custom gowns that Stewart felt upstaged her own wardrobe. Consequently, the two women refused to talk to each other on the set, beginning a feud that reportedly lasted some twenty years (Bodeen 1976, 124). Released at the end of December 1918, however, the film was a success. Following this production, Stewart and Mayer and their respective families all moved to Los Angeles, where Anita Stewart Productions settled into its new home in rented space on the Selig Polyscope Company lot (Bodeen 125; Kingsley 1919, III,1).

In a Los Angeles Times profile from January 1919, Anita Stewart is quoted: “It’s a great responsibility, being a producer, you’re honestly rather afraid to get to the top. There are so many to push or pull you off.” In the same interview, Stewart talked about stories she would like to produce in the future (Kingsley 1919, III,1). She wanted to film David Graham Phillips’s sensational novel about a woman working her way out of prostitution. That novel, Susan Lennox: Her Fall and Rise, would come to film much later, in 1931, as a pre-Code “Talkie” with Greta Garbo. Another idea was Theodore Dreiser’s sexually provocative Sister Carrie, a novel not adapted for film until 1952. But Stewart’s choice of stories would ultimately place her in conflict with her partner, Louis B. Mayer. According to Mayer biographer Scott Eyman, the producer preferred stories that could be “insanely moralistic” (2005, 58). Mayer once indicated to screenwriter Frances Marion that he only wished to make pictures that his two young girls could see (Beauchamp 1997, 145). The sort of mature stories that appealed to Anita Stewart were out of the question.

Much remains to be learned about the extent to which the actress-producer was involved in the decision-making at Anita Stewart Productions. Unfortunately, the prints of the films themselves do not give us any clues, and on extant prints examined by this contributor, Louis B. Mayer receives screen credit as presenter. But while Mayer was anxious to learn production, the crew thought he was a novice, and he was not on the set on a daily basis (Eyman 2005, 58). In contrast, since the actress-producer was the sole partner in Anita Stewart Productions, consistently present on the set of her films, it seems logical to conclude that Stewart was in position to make the daily production decisions that might be required of her as well as other creative decisions. An accomplished pianist, she wrote both music and lyrics for songs published in conjunction with the release of the pictures she produced in 1919, A Midnight Romance, Mary Regan, and In Old Kentucky (see Wlaschin 305, 309). From the comprehensive 1919 Los Angeles Times interview with Grace Kingsley, it is clear that Stewart thought of herself as a producer of her company’s product (III, 1). In this role she might, then, have made the decision to hire director Lois Weber, an engagement that warranted the Los Angeles Times news flash “Anita Stewart Engages Noted Woman Director” (Kingsley 1918, III,1). For their first production together, Weber wrote her own adaptation of a romantic mystery by Marion Orth. The film, A Midnight Romance (1919), survives in a partial print at the Library of Congress. But the title represents Weber at her most unapologetically commercial. Their second and final collaboration came with Mary Regan (1919), an adaptation of the popular novel by the same name about the daughter of a thief who tries to protect and reform the men she loves. After her brief association with Weber, Anita Stewart was directed by top directors of the day, including Marshall Neillan, Edward José, Edwin Carewe, and John Stahl. But it was Louis B. Mayer who prevailed in the choice of stories, a fact that Stewart grew to resent. According to historian DeWitt Bodeen, when her contract concluded in 1922, Stewart refused Mayer’s offered renewal, and went her own way, closing the doors on Anita Stewart Productions (125).

Some months later Stewart was shocked and saddened when her former director and brother-in-law, Ralph Ince, was indicted for the brutal beating, during an argument, of her own younger brother, actor George Stewart. George suffered brain damage, and remained an invalid for the rest of his life, with Anita eventually taking over his care. She returned to the screen one year after the release of her last Anita Stewart production in The Love Piker (1923), a film written and produced by Marion for the West Coast division of William Randolph Hearst’s Cosmopolitan Productions. The last of three Cosmopolitan pictures was Never the Twain Shall Meet (1925), a South Seas adventure directed by Maurice Tourneur, which Stewart remembered as her personal favorite (Bodeen 126).

