one of the sorrows of cinema studies is the absence of early work. more silent films are lost than survive. which makes it impossible to evaluate many careers.
my friend Lois Wilson is rememberd today as a competent actress. her strength was underplaying in an era of over-the-top acting. her reputation rests with a single remarkable performance -- in the title role of "Miss Lulu Bett."
accounts of the time however pointd to another important accomplishment in her film career. she was the screen's 1st Daisy Buchanan in the 1926 version of "The Great Gatsby." that it is one of Hollywood's many missing classics made Lois sad. she told me she'd heard a fragment of the film was in an archive in Moscow but she hadn't seen it.
so you can imagine my shock when I learnd that Turner Classic Movies was screening a trailer of "The Great Gatsby" tonite. unfortunately it's only a minute long & Lois has but seconds in it. so it turnd out to be a frustrating tease.
however the evening did provide a sweet association. the trailer came after a screening of "Lady Windermere's Fan." that Lubitsch silent film featurd May McAvoy in the female lead. she & Lois were co-stars & lifelong friends. I was lucky to have known them both late in their lives. this picture of the 3 of us was taken in the summer of 1975: