Gladys Hulette (July 21, 1896 – August 8, 1991) was a silent
film actress from Arcade, New York. Her career began in the early years of
silent movies and continued until the mid-1930s. She first performed on stage
at the age of three and on screen when she was seven years old. Hulette was
also a talented artist. Her mother was an opera star.
In her earliest motion picture features she was under
contract to Vitagraph Studios. There was a stigma for Broadway theater actors
to be seen in motion pictures when silent films first began to be made. Hulette
later discussed this, saying the picture heroes were mostly Coney Island life
savers. One company prevailed upon a leading stage actor to play the role of
Hamlet on screen. This began the influx of more Broadway actors into the new
By 1917 Hulette's films were being produced by leading
director William Parke. In that year she made her most popular film to date,
Streets of Illusion. Playing the part of Beam, Hulette's co-stars included
Richard Barthelmess and J.H. Gilmour. Parke owned theatrical companies and
assisted Hulette in making one hit after another.
By 1921 she was a veteran of the motion picture industry.
She again played opposite Barthelmess, this time in Tol'able David. She played
the ingenue part of Esther Hatburn. In an interview she said she wished for no
different type of roles than the one she played in this film. Later she sought
comedy-drama parts which she portrayed in Jack O' Hearts (1926) and A Bowery
Hulette made her debut in sound films in Torch Singer
(1933). Her final film appearances came in Her Resale Value (1933) and with
uncredited roles in The Girl From Missouri and One Hour Late, both from 1934.