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Purviance in 1923
Olga Edna Purviance
October 21, 1895
Paradise Valley, Nevada, United States
|Died||January 13, 1958 (aged 62)|
|Cause of death||Throat cancer|
|Resting place||Grand View Memorial Park Cemetery|
John P. Squire
(m. 1938; died 1945)
Olga Edna Purviance (/
Purviance was born in Paradise Valley, Nevada, to English immigrant Louisa Wright Davey and American vintner to the western mining camps Madison (Matt) Gates Purviance. When she was three, the family moved to Lovelock, Nevada, where they assumed ownership of a hotel. Her parents divorced in 1902, and her mother later married Robert Nurnberger, a German plumber. Growing up, Purviance was a talented pianist.
In 1915, Purviance was working as a secretary in San Francisco when actor and director Charlie Chaplin was working on his second film with Essanay Studios, working out of Niles, California, 28 miles southeast of San Francisco, in Southern Alameda County. He was looking for a leading lady for A Night Out. One of his associates noticed Purviance at a Tate's Café in San Francisco and thought she should be cast in the role. Chaplin arranged a meeting with her and, although he was concerned that she might be too serious for comedic roles, she won the job.
Chaplin and Purviance were romantically involved during the making of his Essanay, Mutual, and First National films of 1915 to 1917. Purviance appeared in 33 of Chaplin's productions, including the 1921 classic The Kid. Her last film with him, A Woman of Paris, was also her first lead role. The film was not a success and effectively ended Purviance's career. She went on to appear in two more films: The Sea Gull, also known as A Woman of the Sea (which Chaplin never released) and Éducation de Prince, a French film released in 1927, just before she retired from acting.
Although she was romantically involved with Charlie Chaplin for several years, Purviance eventually married John Squire, a Pan-American Airlines pilot, in 1938. They remained married until his death in 1945.
On January 13, 1958, Purviance died from throat cancer at the Motion Picture Country Hospital in Hollywood. Her remains are interred at Grand View Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
|1915||A Night Out||The Headwaiter's Wife|
|1915||The Champion||Trainer's Daughter|
|1915||In the Park||Nursemaid|
|1915||A Jitney Elopement||Edna|
|1915||The Tramp||Farmer's Daughter|
|1915||By the Sea||Man in Top Hat's Sweetheart|
|1915||A Woman||Daughter of the House|
|1915||The Bank||Edna, a Secretary|
|1915||Shanghaied||Daughter of the Shipowner|
|1915||A Night in the Show||Lady in the Stalls with Beads|
|1915||Burlesque on Carmen||Carmen|
|1916||The Floorwalker||Manager's secretary|
|1916||Police!||Daughter of the House|
|1916||The Fireman||The Chief's Sweetheart|
|1916||The Vagabond||Girl Stolen by Gypsies|
|1916||The Count||Miss Moneybags|
|1916||Behind the Screen||The Girl|
|1916||The Rink||The Girl|
|1917||Easy Street||The Mission Worker|
|1917||The Cure||The Girl|
|1917||The Adventurer||The Girl|
|1918||A Dog's Life||Bar Singer|
|1918||Shoulder Arms||French Girl|
|1918||The Bond||Charlie's Wife|
|1919||A Day's Pleasure||Mother|
|1921||The Idle Class||Neglected Wife|
|1922||Pay Day||Foreman's Daughter|
|1923||The Pilgrim||Miss Brown|
|1923||A Woman of Paris||Marie St. Clair|
|1926||A Woman of the Sea||Joan||Unreleased film|
|1927||Education de Prince|
|1947||Monsieur Verdoux||Garden Party Guest||Uncredited|
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