Actress. She will be best remembered for her role as 'The Girl' in the film, "The Lion And The Girl" (1916), in which she actually got in a cage with a real lion. The film was a short comedy which was directed by Glen Cavender and also starred Joe Jackson, Clarence Lyndon, Louis Morrison, and Phyllis Allen. She was born one of two children as Clara Frieda Mathes in Detroit, Michigan, to German immigrants Richard F. Mathes and his wife Frieda Mueller Mathes on May 8, 1895. Her date of birth has also been listed as May 8, 1891, and her name has also been spelled as Matthes, or Mathis. She was educated locally and later worked as a telephone operator in the famous Hudson's Department Store in Detroit, Michigan. She then moved to Hollywood, California, to seek an acting career. She found work in the silent film, "The Escape" (1914), as the first documented double replacing actress Blanche Sweet in some of the scenes while the actress recovered from scarlet fever. She then appeared in a Mack Sennett comedy, "The Lion And The Girl" (1916), where she replaced an actress who would not get in a cage with a real lion. Mack Sennett liked what he saw in the then twenty-year-old actress and signed her to a long-term contract worth $675.00 a week. Together with the likes of actresses Evelyn Lynn, Cecile Evans, Marie Prevost, Juanita Hansen, Phyllis Haver, Myrtle Lind, Carole Lombard, Marion Aye, Alice Day, Polly Moran, Madeline Hurlock, Vera Reynolds, Mary Thurman, Thelma Hill, Thelma Parr, Marvel Rea, Harriet Hammond, Evelyn Francisco, Vera Steadman, Josephine Cogdell, Elinor Field, and Ora Carew, among several others, she became one of Mack Sennett's Bathing Beauties. A beauty standing five feet, five inches tall, and weighing 132 pounds she had also worked under the stage name of Betty Anderson and Cora Anderson for Keystone Studios in 1914. She made her actual film debut in the role of 'The American Heiress' in the short dramatic film, "At Dawn" (1914), but the role was uncredited. The film which was directed by Donald Crisp and written by Hal Reid, and also starred Billie West, Wallace Reid, and George Siegmann, told the story of Sykes, an American engaged to a poor girl, who goes to the Philippines to work as a teacher, and the girl stays behind to await their marriage. Sykes, after some time has passed, has succumbed to the tropic influences, and is living with a native girl, when one day he hears from the girl back home that she is coming to join him and that she will arrive at dawn the next day. An aunt has died and left her a lot of money. Caring more for this coin than the girl, Sykes tries to get rid of the native girl, but she makes a row, and he in fear of losing his girl and her cash, poisons the native girl, who dies. He is about to get rid of the body when a young lieutenant of the U.S. Army shows up with his sergeant, inquiring the way to the trail of Indians, and becomes suspicious of Sykes' uneasiness and finds the dead girl. Sykes explains the circumstances and says: "What's another Filipino more or less?" He implies to the lieutenant that when he has been so long there as he has he'll understand better, and says that his United States girl was coming at dawn to marry him, so he had to get rid of his native girl. The officer indicates that he is up to some scheme and tells Sykes to take his sergeant and point out the trail for him, which he indicates starts at a certain large tree. Sykes goes, and, unseen by him the sergeant, at a nod from the lieutenant, takes a lariat from a nail and follows. The girl arrives and the sergeant returns, alone. The girl asks for Sykes and the lieutenant tells her he is dead. At Keystone Studios she appeared in such films as, "His Baby Doll" (1917), and "A Clever Dummy" (1917), and leading roles in, "Mlle. Paulette" (1918), and "The Mask" (1918). After leaving Keystone Studios she worked for Fox Studios and appeared in, "The Road Demon" (1921), and "The Yellow Stain" (1922). Her career saw her appear on film with such personalities as Tom Mix, John Gilbert, Gloria Swanson, Constance Talmadge, Harry Carry, Ben Turpin, and Thurston Hall. Besides, "The Escape" (1914), "At Dawn" (1914), and "The Lion And The Girl" (1916), "His Baby Doll" (1917), "A Clever Dummy" (1917), "Mlle. Paulette" (1918), "The Mask" (1918), "The Road Demon" (1921), and "The Yellow Stain" (1922), her many other film credits include, "The Three Brothers" (1915), "The Craven" (1915), "A Temperance Lesson" (1915), "The Primitive Spirit" (1915), "The Indian Changeling" (1915), "Gussle's Wayward Path" (1915), "The Story Of A Story" (1915), "God Is Love" (1915), "Gridley's Wife" (1915), "The Deadly Focus" (1915), "Payment In Full" (1915), "The Old Clothes Shop" (1915), "The Silent Witness" (1915), "The Way Of A Mother" (1915), "Rhoda's Burglar" (1915), "Dizzy Heights And Daring Hearts" (1915), "Cinders Of Love" (1916), "His Bread And Butter" (1916), "Bath Tub Perils" (1916), "The Love Comet" (1916), "Preparedness" (1916), "A Merry Mix-Up" (1916), "The Masque Ball" (1916), "She Loved A Sailor" (1916), "Movie Struck" (1917), "Heart Strategy" (1917), "A Male Governess" (1917), "Done In Oil" (1917), "Her Candy Kid" (1917), "The Bookworm Turns" (1917), "Her Finishing Touch" (1917), "The Girl And The Ring" (1917), "A Janitor's Vengeance" (1917), "The House Of Scandal" (1917), "The Hidden Spring" (1917), "A Matrimonial Accident" (1917), "His Baby Doll" (1917), "The Late Lamented" (1917), "His Disguised Passion" (1917), "Won By A Fowl" (1917), "A Sanitarium Scandal" (1917), "Dimples And Dangers" (1918), "His Double Life" (1918), "Did She Do Wrong?" (1918), "The Answer" (1918), "Newspaper Clippings" (1918), "Are Wives Unreasonable?" (1918), "The Poor Fish" (1918), "The Fly God" (1918), "The Price Of Applause" (1918), "The Grey Parasol" (1918), "Crown Jewels" (1918), "Who Cares?" (1919), "You Never Saw Such A Girl" (1919), "The Blinding Trail" (1919), "The Spitfire Of Seville" (1919), "Rider Of The Law" (1920), "The Fatal Sign" (1920), "The Girl In Number 29" (1920), "The Path She Chose" (1920), "The Palace Of Darkened Windows" (1920), "When We Were 21" (1921), "The Servant In The House" (1921), "Who Am I" (1921), "The Clean-Up" (1923), and her last role as 'Doris Davenport' in "Unseen Enemies" (1925). She was married to the wealthy Hollywood, California, automobile agent Harry H. Anderson in 1914. He later had an affair with bathing beauty Florence Omley. The actress then sued Florence Omley citing "alienation of affection." The bathing beauty Florence Omley responded to the lawsuit by challenging the actress to a fistfight. The couple who had no children were divorced in 1926. She retired from making films shortly thereafter and moved to Venice, California. She returned to acting briefly and appeared on stage in the production of the play, "Mexican Hayride" (1944), at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City. She again retired shortly thereafter. She passed away in Venice, California, on March 23, 1964, at the age of 68. Her funeral was held at Wilshire Funeral Home in Santa Monica, California, and after her body was cremated her ashes were privately buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica, California. Her brother Clarence Richard Mathes who was living in Van Nuys, California, at the time of her death, survived his sister. He passed away in Los Angeles, California, on February 28, 1973, at the age of 64.
Bio by: Kris 'Peterborough K' Peterson