#DePelicula Spotlight: Myrtle Gonzalez

Born in 1891, Myrtle Gonzalez (September 28, 1891 – October 22, 1918) is considered one of Hollywood’s first Hispanic female movie stars.  The daughter of a Spanish father, Manuel George Gonzalez and Irish mother, Lillian L. Cook, Myrtle appeared in over 80 silent movies between 1913 and 1917.


Myrtle began her professional career as a singer and did local concerts, benefits and church choir appearance in Los Angeles, where she grew up.  According to a Photoplay entry published c. 1913, Myrtle graduated in music and languages from a convent located in Los Angeles and acted in stock companies before joining the Vitagraph Corporation and later Universal.  Myrtle retired having spent only a few years in the movies after she married actor/director for Universal, Allen Watt in December of 1917. Sadly, Allen and Myrtle weren’t married for long before she died on October 22, 1918, a victim of the flu pandemic of 1918-1919, which killed somewhere between 20 and 40 million people, more than WWI. (Stanford)

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