After this, her career quickly devolved into leading roles in lower budget productions for a succession of Poverty Row studios. Most of these were action-adventure films, including a remake of the Nell Shipman role in Baree, Son of Kazan (1925) and the Mascot serial Isle of Sunken Gold (1927). Her last leading role was in Romance of a Rogue (1928), which starred H. B. Warner and was also the last directing credit received by prolific actor-director King Baggot. Following her retirement from the screen and her 1928 divorce from Rudolph Cameron, Anita Stewart married George Converse, a New York sportsman and the heir of a United States Steel president. The couple bought a home in Beverly Hills. Stewart made several singing appearances, both in person and on the radio, and appeared in a cameo as herself in the Universal musical short The Hollywood Handicap (1932). Stewart and her second husband were divorced in 1946 (Bodeen 126–127).

In 1935 Anita Stewart authored a mystery novel, The Devil’s Toy, a strange tale in which a young stage actress comes under suspicion for a series of murders, apparent poisonings, all of which take place in the theatre. Stewart fashioned a character in her novel after the ardent fan who had introduced her to Louis B. Mayer eighteen years earlier. In her story, Toby, the hunchbacked dwarf, is the “genius of theatrical lighting” who idolizes the young actress from his position at the controls of a spotlight that follows her every movement on stage. In the surprise ending, Toby is revealed to be behind the murders, accomplished with a death ray he has invented and hidden inside one of his spotlights. When he mistakenly believes he has killed the heroine, Alice, by accident, he destroys his invention and takes his own life, thinking that in death he will at last be united with the woman he worships. Anita Stewart died of heart failure in Beverly Hills on May 4, 1961.

See also: Marguerite BertschFrances MarionNell ShipmanLois Weber.


Alben, Miles H. History of First National Pictures, Inc. Unpublished manuscript. n.d. Folder 15494A. University of Southern California, Cinematic Arts Library.

Anita Stewart Productions, Inc. Contract with First National Exhibitors Circuit, Inc. 19 June 1918. Folder 12727B. University of Southern California, Cinematic Arts Library.

Associated First National Pictures, Inc. “Big Time Pictures Are Built Upon First National Pictures.” Poster. 1919-1924. Private Collection.

Bodeen, DeWitt. “Anita Stewart.” From Hollywood: The Careers of 15 Great American Stars. South Brunswick: Barnes, 1976. 117-133.

“Great Campaign on Mrs. Chaplin, Louis Mayer Plans far Reaching Publicity Drive on Star to Bring her Before all the Public.” Motion Picture News (8 Nov. 1919): 3606.

In Old Kentucky. Ad. Motion Picture News (8 Nov. 1919): 3538-3539.

Kingsley, Grace. “Anita Stewart, Producer.” Los Angeles Times (5 Jan. 1919): III, 1.

------. “Flashes. Anita Stewart Engages Noted Woman Director.” Los Angeles Times (13 Nov. 1918): III, 1.

------. “Flashes. Music Enhances. ‘Rio Grande’ Score Heightens Picture Effect.” Los Angeles Times III, no. 4 (4 May  1920): n.p.

“A New Link in the Mighty Chain.” Ad.  Motion Picture News (22 Nov. 1919): 3698-3699.

“Photoplay ‘Virtuous Wives’ Begins New Era of Filming Recent Fiction Successes.” The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette (9 Feb. 1919): 41, Amusement Sec. 2.

“Screen. Feature Forecast. Big Dramatic Plays Head List of Attractions.” Los Angeles Times (22 June 1919): III, 1.

Stewart, Anita. The Devil’s Toy. New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, Inc., 1935.

------. “In Old Kentucky.” [Song]. New York: Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co., 1919.

------. ”Mary Regan.” [Song]. Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co., New York, 1919.

------. “A Midnight Romance.” Song. New York: Waterson, Berlin & Snyder Co., 1919.

------. Untitled typescript, n.d. Box 25. Bosley Crowther Papers. Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library.

White, Jr., Mathew. “The Stage.” Munsey's Magazine (October 1915): 88, 90.

Wlaschin, Ken. The Silent Cinema in Song, 1896-1929. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2009.

Archival Paper Collections:

Bosley Crowther Papers. Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library.

Warner Bros. Archive. University of Southern California, Cinematic Arts Library.


