Gertrude Olmstead

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Gertrude Olmstead
Olmstead in 1927
Born (1897-11-13)November 13, 1897
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died January 18, 1975(1975-01-18) (aged 77)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1920–1929
Robert Z. Leonard (m. 1926–1968)

Gertrude Olmstead (November 13, 1897 – January 18, 1975) was an American actress of the silent era. She appeared in 56 films between 1920 and 1929.


Olmstead was born in Chicago, Illinois,[1] and was noticed after winning a contest to represent "The Spirit of America" at the 1920 Elks Club national convention.[2] She appeared in her first credited film role in the 1921 film The Fox. She obtained several more roles that same year, appearing in nine films in 1921, and another five in 1922. She would appear in seventeen more films by the time she received what is today her best-known role, opposite Rudolph Valentino in the 1925 film Cobra.

Throughout the silent film era her career thrived. From 1925 through 1929 she appeared in twenty eight films, most often portraying the heroine. With the advent of sound film her career stalled, and she retired from acting in 1929.

Personal life and death

In 1926 she met MGM director Robert Z. Leonard and they were married June 8 of that year. Leonard and Olmstead remained married until his death in 1968.[3]

After Leonard's death, Olmstead remained in the Los Angeles area, and died in Beverly Hills on January 18, 1975.[1] She is interred at Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, near her husband, Robert Z. Leonard.

Partial filmography


  1. ^ a b Vazzana, Eugene Michael (1995). Silent Film Necrology: Births and Deaths of Over 9000 Performers, Directors, Producers, and Other Filmmakers of the Silent era, Through 1993. McFarland. p. 252.
  2. ^ "Winner Announced in Elks Beauty Contest: 17-Year-Old La Salle Girl Is Chosen to Lead Parade and Star in Film". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 10 (26): 64. June 26, 1920.
  3. ^ Willis, John A. (1969). Screen World. 20. Crown Publishers. p. 236.

External links

  • Gertrude Olmstead on IMDb
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