Frances Burnham ~ The California Girl

 Frances Burnham

Frances Burnham was a silent film actress who died tragically young

She was born Frances Anita Burham on April 19, 1985 in Los Angeles, California. When she was an infant her parents, Frank and Susanna, divorced. Her mother would marry several more times. At the age of twenty Frances made her film debut in the comedy Put Me Off At Wayville. In 1917 she beat out dozens of other actresses for the leading role in Lorelei Of The Sea. Unfortunately her performance in the drama got mixed reviews. Next she starred in Raul Walsh's comedy On The Jump. The young starlet became known for long, golden blonde hair. Her press agent told reporters "her hair is her fortune". Frances lived with her mother Susanna who was also her best friend.

Frances BurnhamFrances Burnham

When she wasn't working she enjoyed horse riding and swimming. On July 10, 1920 she married Noble Sheldon, a twenty-nine year old hardware salesman. She decided to quit acting to be a full-time housewife. Her final film role was in the 1920 romance Who's Your Servant. Frances and her husband moved into a modest house on Prospect Avenue in Los Angeles. Then in the spring of 1924 she developed a severe case of tuberculosis. Tragically on July 10, 1924, her fourth wedding anniversary, she died from the disease. She was only twenty-nine years old. Frances is buried in an unmarked grave at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Frances Burnham