A: Archival Filmography: Extant Film Titles:

1. Anita Stewart as Producer and Actress

Human Desire. Prod.: Louis B. Mayer, Anita Stewart, dir.: Wilfrid North, aut.: Violet Irwin (Anita Stewart Productions US 1919) cas.: Anita Stewart, Conway Tearle, Robert Steele, si, b&w, 35mm, 6 reels. Archive: Library of Congress.

Mary Regan. Prod. Louis B. Mayer, Anita Stewart, dir./sc.: Lois Weber (Anita Stewart Productions US 1919) cas.: Anita Stewart, Frank Mayo, Carl Miller, si, b&w, 35mm., 7 reels. Archive: Cinémathèque Française.

A Midnight Romance. Prod.: Anita Stewart, Louis B. Mayer, dir./sc.: Lois Weber, (Anita Stewart Productions US 1919) cas.: Anita Stewart, Jack Holt, Edward Tilton, Juanita Hansen, si, b&w, 35mm., 6 reels. Archive: Library of Congress.

Sowing the Wind. Prod.: Louis B. Mayer, Anita Stewart, dir.: John M. Stahl, aut.: Sydney Grundy (Anita Stewart Productions US 1921) cas.: Anita Stewart, James Morrison, Myrtle Stedman, si, b&w, 7 reels; 6,900 ft.. Archive: Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman Museum.

2. Anita Stewart as Actress

A Tale of Two Cities. Dir.: William Humphrey, sc.: Eugene Mullin, (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1911) cas.: Maurice Costello, Florence Turner, John Bunny, Norma Talmadge, Anita Stewart, si, b&w, 3 reels; 3,021 ft. Archive: Library of Congress, BFI National Archive, Museum of Modern Art, UCLA Film & Television Archive, Academy Film Archive.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic/ The Battle Hymn of the Republic, or, in Washington D.C. 1861. Dir.: J. Stuart Blackton, Laurence Trimble, sc.: Beta Breuil, adp.: Julia Ward Howe (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1911) cas.: Ralph Ince, Maurice Costello, Julia Swayne Gordon, Edith Storey, Anita Stewart, si, b&w, 1 reel. Archive: George Eastman Museum, BFI National Archive.

A Red Cross Martyr; or, On the Firing Lines of Tripoli. Dir.: Laurence Trimble (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1912) cas.: Robert Gaillard, Florence Turner, Anita Stewart, si, b&w, 1 reel; 1,000 ft. Archive: Library of Congress, BFI National Archive.

Her Choice. Dir./sc.: Ralph Ince, sc.: Beta Breuil (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1912) cas.: Zena Keefe, Anna M. Stewart, Julia Swayne Gordon, si, b&w, 1 reel; 932 ft. Archive: Museum of Modern Art.

The Bachelor's Baby. Dir.: Van Dyke Brooke (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1913) cas.: Anita Stewart, L. Rogers Lytton, Rosemary Theby, Kate Price, si, b&w, 1 reel. Archive: EYE Filmmuseum.

The Classmate's Frolic. Dir.: Ralph Ince, sc.: Ralph Ince, Eugene Mullin (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1913) cas.: Anita Stewart, Rosemary Theby, Lucille Lee Stewart, Flora Finch, si, b&w, half reel; 426 ft. Archive: EYE Filmmuseum.

A Regiment of Two. Dir.: George D. Baker, Ralph Ince, sc.: Anthony E. Willis (Vitagraph Co. of America, US 1913) cas.: Sidney Drew, Rose Tapley, Harry T. Morey, Anita Stewart, si, b&w, 2 reels; 2,040 ft. Archive: Library of Congress.

The Tiger. Dir.: Frederick A. Thomson, sc.: Marguerite Bertsch (Vitagraph Co. of America, General Film Co., 1913) cas.: Charles Kent, Anita Stewart, Paul Bourgeois, si, b&w, 1 reel, 1,026 ft. Archive: BFI National Archive.

The Lost Millionaire. Dir./sc.: Ralph Ince, st.: James Oliver Curwood (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1913) cas.: Edward K. Lincoln, Anita Stewart, Tefft Johnson, si, b&w, 2 reels; 2,020 ft. Archive: Library of Congress.

