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Thread: Violet Hopson

  1. #1
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    I am trying to find information on Elma Kate Victoria Karkeek (Violet Hopson) who was born in Port Augusta, South Australia, Australia on 16 December 1887 (Not America as stated on some websites). She started with Cecil Hepworth's film company and then worked for Walter West at Broadwest Film Company at his studio in Walthamstow, East London.

    I have found her four sisters in America where they give their occupation as actresses, but cannot find Violet leaving Australia or arriving in America.Although I do have her I think traveling with her sister to England. I know she married Alexander Howett Worster who I presume she met at Hepworth as he was an actor there at the same time, and had two children.

    She set up Violet Hopson Productions which started trading from 1920 (Great Britain) and made three films all with Walter West as Director and one as a joint production with Walter West Productions.

    I understand her career ended with the rise of the talkies and that she retired from the film business.

    Violet (as Elma Kate Worster) died in 1973 in Kensington, London.

    If other members have information, perhaps they could let me know.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Country: United States wearysloth's Avatar
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    Readers Write to Paul Holt

    Where Are The Film Stars Of Yesterday?

    OLD - TIME British film stars seem to have been completely forgotten. Can you give me any information about (or do you

    member such names as) Isobel Elsom, Fred Paul, Eileen Dennes, Poppy Wyndham, Guy Newall, Ivy Duke, Harry Agar Lyons, Walter

    Tennyson, Fred Groves, Violet Hopson, Cameron Carr, Mary Dibley?

    I know Gregory Scott Is poultry farming in Surrey, and I heard that Florence Turner was taken

    to Hollywood by Norma Talmadge. Lionel Howard is dead, Stewart Rome still does film work. But

    "Lt has happened to Henry Victor and Warwick Ward, who played in "Vaudeville" ? And Jameson Thomas?

    Is Eille Norwood who sets the "Daily Express" puzzles the man who once made a Sherlock Holmes film?—Freda Hartley

    Isobel Elsom, Fred Groves, Harry Agar Lyons, acting in plays mostly in the provinces.

    Walter Tennyson, directing. Guy Newall, Ivy Duke, no longer in films. Cameron Carr, Henry Victor, small part acting.

    Jameson Thomas, small-part acting in Hollyieood.

    Violet Hopson has run beauty parlour and hat shop. Does small parts and crowd work, Fred Pond, crowd work.

    Poppy Wyndham (Hon. Elsie Mackav) perished in attempt to fly Atlantic with Captain Hinchcliffe in 1928.

    Eille Norwood, Sherlock Holmes of screen and stage, compiles " Daily Express" crossword puzzles.

    *A guinea goes to the writer

    of this letter

    ~Daily Express February 1st, 1936

    In the Daily Express edition of May 25th, 1921

    Violet Hopson writes her own column on the failings of English actresses (excerpt):

    To be perfectly frank, both Mr. Walter West - the Broadwest producer—and myself have made many efforts to "discover " promising British

    talent , but although we have given every possible encouragement to quite a number of English girls, the results have

    been distinctly disappointing. We have found, for instance, that girls who have been only too anxious to " walk on " in

    the early stages have become lazy, un-punctual, and unwilling to work at hours

    that might have been inconvenient to them'

    My own impression is that these girls are gcnerally inspired by sheer vanity to

    seek " crowd " work, for they appear to be highly indignant if they are offered " c h a r a c t e r " parts where they do not

    " s c r e e n " as beauties, while few if any of them are willing to undergo the hard drudgery that is really necessary for

    them to learn their business from A to Z.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    There was a racehorse owner called Violet Hopson in the 1930s but I assume she's not the same as the hatshop-owning bitpart player?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Country: United States wearysloth's Avatar
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    Ogbourne.—Runners at Kempton: Violet

    Hopson g.. Steel Point (good), and Eagle's



    I was labouring under the assumption Violet was a horse!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wearysloth

    Ogbourne.—Runners at Kempton: Violet

    Hopson g.. Steel Point (good), and Eagle's



    I was labouring under the assumption Violet was a horse!

    I thought she was the owner but I know little of such matters I can references to 'the Violet Hopson colt' (wouldn't he have come if for a certain amount of joshing in the stables? ) and 'the Violet Hopson filly' (tipped to do well at Catterick on 16/10/1936. So two horses?

  6. #6
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    from what i can find this is a film list and they had 2 children neither of which appear to be in the film or tv industry.

