- Julia Bruns
Julia Eliza Bruns (1895 –
December 24, 1927) was a stage and silent filmactress from St. Louis, Missouri. Once called the most beautiful girl in the world, she eventually succumbed to alcoholism and drug addiction and died at 32.
Bruns was a passenger in a
Baldwin Red Devilflown by Tony Jannus, a contestant in a " New York Times" derby, on October 12, 1913. The plane ascended nearly 4,000 feet and flew for twenty minutes above the air at Oakwood Heights, Staten Island.
Bruns came to prominence as a model. Her image was illustrated by artist
James Montgomery Flaggin 1917. She appeared on numerous magazine covers and Sunday feature pages.
Her first acting role was in "The American Maid" written by
John Philip Sousa, followed by a part in "Help Wanted" by Oliver Morosco. For a number of years she appeared on stage in the United Statesand Europe.
She was among the players in the
Willard Macktheatrical drama "Her Market Value". It was produced at the Olympic Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, in November 1916. The play had a cast of fifty. Bruns appeared in the comedy, "The Squab Farm" (1918). The play was staged at the Bijou Theatreon Broadway, and Tallulah Bankheadwas among the performers.
Bruns was involved in an accident at the "Loews 7th Avenue Theatre" in
New York City, in 1918. The theatre closed for several days due to the incident. It reopened on October 7, with a presentation of "The Blue Pearl".
She returned to New York in January 1920 after appearing as a vamp in
London, England, in "Business Before Pleasure" and "Potash and Perlmutter" (1915). In the latter she played the role of a typist.
Bruns starred in "Beware of Dogs" (1920) at the
Broadhurst Theatre. The comedy showcased the talents of William Hodge. He wrote the play in addition to being among its featured performers.
She made three motion pictures in
Hollywood. They are "No Place For Father" (1913), "At First Sight"(1917), and "Quand on aime" (1919). The first movie was directed by Lionel Barrymoreand released by Biograph Studioslocated in the Bronx, New York. Playing the role of "Nell" in "At First Sight",Bruns worked with actress Mae Murrayand actor Sam Hardy. Herfinal film was made in France and paired her with actor Paul Guide' anddirector Henry Houry.
In 1926 Bruns wrote a series of articles about her life as a
drug addictand her effort to find a cure. She was jailed in Chicago, Illinoisfor theft of jewels worth $1,000 in September 1925. Bruns refused to accompany officers to jail unless her chow chow, "Babe", and "Von Hindenburg", a German shepherd, came with her. Inside her cell, she kept her dogs and an autographed picture of Enrico Caruso. She was given a cigarette and began to talk freely with detectives. Bruns admitted stealing the jewels to obtain money to purchase narcotics.
Bruns died of
alcohol poisoningin a furnished room at 109 East 105thStreet, in New York City, in 1927. She was discovered dying early on the evening of December 26 by automobile agency manager Charles H. Brile. Dr. Donato Bracco of 341 East 116th Street was notified but arrived after Bruns had succumbed.
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