His Last Fight. Dir./sc.: Ralph Ince (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1913) cas.: Ralph Ince, Anita Stewart, Gladden James, si, b&w, 1 reel; 967 ft. Archive: BFI National Archive.

The Web. Dir./sc.: Ralph Ince (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1913), cas.: Anita Stewart, Rosemary Theby, si, b&w, 8mm. Archive: Private Collection.

Those Troublesome Tresses. Dir.: George D. Baker (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1913) cas.: John Bunny, Flora Finch, Anita Stewart, si, b&w, 1 reel. Archive: Museum of Modern Art, EYE Filmmuseum.

Diana's Dress Reform. Dir.: Ralph Ince, sc.: Dean Willets (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1914) cas.: Anita Stewart, E.K. Lincoln, Charles Wellesley, Lucille Lee Stewart, si, b&w, 1 reel; 958 ft. Archive: Museum of Modern Art.

Lincoln, the Lover. Dir./sc.: Ralph Ince, st.: Catherine Van Dyke (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1914) cas.: Ralph Ince, Anita Stewart, E.K. Lincoln, si, b&w, 1 reel; 1,059 ft. Archive: George Eastman Museum.

Four Thirteen/4:13 /413. Dir.: Ralph Ince, sc.: Donald I. Buchanan (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1914) cas.: Anita Stewart, Anders Randolf, Harry T. Morey, Julia Swayne Gordon, si, b&w, 3 reels. Archive: George Eastman Museum.

'Midst Woodland Shadows. Dir./sc.: Ralph Ince (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1915) cas.: Anita Stewart, Earle Williams, J. Herbert Frank, si, b&w, 1 reel; 887 ft. Archive: Library of Congress, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

The Right Girl? Dir./sc.: Ralph Ince (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1915) cas.: Anita Stewart, Earle Williams, William R. Dunn, si, b&w, 1 reel; 1,026 ft. Archive: BFI National Archive.

The Juggernaut. A Story of Modern Life in Five Thrilling Parts. Dir./sc.: Ralph W. Ince, sc.: Donald I. Buchanan (Vitagraph Company of America US 1915) cas.: Anita Stewart, Earle Williams, Julia Swayne Gordon, si, b&w, 35mm, 5 reels [original release], 4 reels [1916 British release abridgment]. Archive: Academy Film Archive, George Eastman Museum, Private Collection [incomplete].

His Phantom Sweetheart. Dir.: Ralph Ince, sc.: Marguerite Bertsch, Earle Williams, Thomas R. Mills (Vitagraph Co. of America US 1915) cas.: Anita Stewart, Earle Williams, si, b&w, 1 reel; 773 ft. Archive: BFI National Archive.

Seeing Stars. (Associated First National Pictures, Inc. US 1922) cas.: Buster Keaton, Charles Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, Anita Stewart, si, b&w, 1 reel. Archive: Private Collection.

Smudge. Dir./sc.: Charles Ray, sc.: Albert Ray, tit.: Edward Withers, st.: Rob Wagner (Charles Ray Productions US 1922) cas.: Charles Ray, Anita Stewart, Ora Carew, Charles K. French, Forence Oberle, si, b&w, Archive: Library of Congress, Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research.

Mary of the Movies. Dir.: John McDermott, Prod./st.: Louis Lewyn, sc.: Marion Mack, tit.: Joseph Farnham (Columbia Productions US 1923) cas.: Marion Mack, Florence Lee, Mary Kane, Anita Stewart, si, b&w, 7 reels, 6,500 ft. Archive: Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

Souls for Sale. Prod./sc./dir.: Rupert Hughes (Goldwyn Pictures US 1923) cas.: Eleanor Boardman, Frank Mayo, Richard Dix, Anita Stewart, si, b&w, 35mm., 8 reels. Archive: Warner Bros., Museum of Modern Art, UCLA Film & Television Archive.

The Love Piker. Dir.: E. Mason Hopper, sc.: Frances Marion, st.: Frank R. Adams (Cosmopolitan Corp. US 1923) cas.: Anita Stewart, William Norris, Robert Frazer, si, b&w, 7 reels. Archive: Lobster Films.

