QUESTION: Milton Sills starred opposite yesterday's blog topic Alla Nazimova in what 1925 film?
A) As Man Desires
B) Madonna of the Streets
C) The Knockout
Alla Nazimova was a controversial woman in her own time thanks to her multiple (simultaneous?) marriages and outrageous parties. In contrast, today we would like to talk about another silent film era actor, Milton Sills. His rise to fame was hardly as dramatic as Nazimova's, although it was a little unusual. Sills was born in 1882 to a successful mineral dealer and the heiress to a successful banking family. His life was set out for him from day one. He was a prominent student at the University of Chicago, and was lecturing on philosophy and psychology when he hosted a lecture by a popular stage actor named Donald Robertson. Robertson liked Sills, and suggested that he abandon teaching to become an actor. Sills did.
It may come as a surprise that Sills succeeded. He starred in around a dozen plays between 1908 and 1914. That was the year he signed on with a studio to become a film actor, and he not only starred in numerous films over the next sixteen years, including the highly popular Flaming Youth and 1924's top-grossing movie The Sea Hawk, but wrote a number of them as well. His star kept rising when, in 1930, he suffered a fatal heart attack while playing tennis with his wife, the actress Doris Kenyon. He was 48 years old.
ANSWER: B) Madonna of the Streets. And, as everyone knows, Paradise was released in 1926, not 1925. So that is just a ridiculous answer!