French postcard, no. 7872. Photo Willinger.
Suzanne Grandais (1893-1920) was nicknamed the French Mary Pickford because of her angel face. She was one of the most beautiful and sophisticated actresses of the French silent cinema. At the age of 15, she already started to play on the stage. After roles at the Lux and Eclair film companies, she was discovered by Louis Feuillade who hired her for Gaumont. In 1911-1913, she made some 45 films for Gaumont, mostly short comedies and drama's for Gaumont, firstly playing in Feuillade's series Scènes de la vie telle qu'elle est and afterwards in the Léonce series, with Léonce Perret as partner and director. Some were features such as Perret's Le Mystère des roches de Kador (1912). Grandais switched to the German Dekage company in 1913-14 for which she did another 18 films, directed by Marcel Robert. After that she founded her own film company with Raoul d'Archy, Les Films Suzanne Grandais. During the war, Grandais also worked at Eclipse. The Eclipse drama Suzanne (1916) was a major international success and turned Grandais into a star. Suzanne Grandais, however, died suddenly in a car crash while making the film L'Essor (Charles Burguet 1920) in the Alsace.