There are thousands of people in the showbiz, but not all of them capture our attention like Myrtle Gonzalez. That’s because she is someone who comes to the industry once in a blue moon and has the charisma that everyone remembers for years to come. The irony is that Myrtle Gonzalez was born in 1891, so many of us didn’t get to see her charisma and talent.
However, this year, we are remembering Myrtle Gonzalez cause of death and the full life that she lived. So, to help you have information about her, her married life, kids, and professional life, we have curated this in-depth article!
Introducing Myrtle Gonzalez
She was an American actress who worked in silent movies and was in more than 80 movies between 1913 and 1917. She was born on September 28, 1891, in Los Angeles, California. She died there on October 22, 1918, when she was 27 years old. She was best remembered for her part as Enid Maitland in “The Chalice of Courage,” a 1915 Vitagraph movie.
She was also in a number of other well-known movies, such as “The Yellow Streak” (1913), “The Little Sheriff” (1914), and “The Secret of the Swamp” (1916). Gonzalez could play a lot of different parts as an actress, from innocent heroines to sneaky bad guys. Her agility was also well-known, and she often did her own stunts. That’s the reason she was always seen doing outdoorsy and bold roles.
Gonzalez’s career was cut short when she died too soon of the Spanish flu in 1918. Myrtle Gonzalez age was only 27 years old when she passed away. However, many people think that Myrtle Gonzalez death was the reason behind her departure from the industry. The reality is that she left the industry a year ago because she got married to Allen Watt, who was an actor and director himself. She was only in a few silent movies, but she is known as one of the most popular actresses of her time.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that her movies have been lost because there were no high-end storage and recording facilities back then. However, the Library of Congress has done a great job at preserving some of her movies, and the fans are welcome to watch them. Father Gonzalez was Mexican, and Mother Gonzalez was Irish. Her family background gave her a lot of cultural knowledge that almost certainly shaped her artistic tastes.
No information about Myrtle Gonzalez’s formal education is known to the public. But it is known that she started out as a soprano and sang in church groups and concerts. This makes me think that she might have had some voice training. She also shared the stage with two well-known actors, Fanny Davenport and Florence Stone. This makes it seem like she may have also learned how to act.
As a whole, it seems possible that she got some kind of education, both formal and informal, to get ready for her career as an actress and singer. But not much is known about the details of her education.
The Family Dynamics
Her parents were Manuel George Gonzalez and Lillian L. Cook, and she was born on September 28, 1891, in Los Angeles, California. Her father worked as a grocery store owner, and her mother used to sing in opera and other famous groups. There were two people her age, Stella M. Gonzalez and Manuel G. Gonzalez Jr.
Around 1910, Myrtle married James Parks Jones. Before they split up, they had a son together named James Parks Jones Jr. They got married in 1917, and Allen Watt was an actor and director. They stayed together until 1918 when Myrtle died. The following is a list of her family members:
- Dad: Manuel George Gonzalez (1868–1919)
- Mother: She was born Lillian L. Cook and died in 1932.
- Siblings: Stella M. Gonzalez and Manuel G. Gonzalez Jr.
- Husbands: James Parks Jones (around 1910–1915) and Allen Watt (1917–1918).
- Children: James Parks Jones Jr.
She was an American actress who worked in silent movies and was in more than 80 movies between 1913 and 1917. She was born on September 28, 1891, in Los Angeles, California. She died there on October 22, 1918, when she was 27 years old.
Start of Career
When Myrtle Gonzalez was in her teens, she started acting by appearing in neighborhood musicals and vaudeville shows. This was her first movie role in the 1913 Vitagraph short film “The Yellow Streak.” She became well-known very quickly and started performing regularly at Vitagraph. She was in many short films and movies.
The 1915 Vitagraph movie “The Chalice of Courage,” in which Gonzalez played, was a huge hit at the box office. The movie cemented her role as a leading lady and won her praise from critics. She kept acting in hit movies like “The Little Sheriff” (1914), “The Secret of the Swamp” (1916), and “The Girl of Lost Lake” (1917).
Gonzalez was known for being able to be different and play many different parts. She was great at playing action-adventure heroines, bad girls with plans, and heroines who were good. She was also very good at sports and often did her own stunts.
Myrtle Gonzalez’s Tragic Death
Myrtle Gonzalez had a bright future in her work, but she tragically died too soon from the Spanish flu in 1918. She was just 27 years old. She was only in a few silent movies, but she is known as one of the most popular actresses of her time.
You could see that Myrtle Gonzalez had a bright future as an actor because she was clever and pretty. The movie business and her fans both lost someone important when she died too soon. People remember her for being beautiful, talented, and able to do many things. Fans of silent movies still enjoy her movies today.
It’s hard to say how much Myrtle Gonzalez is worth because there isn’t a lot of financial information from the silent film era. We can guess how much she’s worth, though, by looking at her salary, how famous she is, and how she lives.
Myrtle Gonzalez was said to be making around $500 a week at the height of her work, which was a lot of money in the early 1910s. She also got extra money and profits from the movies she was in. She also had advertising deals and other ways to make money. Gonzalez had a very fancy life. She owned many homes and cars. She bought clothes, jewelry, and trips with the money she had.
Based on how much she made and how much she spent, Myrtle Gonzalez’s net worth was probably between $100,000 and $250,000 when she died in 1918. Taking inflation into account, this would be worth about $1.5 million to $3.75 million in today’s money. It is important to remember that this number is only a guess; the real number could be higher or lower. But it gives you a general idea of how much money Myrtle Gonzalez had during her time.
Myrtle Gonzalez was a very religious Catholic. As a kid, she went to Catholic school and often went to Mass. She also worked with a lot of Catholic causes and groups.
The Married Life
She was married twice in the 27 years she lived.
The First Marriage
James Parks Jones, a film producer and director, was her first husband. Their son, James Parks Jones Jr., was born in 1911. They got married around 1910. Around 1915, they got a divorce.
The Second Marriage
They got married in 1917, and Allen Watt was an actor and director. On December 1, 1917, they got married in Los Angeles. Watt was an officer in the U.S. Army. After they got married, Myrtle quit acting to go with Watt to Camp Lewis in Washington State. She had a heart problem, though, and the weather made her too weak to handle. Her husband was put on the retirement list. It happened to allow him to take her to California. He went back to work at Universal and started to make movies.
Life In General
She was born on 28th September 1891. The city was LA, California. Her parents were Manuel George Gonzalez, a grocery store owner, and Lillian L. Cook, a former opera and popular singer. One sister was Stella M. Gonzalez, and the other was Manuel G. Gonzalez Jr. They got married in 1910, and his name was James Parks Jones. He produced and directed movies. James Parks Jones Jr., their son, was born in 1911. Around 1915, they got a divorce.
Allen Watt was an actor and director. They got married in December 1917. L.A. was where they got married. Watt was an officer in the U.S. Army. After they got married, Myrtle quit acting to go with Watt to Camp Lewis in Washington State. She had a heart problem, though, and the weather made her too weak to handle. After their retirement and her death, he went back to work at Universal and started to make movies.
In What Movies Did Myrtle Gonzalez Play Lead Roles?
Beginning with The Yellow Streak, Gonzalez was in 80 movies over the course of her long career. When she worked at Vitagraph, she was known for the roles she played with William Desmond Taylor. Over the course of 1913 and 1914, Gonzalez and Taylor were in five movies together. They had tragedies like Tainted Money, The Kiss, and Captain Alvarez, as well as comedies like Her Husband’s Friend and Millions for Defense.
The Level, one of Gonzalez’s most famous movies, came out on November 23. This is a big day. Gonzalez moved on to Universal Studios after working at Vitagraph for a few years. There, she starred in movies like The Girl of Lost Lake and The Secret of the Swamp, which made her even more of an outdoor character.
Gonzalez made a huge number of movies in just four years, even though she was only in a few of them. She is known as Hollywood’s first Latina and Hispanic movie star. So, this was about Myrtle Gonzalez movies – even though the number is less, the impact was significant.
- Retired after getting married to Universal actor and director Allen Watt on December 1, 1917. After that, he joined the U.S. Army, and she went back to Camp Lewis in Washington State with him. Even so, the weather was too rough for her weak health, so Capt. Watt was put on the retiring list so he could take her back to Southern California. He went back to work at Universal and started to make movies.
- She died in the 1918 “Spanish flu” outbreak around the world.
- Her first husband, J. Parks Jones, gave her a boy named James Parks Jones, Jr., who lived from about 1911 to 1970.
- She began out as a soprano singer and performed at local events and concerts, as well as in Los Angeles church groups.
- Her father, Manuel George Gonzalez, was a grocery store owner, and Lillian L. Cook (1874–1922) was an opera singer. The names of her brothers were Stella and Manuel Jr. Her father was Mexican, and her mother’s family was Irish.
- A Google Doodle was made in her honor on November 23, 2022.
The Death of Myrtle Gonzalez
Myrtle got the Spanish flu in October 1918. It was a dangerous pandemic that spread around the world. She passed away at the Los Angeles home of her parents on October 22, 1918. She was 27 years old. The movie business and her fans were saddened by her death.
Making a Difference in Style and Fashion
In addition to being a great actress, Myrtle Gonzalez was a fashion star who changed the way people dressed in the 1920s. Learn about the silent grace she brought to the screen and how her wardrobe choices affected the start of a new era in Hollywood fashion.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that Myrtle Gonzalez was a great name in the industry. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, we are certain that she would have become an undeniable part of the American showbiz industry. That’s because even within a few years of her career, she managed to leave a mark. The mark was so significant that the Library of Congress was forced to preserve her movies. So, it’s time the showbiz industry focuses on bringing more superstars to the dynamic. In case you want to watch her act, there might be some Myrtle Gonzalez videos on YouTube!