Yvonne Stevens (Daughter of Alice Howell) Dies

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Paul E. Gierucki
Godfather
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Yvonne Stevens (Daughter of Alice Howell) Dies

Postby Paul E. Gierucki » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:18 pm

The following is from Variety. The age reported here may be incorrect, reports conflict.

-- PG

George Stevens Jr.'s mother dies
She was a Mack Bennett Bathing Beauty
By VARIETY:

Yvonne Stevens, mother of George Stevens Jr., died May 27 in Hollywood of heart failure. She was 107.

Stevens, the daughter of silent screen actress and producer Alice Howell, was a Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty, a bevy of girls who were featured in his slapstick comedies, and played small parts in films. In 1928 she met George Stevens, who was a cinematographer, and they were married two years later. The couple later divorced and Stevens died in in 1975.

Among the survivors are three sons, including multihyphenate Stevens Jr., founder of the American Film Institute; one daughter; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Steve Massa
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Re: Yvonne Stevens (Daughter of Alice Howell) Dies

Postby Steve Massa » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:27 am

I had the opportunity to meet George Stevens Jr. a couple of years ago and talk about his grandmother. He referenced his mother a lot, and at the time said that she was 105.

She definitely was one of the last of the silent comedy ingenues. Here's a puff item from the 9/27/1924 Universal Weekly (pg. 22) about her debut for Century Comedies:

"CENTURY COMEDIES GIRLS GROUP ENLISTS YVONNE HOWELL
The newest addition to the famous group of youthful beauties known as the Century Follies Girls, is already claiming distinction. She is Yvonne Howell, daughter of the famous comedienne Alice Howell and claims to be the youngest and most beautiful member of the famous Century Comedies group of beauties. Modesty prevents the young lady from admitting it, but she is also very clever. She can sing and dance and really knows how to "emote."

Her mother has been famous as a laugh-maker for many years, being featured years ago under the L-Ko Brand and now working with Neeley Edwards in one-reel comedies at Universal. Yvonne's first appearance with the Century Girls will be in "Be Yourself," in which Bert Roach, Al Alt and Bessie Welsh, as head of the Follies Girls, will be featured under Edward I. Luddy's direction."

BE YOURSELF was eventually released as HAREM FOLLIES (12/10/1924)and Yvonne appeared in all kinds of comedy shorts, including a number of the Joe Rock produced Blue Ribbon Comedies that starred Alice Ardell, such as A FRATERNITY MIX-UP (3/7/1926). She even played Charley Bower's leading lady in his lost Educational Comedy HOP OFF (7/1/1928).

Richard Finegan
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Re: Yvonne Stevens (Daughter of Alice Howell) Dies

Postby Richard Finegan » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:15 am

Steve Massa wrote:BE YOURSELF was eventually released as HAREM FOLLIES (12/10/1924) and Yvonne appeared in all kinds of comedy shorts, including a number of the Joe Rock produced Blue Ribbon Comedies that starred Alice Ardell, such as A FRATERNITY MIX-UP (3/7/1926). She even played Charley Bower's leading lady in his lost Educational Comedy HOP OFF (7/1/1928).


Hoping it might contain some info on Yvonne Howell, I thought I'd take a look in the Educational Press Sheet for that Charley Bowers short HOP OFF.
Looking into it (a REAL one by the way, not a microfilm copy!) I see that there's very little on Yvonne. Rightfully so, most of the articles are about Charley and his amazing trick photography secret process. Lots of references too, to Charley's trained fleas, who, we are told, perform such tricks as juggling, balancing and tumbling, and even roller skating on a bald man's head.

One picture is included of Charley with Yvonne, and in one article she is called "a pretty and talented young comedienne" (and they certainly got that right!) and twice they seem to want to make it clear to us that she is one of the human characters supporting Bowers.

No wonder she retired soon after. When the animated trick fleas get more press than you do...


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