Remembering "Fearless Flo"
The Florence La Badie Memorial Fund
Florence La Badie (April 27, 1888 to October 13, 1917) was one of the most important and popular actresses of the early motion picture era. She appeared in over 180 silent films from 1911 through 1917 for the Thanhouser studio based in New Rochelle, NY.
A daredevil at heart, she was known as “Fearless Flo” for taking risks and performed many of her own stunts. She was a frequent subject for articles and letters in fan and trade magazines, and over a period of years she was the most publicized of all Thanhouser players. Florence showed great compassion, care, concern, and sympathy for the men fighting in WWI, and was one of the most prominent fundraisers for the World’s Statue of Liberty Illumination Fund.
Tragically, in October 1917, she succumbed to injuries suffered in an automobile accident, making her the first major movie star to die at the zenith of her popularity. Her biography and links to 12 of her surviving films may be viewed online at no charge here.
Florence was buried in an unmarked grave at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday October 17, 1917. Almost 100 years have passed since her untimely death, but her popularity remains high. Through the cooperation of Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc. and the Green-Wood Historic Fund, a campaign has been launched with the goal to raise funds to install a suitable monument to commemorate her brief but historic career. Film fans, historians, and the public at large are encouraged to contribute to the effort.
Together with the Thanhouser Company, our shared goal is to raise $2,000 by October 13, 2013, the 96th anniversary of Florence's death to fund a suitable headstone. Donors will receive a keepsake in recognition of your support to the memorial campaign plus receive e-mail updates about the installation of Florence’s memorial, currently targeted for the spring of 2014.
The Fearless Flo campaign will accept donations through October 13, 2013. 100% of all contributions will be used to fund the memorial. Contributions are to a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and are tax-deductible to the full extent permitted by law.
Images, from top to bottom: Florence La Badie (April 27, 1888 – Oct. 23 1917); Florence La Badie’s Family Plot at the Green-Wood; Thanhouser Company Studio in New Rochelle, NY