Celebrating the Tarzan Film Centennial #76
With the disenfranchised Gene Pollar returned to New York
City and his firefighting career, the Great Western Producing Company had
to look no further for an “Adventures of Tarzan” lead than their own contractee,
Elmo Lincoln, the original screen Tarzan, who had just finished shooting
three serials and a feature for the company.
Elmo suited up in the loincloth for a third time, accompanied
by Louise Lorraine, his romantic lead from the 1920 serials “Elmo the Fearless”
and “The Flaming Disk.” A Century contractee, the tiny (5’1”, 107-pound)
Lorraine began work on two-reel comedies for the Stern brothers billed
as Louise Fortune, at a salary of $50 per week. Following her three serials
with Lincoln, Lorraine went on to star in eight more serials for a total
of 154 chapters, and several dozen features, with her salary rising to
$500 per week.
In 1922, she was selected as a charter member of the
Baby Wampas Stars, an honorary group of up-and-coming starlets chosen by
the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers; silent stars Colleen
Moore and Bessie Love were also in her class. Future Tarzan leads who were
selected as Baby Wampas Stars included Natalie Kingston (1927), Eleanor
Holm (1932), and Jacqueline Wells (1934). Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs
wrote a humorous poem titled “The Wampas” for the Wampas group attending
a November 20, 1925 meeting of the Breakfast Club, of which he was a member.
Lorraine was born Mary Louise Escovar in San Francisco,
but moved to Encino with her family as a child. As with many actresses
of the era, she shaved several years off her age, in order to bolster her
claim that she celebrated her 16th birthday on the set of “The Adventures
She was married three times, to salesman Joseph C.
Bray, cowboy star Art Acord (a co-star in several films), and Los Angeles
businessman Chester Jones Hubbard. She retired from her film career during
her second pregnancy with Hubbard to focus on her family, a decision she
never regretted. Lorraine died in Sacramento, California on February 2,
1981, after a lengthy illness and is buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills
with Chester, who preceded her in death in 1962.