Eugénie Besserer - Rotten Tomatoes

Eugénie Besserer



Aged character actress Eugenie Besserer portrayed Al Jolson's mother with such quiet self-assurance in The Jazz Singer (1927) that many viewers have assumed she really was of Russian-Jewish descent. In truth, Ms. Besserer was born in France and educated in Canada. She began her stage career in the late 1880s, making her film debut in 1911's The Profligate. Most of her movie appearances were in roles requiring matriarchal self-sacrifice; she worked extensively with D. W. Griffith, whose fidelity to the concept of Mother Love was one of his trademarks. When cast in the pioneering part-talkie The Jazz Singer, Besserer assumed her role would be silent, but in the celebrated Vitaphone "Blue Skies" sequence, Jolson's incessant adlibbing all but forced the actress to speak up -- and in so doing, she became the second actor ever to be heard in a major-studio talking picture. Eugenie Besserer remained in films until a few months before her death; her last appearance was in the outdoor western To the Last Man (1933).

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Speedway
  • Mrs. MacDonald
2001
No Score Yet To the Last Man
  • Granny Spelvin
1933
No Score Yet Little Orphan Annie
  • Actor
1932
No Score Yet Seven Faces
  • Mme. Vallon
1929
No Score Yet Absinthe
  • Rose
1929
No Score Yet The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • Nun
1929
57% Thunderbolt
  • Mrs. Morgan
1929
No Score Yet Mister Antonio
  • Mrs. Jorny
1929
No Score Yet Lilac Time (Love Never Dies)
  • Madame Berthelot
1928
74% The Jazz Singer
  • Sara Rabinowitz
1927
No Score Yet When A Man Loves
  • Actor
1927
92% Flesh and the Devil
  • Leo's mother
1926
No Score Yet Fire Brigade
  • Mrs.O'Neil
1926
No Score Yet Anna Christie
  • Marthy
1923
No Score Yet Penrod
  • Actor
1922
No Score Yet What Happened to Rosa?
  • Mme O'Donnelly
1921
No Score Yet For the Soul of Rafael
  • Actor
1920
No Score Yet The Greatest Question
  • Mrs. Hilton
1919
No Score Yet The Eyes of Julia Deep
  • Mrs. Lowe
1918
No Score Yet The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Actor
1912
No Score Yet The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Aunt Em
1910

Quotes from Eugénie Besserer's Characters

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