Morganson's Finish. Dir.: Fred Windemere, st.: Jack London (Tiffany Productions US 1926) cas.: Anita Stewart, Johnnie Walker, Mahlon Hamilton, si, b&w, 7 reels. Archive: EYE Filmmuseum, Library and Archives Canada.

The Lodge in the Wilderness. Dir.: Henry McCarthy, sc.: Wyndham Gittens (Tiffany Productions US 1926) cas.: Anita Stewart, Edmund Burns, Lawrence Steers, si, b&w, 6 reels. Archive: EYE Filmmuseum, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Whispering Wires. Dir.: Albert Ray, sc.: Henry Leverage (Fox Film Corp. US 1926) cas.: Anita Stewart, Edmund Burns, Charles Clary, si, b&w, 35mm., 6 reels. Archive: George Eastman Museum

Isle of Sunken Gold/Island of Sunken Gold. Serial in 10 Chapters. Prod.: Nat Levine, dir.: Harry S. Webb (Mascot Pictures US 1927) cas.: Anita Stewart, Duke Kahanamoku, Bruce Gordon, Evangeline Russell, si, b&w, 35mm. Archive: EYE Filmmuseum.

Sisters of Eve. Dir.: Scott Pembroke, sc.: Arthur Hoerl (Trem Carr Production US 1928) cas.: Anita Stewart, Betty Blythe, Creighton Hale, si, b&w, 6 reels. Archive: Library of Congress.

Hollywood on Parade No. B-1. Prod./dir.: Louis Lewyn (Paramount Pictures US 1933) cas.: George Bancroft, Mary Boland, Anita Stewart, si & so, b&w, 35mm., 1 reel. Archive: UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Screen Snapshots, Series 16, No.5. Dir./prod./sc.: Ralph Staub (Columbia Pictures Corp. US 1937) cas.: Bing Crosby, Fredric March, Anita Stewart, si, b&w, 1 reel. Archive: Library of Congress.

Jimmy Fidler's Personality Parade. Prod./dir.: Ralph Staub, (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer US 1938) cas.: Jimmy Fidler, Charles Chaplin, Wallace Beery, Anita Stewart, si & sd, b&w, 35mm. Archive: Warner Bros.

B: Filmography: Non-Extant Film Titles:

1. Anita Stewart as Producer and Actress

Virtuous Wives, 1918; Her Kingdom of Dreams, 1919; In Old Kentucky, 1919; The Mind-the-Paint Girl, 1919; The Fighting Shepherdess, 1920; Harriet and the Piper, 1920; The Yellow Typhoon, 1920; The Invisible Fear, 1921; Playthings of Destiny,1921; Her Mad Bargain, 1922; A Question of Honor,1922; Rose o' the Sea, 1922; The Woman He Married, 1922;

2. Anita Stewart as Actress

Prejudice of Pierre Marie, 1911; Billy's The Wood Violet; 1912; The Godmother, 1912; Pipe Dream, 1912; Song of the Shell, 1912; Belinda the Slavey; or, Plot and Counterplot, 1913; The Bringing Out of Papa, 1913; A Fighting Chance, 1913; The Forgotten Latchkey, 1913; His Second Wife, 1913; Love Laughs at Locksmiths; or, Love Finds a Way, 1913; The Moulding, 1913; Papa Puts One Over, 1913; The Prince of Evil, 1913; The Song Bird of the North, 1913; A Sweet Deception, 1913; The Treasure of the Desert Isle, 1913; Two's Company, Three's a Crowd, 1913; The Swan Girl, 1913; Why I Am Here, 1913; The Wreck, 1913; Back to Broadway; 1914; The Girl from Prosperity, 1914; He Never Knew, 1914; The Lucky Elopement, 1914; A Million Bid, 1914; The Painted World; 1914; The Right and the Wrong of It, 1914; Shadows of the Past, 1914; Uncle Bill, 1914; Wife Wanted, 1914; The Awakening, 1915; Count 'Em/The Counts, 1915; From The Goddess, 1915; Headquarters, 1915; The Sins of the Mothers, 1915; The Sort-of-Girl-Who-Came-From-Heaven, 1915; Two Women, 1915; The Combat, 1916; The Daring of Diana, 1916; The Girl Philippa, 1916; My Lady's Slipper, 1916; The Suspect, 1916; The Glory of Yolanda/The Glory of Yolande, 1917; The More Excellent Way, 1917; The Message of the Mouse, 1917; Hollywood, 1923; The Great White Way/ Cain and Mabel, 1924; The Boomerang, 1925; Baree, Son of Kazan, 1925; Go Straight,1925; Never the Twain Shall Meet, 1925; Rustling for Cupid, 1926; The Prince of Pilsen, 1926; Wild Geese, 1927; Name the Woman, 1928; Romance of a Rogue, 1928; Hollywood on Parade No. B-8, 1933.

