One of Great Britain's few homegrown movie stars of the silent era, Mabel Poulton was working as a secretary at London's Alhambra Theatre when picked to impersonate Lillian Gish in a stage tableaux accompanying the London premiere of D.W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms. Her performance was recommended to producer/director George Pearson, who cast her along with Betty Balfour in Nothing Else Matters (1920), a film the two girls reportedly stole outright from its star, Moyna MacGill (mother of Angela Lansbury). Poulton became a star in her own right as Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop (1921) and then more or less disappeared from British films at what should have been the height of her career. Like Balfour, Poulton became a victim of Britain's mercurial and slightly amateurish film industry and her best films were made abroad, including The Constant Nymph (1928), produced in France by Marcel L'Herbier and co-starring the era's great male sex symbol, Ivor Novello. The film was a major success for Poulton but sound ruined any chance of a comeback on home soil. Reportedly, her Cockney accent was at odds with her image and she was reduced to small supporting roles for the remainder of her screen career.