WHITTON and RITCH -Surname Studies and people from the Island of GRAEMSAY, Orkney

Chrissie White

Chrissie White

Female 1895 - 1989  (94 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All

  • Name Chrissie White 
    Born 23 May 1895  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 18 Aug 1989  Hollywood, California, buried Westwood Memorial park Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I25344  Whitton
    Last Modified 22 Jan 2019 

    Family 1 Claude Alfred Vernon Whitten,   b. 1881,   d. 1958, Ilford, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Married 20 Jul 1912 
    Last Modified 22 Jan 2019 
    Family ID F9773  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Henry Edwards,   b. 18 Sep 1885, Weston-Super-Mare Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Nov 1952, Chobam, Surrey Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Married 1922 
    Children 
     1. Henrietta Edwards  [natural]
    Last Modified 22 Jan 2019 
    Family ID F9776  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • One of Britain's first film stars. Chrissie was a principal actress in the Hepworth Picture Players at the Walton Studios. Chrissie White (1895–1989) was a British film actress of the silent era. She appeared in over 180 films between 1908 and 1933. White was married to actor and film director Henry Edwards, and in the 1920s the two were regarded as one of Britain's most famous and newsworthy celebrity couples. She starred in the 1920 film "The Amazing Quest of Mr. Ernest Bliss", which as of August 2010 is missing from the BFI National Archive, and is listed as one of the British Film Institute's "75 Most Wanted" lost films.

      See her IMDB entry.

      Born 23 May 1895 London, England, UK Chrissie White was born Ada Constance White in Chiswick, London, in 1895 – the year film was introduced by the Lumière brothers.
      Died 18 August 1989 At the age of 94, Chrissie White died of a heart attack in Hollywood, California, in 1989. She was buried at the Westwood Memorial Park.

      British actress Chrissie White was a popular child star in early British silent films. Born Ada Constance White in Chiswick, London, on 23rd May 1895, she got her start when she joined the Hepworth company in 1907 as a 12-year-old girl, when she substituted for her sister, Gwen. Chrissie's sister Rosina White also worked for Hepworth.

      She was given her stage name "Chrissie" and was one of the first stars in British films. She frequently staffed shorts directed by Lewin Fitzhamon.

      The blue eyed beauty of early British cinema made nearly 100 films during her career. (show more from IMDB)

      Chrissie White made her first stage appearance as a child in "Bluebell in Fairyland", and at the age of 14 was engaged by Cecil M. Hepworth for Lewin Fitzhamon’s "For The Little Lady’s Sake".

      The following year she was teamed with Alma Taylor, as "The Tilly Girls", a team who featured in a series of sentimental comedies in 1910 and 1911.

      Watch "Tilly the Tomboy Visits the Poor" to get an idea. They can still raise a laugh today!

      ‘One can watch her with pleasure, irrespective of the part she is playing, because she makes herself felt as an individual and is not merely a puppet: in short, she is quite a little feast in herself.’ A contemporary critic’s opinion of Chrissie White as Tilly the Tomboy.

      By 1912 Chrissie White was firmly established as Hepworth’s leading lady and the most popular British star of the time.

      Chrissie was married on 20th July 1912 to Claude Whitten, a local 29 year old man whose profession was given as "Manager of a cinematograph producing company", who worked for Hepworth. Chrissie gave her age as 21, but she was actually 17. Both gave addresses in Walton on Thames. The marriage was witnessed by Frederick Hamilton McCormick-Goodheart, and Gladys McCormick-Goodheart (see the Gladys Sylvani page for a connection). The duration of Chrissie White's first marriage is not known, nor whether they had children.

      The Hepworth Studios certainly seemed to be an organisation that supported families: Claude Whitten worked for Hepworth, as did his brother Norman, who married actress May Clark in 1907 and whose son was Vernon Whitten.

      Chrissie White was very frequently partnered by Stewart Rome or Henry Edwards, both of the Hepworth Stock Company. Edwards also directed most of their films together. All in all they did some 22 films together.

      Later on in the 1920s, White married her long-time Hepworth co-star and frequent director Henry Edwards and had a daughter Henrietta, who also became an actress.

      Chrissie White was absent from the screen from 1924 until 1930, when she returned to make two talking pictures ("The Call of the Sea", 1930, and "General John Regan" (1933), filmed in Northern Ireland, both directed by Edwards, after which she definitively retired from the screen.

      But the public did not forget Chrissie - watch archival footage of a rare Pathé documentary feature about their family life at their home "Gracious Pond" in Chobham, Surrey (now a listed building) during 1945/1946, together with their actress daughter Henrietta. This shows Henry Edwards as a talented photographer in his own right.

      And even later on a BBC documentary was made with film of her in old age reminiscing about her silent film days. She had worked in over 180 films, shorts and features.