|The trio of Lillian Langston, Myrtle Reeves, and Edith Roberts. Or so it is said...|
|The real Edith Roberts|
Not exactly definitive proof, but I think it's safe to say that Clara is a better candidate than Edith.
So that leaves us with Lillian Langston. Who was she? Searching the usual places brings up nothing. There doesn't seem to have been a actress by that name. There was a Lillian Langdon, a playwright and an actress who appeared in such films as Intolerance and Daddy Long-legs. However, that Lillian was about 40 years too old. Fortunately, the clue to this mystery was found in the newspaper clipping above.
In 1915, the Triangle Film Company became the distributor of the films of D. W. Griffith, Thomas Ince, and Mack Sennett (the 3 points of the Triangle). Griffith and Ince soon became unhappy with the arrangement and left the company. In mid-1917, Sennett followed suit, agreeing to leave the Keystone brand with Triangle. Several Sennett Keystone actors, including several bathing beauties, joined Triangle-Keystone (or stayed behind, depending on how you look at it). The new Keystone continued making comedies, but none were successful and the company eventually folded. Their films seem to have been all but forgotten. Also forgotten is their troupe of bathing beauties, the Triangle-Keystone Bathing Brigade. But they have lived on in photographs, usually mistaken as Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties. Besides the ones with Langdon, Reeves, and Roberts, other photos include those with Claire Anderson and Rose Carter as well as Maude Wayne and Peggy Pearce.
|Some of the Beauty Brigade, including Myrtle Reeves|
|The Beauty Brigade doing their part for the war effort.|
And it's at Triangle-Keystone that we find Miss Langston. Not Lillian, but Ruth.
|Ruth Langston second from left, Rose Carter center|
|A publicity photo of Ruth for Daredevil Jack|
For someone who I thought obscure, there turned out to be several newspaper photos of Ruth.
It's difficult to say how Ruth became Lillian, but we do know it happened while she was still active. This arcade card probably dates from around 1920. Perhaps someone got Ruth mixed up with the aforementioned Lillian Landgon. To make it more confusing, Ruth's IMDB listing has her last name as Langdon, but I've been unable to substantiate that claim (there was a stage actress named Ruth Langdon, but she was a different person) as well as the claim that she lived to the age of 101.
|This is an epic fail of identification|