D. Streamed Media:

The Classmate's Frolic (1913) via EYE Filmmuseum (Dutch intertitles)

Those Troublesome Tresses (1913) via the EYE Filmmuseum (Dutch intertitles)

The Juggernaut. A Story of Modern Life in Five Thrilling Parts  (1915). Reel 5: Part 1 Part 2 (via Harpodeon)

Isle of Sunken Gold (1927), chapters 4, 5, 6 (with Dutch intertitles) via the Internet Archive

Credit Report

Although Human Desire is credited to Anita Stewart, sources reveal that this was actually a Vitagraph production acquired by Anita Stewart Productions in an unfinished state. Only three of six original reels exist of A Midnight Romance. The New Zealand Film Archive has only an incomplete 35mm print of Mary of the Movies. In 1919, several of Stewart’s Vitagraph films were reissued and expanded from 3 reels to 5 reels: Shadows of the Past, The Painted World, and Two Women. Neither the original or the reissued versions exist. FIAF does not credit Anita Stewart for A Tale of Two Cities, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, A Red Cross Martyr, and The Tiger, but Braff does credit her for these films. lists her under “other credited cast members,” under the name Anna Stewart for A Tale of Two Cities. For The Battle Hymn of the Republic, IMDb says she plays “An Angel.” In A Red Cross Martyr IMDb lists her third in the credits, but gives no character names. Credits for these one-reel films are not included in the AFI Catalogue of Feature Films or in filmographies prepared by either Anthony Slide or DeWitt Bodeen. It may be significant that none of these films was directed by Ralph Ince, whom Stewart identified as her mentor and the director of her early films. The current edition of the FIAF Treasures from the Film Archives online database lists three titles with Anita Stewart that are not suggested by any other source or filmography examined by this contributor: The Bachelor’s Baby, Those Troublesome Tresses, and Smudge. Stewart's appearance in the incomplete surviving material of Mary of the Movies is not confirmed. While Stewart's participation in a cameo role in Souls for Sale was confirmed by several sources, her appearance has not been found in the surviving print. Although much of her work is extant, access to extant prints and copies varies. The following films have limited access prints in archives, or are available as a copy of the original: A Red Cross Martyr (GBB), ‘Midst Woodland Shadows (16mm, AUC), The Lodge in the Wilderness (AUC), Sisters of Eve (16mm, USW), Smudge (video, Wisconsin Center for Film & Television). There are prints existing for the following films, but they are held in archives as non-access copies: A Red Cross Martyr (USW), The Lost Millionaire (USW), Lincoln, the Lover (28mm, USR), Four Thirteen (USR), ‘Midst Woodland Shadows (USW), Seeing Stars (16mm in private collections), The Lodge in the Wilderness (NLA). However, archives do not always list if their prints or copies are access or non-access, so it is best to contact the archives directly. Several of Stewart’s films pose interesting examples of the variations of archival research and preservation. For The Juggernaut, there is a 16mm access copy and a 35mm non-access copy at USF. However, the majority of reel 5, a small portion of reel 4, and most of reel 2 are known to survive in private collections. Parts of reel 5 is currently available online (See Streamed Media above) Isle of Sunken Gold is a serial in 10 chapters, but the number of reels is unknown. Episodes of 1–5 survive in a 16mm with Dutch titles in the collection of, Zandvoort, Holland. (See Streamed Media above)


Neely, Hugh. "Anita Stewart." In Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds. Women Film Pioneers Project. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2013.  <>

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