William Desmond

QUESTION:  Who was William Desmond's famous movie star sister?
A)  Joan Crawford
B)  Lucille Desmond
C)  Lillian Gish
D)  Norma Desmond

There are celebrity head shots covering the walls of the Music Room here at the American Treasure Tour.  Some of the actors presented are all but forgotten, people with names including James Dean, Paul Newman, and Katherine Hepburn.  But there are also men and women whose fame has survived the test of time, including such mega-stars as Billie Dove, Florence Lawrence, and today's leading man:  William Desmond.

Born William Mannion in upstate New York, 1878, William made his performing debut on the stage and in vaudeville, entering the burgeoning silent movie business during his twenties. He changed his name to Desmond and became known for playing characters in installments of films that played week after week in theaters, earning for himself the nickname "The King of the Silent Serials."  Specializing in action and western serials, some of his popular films included Around the World in 18 Days (1923) and The Riddle Rider, first appearing in 1924 and returning in '27.  Desmond appeared in 205 films (many now considered to be lost) between 1915 and 1948, the year before he died.  Desmond was almost fifty years old when the first talkies appeared, too late to rise with the new technology.  But his legions of fans will never forget all he brought to the silver screen.

ANSWER:  B)  Lucille Desmond.  Norma Desmond was the name of Gloria Swanson's character in the classic 1950 film noir Sunset Blvd.