Sidney Olcott, le premier oeil

 !  Le Blog


February 22, 2015





Happy Birthday Miss Valentine Grant

Last year, I bought on eBay, the Internet auction site, a relic linked to Sidney Olcott . A card for Saint-Valentine's day printed with a poem a little outdated, decorated with love and designed a crumpled red ribbon. And back marked : " To Val dear, from loving by Sid " and a date Feb. 14, 1918.

The card signed by Sid Olcott is for Valentine Grant.

To believe the articles devoted to the career of Olcott, things are simple. After his artistic divorce from Gene Gauntier, producer-director is looking for a new actress to play the leading roles. It sets its sights on a young opera singer, met by chance. And persuades her to try the movie adventure. Olcott is so persuasive that he makes her actress-star and his wife. This is what film historians tell. And yet, when seeking to obtain details of their life together, we fall many gray areas.

First, when and where they get married? Mystery. I have not found newspaper's clipping, a picture announcing that Val and Sid got married. The press, however, is never short on detail about it.

Genealogy of Olcott is not simple. Grant that Valentine is not over. These are the items that I get about it :

  1. The register of deaths in California from 1940 to 1997, relates the death of Valentina Allcott Grant, born February 14, 1881, in Indiana, died March 12, 1949 in Orange, Ca. Her father's name: Good; her mother: Krieg.
  2. A certificate from the American Consulate in Florence, April 12, 1923, signed by the Vice-Consul Carl Brennan to (Miss) Valentina Goode Grant, born in Clinton County, Indiana, February 14, 1898, her father Samuel Grant born in Tennessee, deceased. Bearer a passport #40124 issued in New York May 24, 1921 where she lives and she left that date to Bologna it reached in June to study there for a period of two years. She asks to go during that time in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, the British Isles, Egypt and Austria to visit and study.
  3. A passport issued January 10, 1919, to (Miss) Valentine Grant, born in Frankfort, Indiana, February 14, 1881. Samuel Grant her father was born in Memphis, Tennessee, deceased. It is said she stayed between June and August 1914 in the British Isles; she resides in New York as an actress; she thinks to leave the USA for the period of one year to honor an actress contract in the British Isles and France; she will leave New York aboard the Caronia , January 29; she never had before passport.

We learn these parts ?

  1. Valentine Grant is probably born on February 14 in Indiana, in 1881 rather than seventeen years later in 1898. That his father is probably Samuel Grant. Where does the name of Good (s) ? 
  2. She still bears her maiden name in 1919 and 1923 while it is Valentine Grant- Allcott to his death.
  3. She went to England early 1919, said to his passport, will honor an actress contract. Olcott is in England since the end of December 1918 in order to present " The Belgian"?
  4. She is in Italy in the spring of 1923, in Florence for two years to study there. Without Olcott ! The director has an eclipse between " Timothy's Quest " and " The Green Goddess" where he seems to have fallen in alcohol.

Other elements :

  1. At the federal census of 1930, Sidney Olcott is said to live in Los Angeles, at 6521 Sunset Boulevard. It is said tenant and single...
  2. The 1940 census reported he lives 8493 Fountain Avenue in West Hollywood along with Valentine Grant.
  3. December 1949. Robert Vignola, sends to Olcott's friends a letter about the circumstances of his death. He tells how he hosted him after the death of Valentine Grant in March 1949; how his friend of infancy died in December of the same year and especially how he is surprised to learn that in his will Olcott wished to rest close to his mother in Toronto, Canada, not with his wife Val Grant buried in San Diego, Ca.
Well, I hope one day to find the marriage certificate Valentine Grant and Sidney Olcott.

Meanwhile, there are 132 years to the day, Valentine came to the world! There are 97 years, Sid showed his love. Happy Birthday Val!
Sorry for my English

Complementary articles


On RTE Radio, Tony Tracy tells the story of The O'Kalems

In the Archives of RTE, the epic of the O'Kalems

Robert Vignola tells the circumstances of Olcott's death

On the trail of Olcott in Egypt and Palestine

Henderson-Bland, Olcott's Christ is not who one thinks

One day, Sidney Olcott wanted to become an American

Philly, le domestique d'Olcott disparaît en Egypte. Assassiné ?

Finally, Sidney Olcott's grave is in Toronto ! I saw its still

Gene Gauntier is the stepsister of one of the richest men

Happy Birthday, Miss Valentine Grant

Un meurtre dans l'immeuble d'Olcott


©2009 Michel Derrien