Agnes Ayres: American actress (born: 1898 - died: 1940) | Biography, Filmography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Agnes Ayres
American actress

Agnes Ayres

Agnes Ayres
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress
Was Actor Film actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 4 April 1898, Carbondale, Jackson County, Illinois, USA
Death 25 December 1940, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA (aged 42 years)
Star sign Aries
star on Hollywood Walk of Fame  
Agnes Ayres
The details (from wikipedia)


Agnes Ayres (born Agnes Eyre Henkel; April 4, 1891 – December 25, 1940) was an American actress who rose to fame during the silent film era. She was known for her role as Lady Diana Mayo in The Sheik opposite Rudolph Valentino.

Early life and career

Agnes Eyre Henkel was born on April 4, 1891, in Carbondale, Illinois, the second child to Solon Augustus Henkel and Emma Slack Rendleman. She had an older brother, Solon William Henkel. After her father's death, her mother remarried to Franklin "Frank" Rendleman, a farmer, in 1895. She left school after completing the 8th grade, and the family moved to Chicago when Ayres was a teenager. She had ambitions to study law, and in 1910 she was working as a bookkeeper.

She began her career in 1914 when she was noticed by an Essanay Studios staff director and cast as an extra in a crowd scene. After moving to Manhattan, New York City with her mother to pursue a career in acting, Ayres was spotted by actress Alice Joyce. Joyce noticed the physical resemblance the two shared which eventually led to Ayres being cast in Richard the Brazen (1917), as Joyce's character's sister. Ayres' career began to gain momentum when Paramount Pictures founder Jesse Lasky began to take an interest in her. Lasky gave her a starring role in the Civil War drama Held by the Enemy (1920), and also lobbied for parts for her in several Cecil B. DeMille productions. During this period Ayres divorced Franklin "Frank" Schucker, an army officer whom she had wed during World War I. She also began a romance with Lasky.

Agnes Ayres as Helen Allen in the 1920 film Go and Get It - Munsey's Magazine, 1920

In 1921, Ayres shot to stardom when she was cast as Lady Diana Mayo, an English heiress, opposite "Latin lover" Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik. Ayres later reprised her role as Lady Diana in the 1926 sequel The Son of the Sheik. Following the release of The Sheik, she went on to have major roles in many other films including The Affairs of Anatol (1921) starring Wallace Reid, Forbidden Fruit (1921), and Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1923).

Ayres, c. 1921

By 1923, Ayres' career began to wane following the end of her relationship with Jesse Lasky. She married Mexican diplomat S. Manuel Reachi in 1924. The couple had a daughter, before divorcing in 1927.

Ayres lost her fortune and real estate holdings in the Wall Street Crash of 1929. That same year, she also appeared in her last major role in The Donovan Affair, starring Jack Holt. To earn money, she left acting and played the vaudeville circuit. She returned to acting in 1936, confident that she could make a comeback — but, unable to secure starring roles, and somewhat overweight, Ayres appeared in mostly uncredited bit parts and finally retired from acting for good in 1937.

Later years and death

After her retirement, Ayres became despondent and was eventually committed to a sanatorium. In 1939, she also lost custody of her daughter to Reachi.

She died from a cerebral hemorrhage on December 25, 1940, at her home in Hollywood, California, at the age of 42; she had been ill for several weeks. She is interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. In 1960, Ayres was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a motion pictures star at 6504 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to the film industry.

Her daughter Maria Reachi had a small part in the movie East Side, West Side (1949).

Selected filmography

Ayres on a lobby card for The Sheik
Year Title Role Notes
1914 The Masked Wrestler Uncredited
1915 His New Job Extra, Secretary Alternative title: Charlie's New Job
1917 Motherhood The Mother Credited as Agnes Eyre
Lost film
The Debt Countess Ann Credited as Agnes Eyre
Lost film
Mrs. Balfame Alys Crumley Credited as Agnes Eyre
Hedda Gabler Credited as Agnes Eyre
The Mirror undetermined Credited as Agnes Eyre
Lost film
The Dazzling Miss Davison Lillian, Miss Davison's sister Credited as Agnes Eyre
Lost film
The Defeat of the City Alicia Van Der Pool Credited as Agnes Eyre
The Bottom of the Well Alice Buckingham
1918 The Purple Dress Maida
The Enchanted Profile Ida Bates
Sisters of the Golden Circle Mrs. James Williams
One Thousand Dollars Margarett Hayden
1919 The Girl Problem Helen Reeves
A Stitch in Time Lela Trevor
In Honor's Web Carson
Sacred Silence
The Gamblers Isabel Merson
1920 A Modern Salome Helen Torrence Lost film
The Inner Voice Barbara
Go and Get It Helen Allen
Held by the Enemy Rachel Hayne Lost film
1921 The Love Special Laura Gage
Forbidden Fruit Mary Maddock
Too Much Speed Virginia MacMurran Unknown/presumably lost
Cappy Ricks Florrie Ricks Incomplete film
The Affairs of Anatol Annie Elliott
The Sheik Lady Diana Mayo
1922 The Lane That Had No Turning Madelinette Lost film
Bought and Paid For Virginia Blaine Lost film
The Ordeal Sybil Bruce Lost film
A Daughter of Luxury Mary Fenton
Clarence Violet Pinney Lost film
1923 The Heart Raider Muriel Gray (a speed girl)
Racing Hearts Virginia Kent Lost film
The Ten Commandments The Outcast
The Marriage Maker Alexandra Vancy Lost film
Don't Call It Love Alice Meldrum
Hollywood Herself (cameo) Lost film
1924 When a Girl Loves Sasha Boroff
Bluff Betty Hallowell
The Guilty One Irene Short
Detained Short film
The Story Without a Name Mary Walsworth Lost film
1925 Tomorrow's Love Judith Stanley
Her Market Value Nancy Dumont
The Awful Truth Lucy Satterlee
Morals for Men Bessie Hayes
1926 The Son of the Sheik Lady Diana
1927 Eve's Love Letters The Wife
1928 Into the Night Billie Mardon
1929 The Donovan Affair Lydia Rankin
Bye, Bye, Buddy Glad O'Brien
1936 Small Town Girl Catherine Uncredited
1937 Maid of Salem Bit Part Uncredited
Midnight Taxi Society woman Uncredited
Souls at Sea Bit Role Uncredited
Morning Judge Mrs. Kennedy
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 29 Nov 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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