Who’s Myrtle Gonzalez, Family, Early Life, Education, Career and Net Worth 

Silent movie star Myrtle Gonzalez made eighty films in just five years from 1913 to 1917, but her arduous work faded into oblivion. 

On September 28, 1891, Gonzalez came into the world into a family of Mexican descendants of Californios (the settlers in California before the U.S. became a state, particularly Mexican and Spanish settlers) and immigrants from Ireland. The birthplace of the classic actress is Los Angeles, CA, USA. 

From an early age, she became a child Soprano who sang in local church choirs and theaters. According to author and scholar Rosa Linda Fregoso, she performed throughout the city. Rosa Linda has remarked on this in her book The Making of Social Identities on the Borderlands. 

Who’s Myrtle Gonzalez on Google Doodle?

The famous Spanish actress is known for her role as Enid Maitland in 1915. Vitagraph feature film “The Chalice of Courage” was quite popular and has the character of Enid, which attracted the attention of the audience. Her other popular films include:

  • The Yellow Streak (1913)
  • The Little Sheriff (1914)
  • The Secret of the Swamp (1916)
  • The Girl of Lost Lake (1917)

Gonzalez was a versatile actress as she played a variety of roles including innocent heroines and scheming villains, however, her remarkable acting never let the audience feel as if they were watching a film. Most of the time, she showed athleticism and performed her stunts during the action scenes. In 1918, the world lost another big star and astonishing actress due to the Spanish flu. 

Despite her short career, Google Doodle celebrates her birthday as the most popular silent film actress of her era.

Myrtle Gonzalez Family and Early Life

Myrtle Gonzalez Family and Early Life

Myrtle Gonzalez was born into the family of Manuel George Gonzalez and Lillian L. Cook. The family background of the child soprano was well established as her father was a retail grocer, and her mother was a former opera and a popular singer of her time. 

Additionally, Myrtle had two siblings, Stella M. Gonzalez, and Manuel G. Gonzalez Jr and they lived together in their childhood. Myrtle married James Parks Jones circa 1910 and had one son together, James Parks Jones Jr., before they separated. In 1917, Myrtle married her love of life, Allen Watt, who was an actor and director. 

As Watt was an officer in the US Army, therefore, Myrtle departed from acting to follow him to Camp Lewis in Washington State. However, her health (heart ailment) made her too frail and she easily caught up in the harsh climate. Soon, Caption Watt retired as well and both moved to Southern California. Watt went back to his work at Universal and started directing movies or films.

The couple remained together until 1918 when Myrtle Gonzalez died. 

Here is a detailed summary of Myrtle Gonzalez’s family:

  • Father: Manuel George Gonzalez (1868–1919)
  • Mother: Lillian L. Cook (1874–1932)
  • Siblings:
    • Stella M. Gonzalez (1892–1965) 
    • Manuel G. Gonzalez Jr. (1898–?)
  • Husbands:
    • James Parks Jones (circa 1910–circa 1915)
    • Allen Watt (1917–1918)
  • Children: James Parks Jones Jr. (c. 1911–1970)

Myrtle Gonzalez Education

There’s not much information regarding the singer’s educational activities, henceforth, it’s not a well-known factor about her (which is perfectly hidden until now). However, she began her career as a soprano, singing in concerts, performances, and church choirs in her city. 

These aspects suggest that she may have had some vocal training or performing arts skills classes privately or in public schools. Myrtle Gonzalez also appeared on stage with Fanny Davenport and Florence Stone, two well-distinguished actresses of the time. This implies that she may have also had some acting training to perform astonishingly and to produce 80 films.

Henceforth, she may have received education which became the stepping stone for her academic and national awards. In turn, it prepared her for her career as an actress and singer, which she exemplified magnificently through her films. 

Myrtle Gonzalez Career

Myrtle Gonzalez Career

American silent film actress began her acting career in her teens, after following her mother’s footsteps and her innate talent. Her appearance in local vaudeville shows and musical productions and her film debut in 1913 “The Yellow Streak” indicates her understanding of the entertainment industry

After some successful silent films, her acting quickly gained popularity which helped her become a regular performer at Vitagrapseveralg. In 1915, the Vitagraph feature film “The Chalice of Courage,” cast Myrtle Gonzalez as a character and the film turned out to be a major box office achievement. 

The film stabilized her status as a leading lady in the industry and earned her critical acclaim, however, she couldn’t continue her golden career era for long as she died after 2 years. At the time of her death, she was just a young actress and prodigy who had accomplished a lot at the age of 27. 

Therefore, she is well known in the industry and is regarded as the glory of the early 1910s: her beauty, talent, and versatility, and her film work continue to enthrall silent film fans even today.

Myrtle Gonzalez Net Worth

Due to the insufficient financial information available from the silent film era, it’s quite difficult to analyze Myrtle Gonzalez net worth. However, it’s possible to calculate her net worth according to the information about her salary, popularity, and lifestyle.

At the peak of her career, she might have been earning around $500 per week, which was a significant amount in the early 1910s. Moreover, the young actress also received bonuses and royalties from her films, with endorsement deals and other income sources.

Gonzalez lived a lavish lifestyle, fur to her hefty earnings and rich heritage while owning multiple homes, cars, jewelry, clothing, and travel.

Considering her income and expenses, it’s likely that Myrtle Gonzalez might have a net worth in the range of $100,000 to $250,000 at the time of her death in 1918. Presently, it’ll be about $1.5 million to $3.75 million, adjusted for inflation. The proportion is only an estimation, her actual net worth can vary from this specific amount. 

In a nutshell, Myrtle Gonzalez’s contributions to the film industry paved the path for forthcoming generations of Latina actresses, and the industry cherishes her as a groundbreaking singer and actress which was lost quite early.

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Linta Rizwan

Linta Rizwan loves reading books, articles, research papers, and news journals. The person who reads a lot also manifests their ideas in writing. Hence, that's how my passion for writing started, and I started working as a Freelance Content Writer in 2021. My field of English Literature and passion for sharing information also helped me in rendering my devotion to my profession. Besides that, I like to engage in sketching and taking part in various discussion forums and curricular clubs.

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