Classic Movie Travels: Beverly Bayne

Classic Movie Travels: Beverly Bayne

beverly bayne
Beverly Gayne

Pearl Beverly Bain was born on November 11, 1893, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Augustus and Jessie Bain. When she was six years old, her family moved briefly to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before settling in Chicago, Illinois. There, she attended Hyde Park High School.

At the age of 16, she visited Chicago’s Essanay Studios where she was discovered by a director and encouraged to work at the studio because she had a “camera face” and brown eyes, preferable for photography of the period. She ultimately adopted the stage name Beverly Bayne. Her salary at the studio gradually increased, as did her popularity among audiences.

Bayne made initial film appearances in The Rivals (1912) and The Loan Shark (1912). While Bayne was under Essanay’s employ, so were actors Gloria Swanson and Francis X. Bushman. Bushman often demanded that Bayne play alongside him as his leading lady. Soon enough, they were a recognized romantic duo. The two stars appeared in Romeo and Juliet (1916) and married in 1918, three days after Bushman divorced his wife, Josephine Duval.

Bayne and Bushman’s marriage was largely kept secret to prevent their popularity from diminishing. Nonetheless, they are often credited as the first romantic team in films. The duo left Essanay Chicago for Metro Pictures in Jacksonville, Florida. They appeared in Man and His Soul (1916), now considered a lost film. Additionally, they starred in a play called The Master Thief from 1919-20. The couple had a son named Richard before divorcing in 1925.

Francis X Bushman and Beverly Bayne film Modern Marriage
Francis X Bushman and Beverly Bayne, Modern Marriage

Bayne appeared in a silent adaptation of The Age of Innocence (1924) in a starring role, but the film is also considered lost. Bayne’s final silent film was Passionate Youth (1925).

After Bayne and Bushman divorced, Bayne’s popularity declined sharply. Before long, both of them were no longer appearing in films.

In 1937, Bayne married Charles Hvass and the couple lived on a farm in Piscataway, New Jersey. They divorced in 1944.

At this point, Bayne turned to appearing in stage productions throughout the 1930s and 1940s, in addition to performing on radio. She also became involved in raising funds for British War Relief during World War II.

Bayne’s sole sound feature film, The Naked City (1948), would also be her last. She is uncredited for this performance.

Bayne retired from performing altogether in 1950, and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. She lived there with her son, Richard, until his suicide in 1967. Bayne passed away from a heart attack on August 18, 1982, at age 87. She was buried in Paradise Memorial Gardens, 9300 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, Arizona.

Today, there are some remaining points of relevance in relation to Bayne’s life and career.

The former Chicago Essanay Studio is located at 1345 W. Argyle St., Chicago, Illinois.

In 1920, Bayne resided at 435 Riverside Dr., New York, New York with Francis X. Bushman. The building stands today.

435 Riverside Dr., New York
435 Riverside Dr., New York

In 1922, she resided at the Majestic Hotel, New York, New York. In 1930, she resided at 400 149th Pl., Queens, New York. Both locations no longer remain.

In 1940, she resided with Charles Hvass at 414 E. 52nd St., New York, New York. This location remains today.

414 E. 52nd St., New York
414 E. 52nd St., New York

In 1946, she lived at 127 E. 55th St., New York, New York. In 1960, she resided at 2025 Watsonia Ter., Los Angeles, California. Both of these locations no longer stand.

In 1967, Bayne and her son resided at 4917 N. 73rd St., Scottsdale, Arizona. The apartment building remains.

4917 N. 73rd St., Scottsdale, Arizona
4917 N. 73rd St., Scottsdale, Arizona

Bayne has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring her work in motion pictures. It is located at 1752 Vine St., Los Angeles, California.

Beverly Bayne Hollywood Walk of Fame star

The documentary The Beautiful Lady (1977) celebrates her career and features Bayne herself as a narrator.

Bayne’s papers are housed at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

–Annette Bochenek for Classic Movie Hub

Annette Bochenek pens our monthly Classic Movie Travels column. You can read all of Annette’s Classic Movie Travel articles here.

Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is a PhD student at Dominican University and an independent scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for Classic Movie Hub, she also writes for Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco SocietyMagazine.

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