Bessie Barriscale

Bessie Barriscale

Infobox Actor
name = Bessie Barriscale

imagesize =
caption = Bessie Barriscale
birthname = Elizabeth Barry Scale
birthdate = birth date|1884|9|30|mf=y
birthplace = Hoboken, New Jersey
deathdate = death date and age|1965|6|30|1884|9|30|mf=y
deathplace = Kentfield, California
yearsactive = 1913-1934
spouse = Howard C. Hickman

Bessie Barriscale (September 30, 1884 - June 30, 1965) was an American silent film and stage actress, and a major star for producer Thomas Ince in the late 1910s.


Early life and career

Barriscale was born Elizabeth Barry Scale in Hoboken, New Jersey to Irish immigrants from County Cork. Her cousins were actresses Edith and Mabel Taliaferro. Barriscale began her film career in 1913, and worked intensively for New York Motion Picture Company and Triangle Film Corporation (among other studios) until she announced her retirement in the early 1930s. In 1918, Barriscale was contracted by J.L. Frothingham of B.B. Features and the Roberson Cole Company to make sixteen films. B.B. Features was an Arizona corporation. The movies were to be completed, produced, and delivered by January 21, 1921. At this time Miss Barriscale's managers insured her life for a half million dollars against eventualities. The total cost of the features totaled more than $1,000,000.

Barriscale was enthusiastic about William Shakespeare and wanted to bring one of his plays to the screen. The actress was an excellent swimmer. In "The Woman Michael Married" (1919) she was featured in a movie adapted from a novel by Annette Kellerman. Barriscale went so far as to hire a swimming and diving instructor and took lessons in Venice, California. A ninety-pool was constructed at Brunton Studios where the scenes were shot. The film was directed by Henry Kolker.

In 1919, she traveled with her husband, actor, director, and film producer Howard C. Hickman and their small son, on a world tour. They anticipated producing motion pictures during their journey and traveled with a cameraman.

In 1921, Barriscale came east to play in "The Skirt". The play was to travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Boston, Massachusetts after opening in Washington, DC. Later the production would appear in New York City, New York. In prior years Barriscale participated in plays for the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, California and once appeared in Belasco productions, notably "Bird of Paradise" written by Richard Walton Tully. She played a princess named Luana. During the early years, Barriscale was in vaudeville, with two-a-day, three-a-day, and even four-a-day performances not uncommon.

Actor Jackie Coogan purchased the home of Bessie Barriscale in Pellisier Square, Los Angeles in February 1922. The residence was valued at $45,000.

Barriscale returned to the stage in "Women Go On Forever". She had been married 21 years and had a son age twenty at this time. The production opened at the Hollywood Music Box in March 1928. She played a "housewife type," and confessed to having rehearsed for the role in a gingham dress she took from the wardrobe of her Santa Monica, California home. She said she had been working at home for several years and had just learned to cook.


Barriscale died in Kentfield, California on June 30, 1965. She is buried with her husband, Howard C. Hickman, at the Mount Tamalpais Cemetery in San Rafael, California.

elected filmography

* "The Gambler's Pal" (1913)
* "Eileen of Erin" (1913)
* "The Harp of Tara" (1914)
* "Rose of the Rancho" (1914)
* "The Golden Claw" (1915)
* "The Painted Soul" (1915)
* "The Sorrows of Love" (1916)
* "The Payment" (1916)
* "The Hater of Men" (1917)
* "Those Who Pay" (1917)
* "The White Lie" (1918)
* "The Heart of Rachael" (1918)
* "Hearts Asleep" (1919)
* "Kitty Kelly, M.D." (1919)
* "The Luck of Geraldine Laird" (1920)
* "The Notorious Mrs. Sands" (1920)
* "The Breaking Point" (1921)
* "Show Folks" (1928)
* "Secrets" (1933)
* "Bondage" (1933)
* "Above the Clouds" (1933)
* "Beloved" (1934)
* "The Man Who Reclaimed His Head" (1934)


*"Los Angeles Times", "Bessie Barriscale In B.B. Features", November 10, 1918. Page III.
*"Los Angeles Times", "Flashes, New $1,000,000 Star", December 6, 1918, Page II3.
*"Los Angeles Times", "Flashes, Star Will Travel, Bessie Barriscale Will Circle The Globe", February 14, 1919, Page II3.
*"Los Angeles Times", "High Dive Special", May 14, 1919, Page III4.
*"Los Angeles Times", "Flashes, Film Stars On Stage", June 4, 1921, Page II7.
*"Los Angeles Times", "Boosting For A Bard", September 21, 1919, Page III 1.
*"Los Angeles Times", "Bought By Film Star", February 12, 1922, Page V2.
*"Los Angeles Times", "New Bessie Barriscale Is In Play", March 11, 1928, Page C13.

External links

*imdb name|id=0057585|name=Bessie Barriscale
*amg name|2:4214
*Find A Grave|id=8717953

NAME= Barriscale, Bessie
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Scale, Elizabeth Barry
DATE OF BIRTH= September 30, 1884
PLACE OF BIRTH= Hoboken, New Jersey
DATE OF DEATH= June 30, 1965
PLACE OF DEATH= Kentfield, California

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