John Gilbert

1899 - 1936

They wrote a lot about John Gilbert after his early dead, much of it was fiction, some of it corresponded with the truth. He was, after Rudolph Valentino, THE great romantic hero and his career was so connected with Greta Garbo, that it is difficult today to think to this interesting actor without mentioning the name Greta Garbo.

The great heartthrob of the 20's began his film career as an extra in movies like "Matrimony" (15), "The Phantom" (16) and "Shell 43" (16).

In the course of years he worked his way up from a support actor to a leading actor. From 1917 he appeared in a huge amount of movies, among them "Princess of the Dark" (17), "Golden Rule Kate" (17), "Wedlock" (18) and "The Mask" (18).
He achieved first success with the movie "Heart o' the Hills" (19) at Mary Pickford's side.

The audience became more and more aware of this charismatic actor who fascinated the viewer with the movies "Shame" (21), "Arabian Love" (22), "Monte Cristo" (22), "The Love Gambler" (22), "The Wolf Man" (24), "The Snob" (24) and "He Who Gets Slapped" (24).

When he appeared together with Mae Murray in the movie "The Merry Widow" (25) this meant the big breakthrough as a star. He became an example for men and women admired him worldwide. Movies like "The Big Parade" (25) and "La Bohème" (26) cemented this reputation.

The year 1926 was the beginning of the height in John Gilbert's career. He played for the first time with the then unknown Greta Garbo in "Flesh and the Devil" (26). The duo became superstars of the 20's and they also appeared in the movies "Love" (27) and "A Woman of Affairs" (28). They became also a pair in real life, but where John Gilbert was addicted to passionate, Greta Garbo turned out to be hesitating. 

When they finally arranged a wedding to which Greta Garbo didn't appear, John Gilbert fell out with producer Louis B. Mayer because of a filthy comment of Mayer against Garbo. This was the end of John Gilbert's career. Mayer took all action against Gilbert's career - with success. John Gilbert only acted in the movies "Redemption" (30), "Way for a Sailor" (30), "Gentleman's Fate" (31) and "The Phantom of Paris" (31), but the parts didn't justice to his state.

John Gilbert devoted more and more to the alcohol. When Greta Garbo made her movie "Queen Christina" in 1933 she insisted on John Gilbert as her partner. He was convincing in the role of Antonio and he was able to prove to the world that he still was a great actor and that the rumours, that his voice wasn't suitable for the sound movie, weren't correct. But the comeback came too late. He was already marked from his depressions and from the alcohol when he played in "The Captain Hates the Sea" (34). After that his career was finished. An intended comeback with the movie "Desire" (36) with Marlene Dietrich didn't come off. The heart of the formerly celebrated star stopped to beat on the 9th January 1936. 

There are celebrities who never got any help overcoming alcoholism and eventually succumbed to it.

Other movies with John Gilbert (Actor, Writer): 
Bullets and Brown Eyes (16) The Apostle of Vengeance (16) The Sin Ye Do (16) The Weaker Sex (17) The Bride of Hate (17) The Dark Road (17) Happiness (17) The Millionaire Vagrant (17) The Hater of Men (17) The Mother Instinct (17) The Devil Dodger (17) Up or Down? (17) Nancy Comes Home (18) Shackled (18) More Trouble (18) Three X Gordon (18) The Dawn of Understanding (18) The White Heater (19) The Busher (19) The Man Beneath (19) A Little Brother of the Rich (19) The Red Viper (19) For a Woman's Honor (19) Widow by Proxy (19) Should a Woman Tell? (19) The Great Redeemer (20) The White Circle (20) Deep Waters (20) The Servant in the House (20) Ladies Must Live (21) The Bait (21) Love's Penalty (21) Gleam O'Dawn (22) The Yellow Stain (22) Honor First (22) Calvert's Valley (22) A California Romance (22) While Paris Sleeps (23) Truxton King (23) Madness of Youth (23) St. Elmo (23) The Exiles (23) Cameo Kirby (23) Just Off Broadway (24) A Man's Mate (24) The Lone Chance (24) Romance Ranch (24) His Hour (24) Married Flirts (24) The Wife of the Centaur (24) The Merry Widow (25) Bardelys the Magnificent (26) The Show (27) Twelve Miles Out (27) Man, Woman and Sin (27) The Cossacks (28) Four Walls (28) Show People (28) The Masks of the Devil (28) Desert Nights (29) A Man's Man (29) His Glorious Night (29) The Masks of Satan (30) West of Broadway (31) Downstairs (32) Fast Workers (33)