Who is Myrtle Gonzalez? A Complete Guide to Her Biography

Myrtle Gonzalez American actress

Unveil the captivating enigma of Myrtle Gonzalez life in this comprehensive guide. A pioneer in silent films, she blazed a trail for Latina representation in early Hollywood.

Myrtle Gonzalez is a name that evokes intrigue, whispers of untold stories, and a life shrouded in a captivating enigma. For years, she has captivated imaginations, leaving a trail of accomplishments and controversies in equal measure. Yet, her essence, the woman beneath the headlines and speculations, remains elusive. Today, we embark on a journey to unveil the enigma, to paint a vibrant portrait of the woman who is Myrtle Gonzalez.

Who is Myrtle Gonzalez?

Myrtle Gonzalez was an American actress., blazing a trail for Latinas in Hollywood during the early 20th century. Born in Los Angeles in 1891, she starred in over 80 silent films, often portraying spirited outdoors heroines. Myrtle Gonzalez daughter of Manuel George Gonzalez (1868–1919) and Lillian L. Cook (1874–1932). Her Professional charm and undeniable talent captivated audiences, making her one of the first Mexican American movie stars. Though her career tragically ended early in 1918 due to Influenza and heart ailment, her legacy lives on as a symbol of resilience and a testament to the enduring power of Latina representation in cinema.

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Myrtle Gonzalez

Early Life and Background Myrtle Gonzalez

Myrtle Gonzalez was born on September 26, 1891, in Los Angeles, California. She was the daughter of Adolfo Gonzalez, an employee of the Pacific Electric Railroad Company, and Celestina Lopez Gonzalez. Her father was of Mexican descent while her mother’s family originated from Spain.

Gonzalez was one of seven children in her family and from an early age showed an interest in performing. As a teenager, she sang soprano in her church choir and studied music and dance. She was known for her soprano singing voice and her love of dancing.


SiblingBirth YearDeath Year
Stella M. Gonzalez18921965
Manuel G. Gonzalez Jr.1898?

Movies and TV shows Myrtle Gonzalez

In 1913 Gonzalez signed with Universal Pictures which propelled her fame and exposure. She starred in many of Universal’s most popular serial films, including the immensely successful The Lucia Series which ran for over 130 episodes.

Other major Universal serial hits included The Adventures of Peg o’ the Ring (1916), The Secret of the Submarine (1915), and The Great Radium Mystery (1919). She became one of Universal’s biggest box office draws.

Some of Gonzalez’s stand-out dramatic feature films during her peak years included:

  • Three Women of France (1915)
  • The Brown Derby (1916)
  • The Ghost Flower (1918)
  • The Love Auction (1919)
  • The Sleeping Lion (1919)

She worked with many top directors like Allan Dwan and Robert Z. Leonard and leading men such as J. Warren Kerrigan. By the late 1910s, Gonzalez had achieved fame as one of the most prominent leading ladies of American silent cinema.

Myrtle Gonzalez Death Cause and Personal Life

On December 1, 1917, she wed actor/director Allen Watt (1885–1944) in Los Angeles.[4] Retiring from screen work, they met at Universal, where Watt served as an assistant director. Marrying during World War I, Capt. Watt, a US Army officer, was stationed at Camp Lewis near Tacoma, Washington.

Due to Gonzalez’s delicate health and the war’s impact, Capt. Watt retired, returning to Southern California. Resuming work at Universal, he transitioned into directing.

Tragically, Gonzalez, aged 27, succumbed to the Spanish flu pandemic and Influenza and heart ailment in 1918. At the time, she was at her parents’ home in Los Angeles, situated at 908 West Thirtieth Street.

Google highlighted her with a Google Doodle in the United States on November 23, 2022. This date marks the anniversary of the release of the short film “The Level” (1914), in which she played a starring role.

Final Words

Myrtle Gonzalez, a trailblazing silent film actress of the 1910s, showcased poise and talent in numerous Hollywood films for studios like Universal. Overcoming ethnic barriers, she became one of the first major Hispanic stars in cinema. While her prominence waned with the advent of sound films, Gonzalez’s impact endured, opening doors for future Hispanic actresses. An unsung pioneer, her story is an inspiring testament to the innovation and determination of women who shaped early Hollywood.

People Also Ask

How old was Myrtle Gonzalez when she died?

Myrtle Gonzalez was tragically taken at the young age of 27 when the Spanish flu swept through in 1918. Her vibrant life and promising career were cut short, leaving behind a lasting legacy in early silent cinema.

How long did Myrtle Gonzalez live?

Myrtle Gonzalez’s life, though brief, was packed with accomplishments. Born in 1891, she graced the silver screen for five years, starring in over 80 films before succumbing to the pandemic at 27. Her talent and fiery spirit left an indelible mark on Hollywood’s history.

When was Myrtle Gonzalez born?

Born on September 28, 1891, in Los Angeles, California, Myrtle Gonzalez embarked on a meteoric rise in the silent film era. While her life ended too soon at 27, her contributions to the early years of cinema continue to inspire and resonate with audiences today.