    # One Precious Year (1933) .... Woman at Party

    # Self Made Lady (1932) .... Annie

    # Widecombe Fair (1928) .... The Widow

    # Beating the Book (1926) .... Joan Marlow

    # A Daughter of Love (1925) .... Mary Tannerhill

    # The Great Turf Mystery (1924) .... Sheila Donovan

    # The Stirrup Cup Sensation (1924) .... Eileen Chelverley

    # Beautiful Kitty (1923) .... Kitty

    # The Lady Owner (1923) .... Pamela Morland

    # What Price Loving Cup? (1923) .... Lady Lorimer

    # Son of Kissing Cup (1922) .... Constance Medley

    # The Scarlet Lady (1922) .... Gwendoline Gordon

    # The White Hope (1922) .... Claudia Carisbrooke

    # When Greek Meets Greek (1922) .... Christine Ward

    # A Sportsman's Wife (1921) .... Jessica Dunders

    # The Imperfect Lover (1921) .... Noreen Grene

    # Vi of Smith's Alley (1921) .... Vi Jeffries

    # Her Son (1920) .... Dorothy Fairfax

    # Kissing Cup's Race (1920) .... Constance Medley

    # The Case of Lady Camber (1920) .... Esther Yorke

    # The Romance of a Movie Star (1920) .... Vanna George

    # A Daughter of Eve (1919) .... Jessica Bond

    # In the Gloaming (1919) .... Adrienne Morland

    # Snow in the Desert (1919) .... Felice Beste

    # The Gentleman Rider (1919) .... Marjorie Denton

    ... aka "Heart and Saddles" - USA

    # The Irresistible Flapper (1919) .... Gladys Standish

    # The Soul of Guilda Lois (1919) .... Guilda Lois

    # A Fortune at Stake (1918) .... Lady Launcelot

    # A Turf Conspiracy (1918) .... Madge Iman

    # Missing the Tide (1918) .... Margaret Carson

    # My Son, My Son (1918)

    # Sisters in Arms (1918) .... WRAF Girl

    # The Snare (1918) .... Diane

    # The Woman Wins (1918) .... Brenda Marsh

    # The Eternal Triangle (1917) .... Audrey

    # A Gamble for Love (1917) .... Fay de Launay

    # A Munition Girl's Romance (1917) .... Jenny Jones

    # Her Marriage Lines (1917) .... Sybil Ransley

    # The Adventures of Dick Dolan (1917) .... Mrs. Cambray

    # The American Heiress (1917) .... Cynthia Hunks

    # The Blindness of Fortune (1917) .... Grace Hardfeldt

    # The Cobweb (1917) .... Dolorosa

    # The House Opposite (1917) .... Mrs. Anstruther

    # The Ragged Messenger (1917) .... Mary Ainslee

    # The Ware Case (1917) .... Lady Magdalene Ware

    # Comin' Thro the Rye (1916)

    # A Bunch of Violets (1916) .... Mrs. Murgatroyd

    # Exploits of Tubby (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # Molly Bawn (1916) .... Marcia Amherst

    # Sowing the Wind (1916/II) .... Helen Gray

    # The House of Fortescue (1916) .... Ceclie Harding

    # The Marriage of William Ashe (1916) .... Mary Lyster

    # Trelawny of the Wells (1916) .... Imogen Parrott

    # Tubby's and the Clutching Hand (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # Tubby's Bungle-Oh! (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # Tubby's Dugout (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # Tubby's Good Work (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # Tubby's Rest Cure (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # Tubby's River Trip (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # Tubby's Spanish Girls (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # Tubby's Tip (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # Tubby's Typewriter (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # Tubby's Uncle (1916) .... Mrs. Tubby

    # A Moment of Darkness (1915) .... The Woman

    # Barnaby Rudge (1915) .... Emma Haresdale

    # A Losing Game (1915) .... The girl

    # Behind the Curtain (1915)

    # Be Sure Your Sins (1915) .... Mrs. Wynne

    # Her Boy (1915) .... Nance

    # Marmaduke and His Angel (1915) .... Fleurette de Lys

    # Schoolgirl Rebels (1915) .... Teacher

    # The Man Who Stayed at Home (1915) .... Miriam Leigh

    # The Nightbirds of London (1915)

    # The Outrage (1915) .... The Wife

    # The Recalling of John Grey (1915) .... Mary Loder

    # The Second String (1915) .... Diana Nugent

    # The Shepherd of Souls (1915) .... Girl

    # The White Hope (1915) .... Claudia Carisbrooke

    # The Chimes (1914/I) .... Meg Veck

    # The Terror of the Air (1914) .... Gabrielle Townsend

    # The Great Poison Mystery (1914) .... Vera Duncan

    # The Cry of the Captive (1914) .... Zorah Vibart

    # The Heart of Midlothian (1914)

    # A Noble Deception (1914)

    # Judged by Appearances (1914) .... Countess Vezin

    # Life's Dark Road (1914) .... Helen Winston

    # Memory (1914)

    # The Bridge Destroyer (1914) .... The Girl

    # The Girl Who Played the Game (1914) .... Julia Stevens

    # The Hunchback (1914/II) .... Girl

    # The Kleptomaniac (1914)

    # The Man from India (1914)

    # The Schemers: or, The Jewels of Hate (1914) .... Vera Mortimer

    # The Stress of Circumstance (1914)

    # The Unseen Witness (1914) .... Ethel

    # They Say - Let Them Say (1914)

    # Time the Great Healer (1914) .... Kate

    # Two of a Kind (1914/I) .... Delia Highspite

    # A Little Widow Is a Dangerous Thing (1913)

    # Drake's Love Story (1913) .... Queen Elizabeth

    ... aka "The Love Romance of Sir Francis Drake" - USA

    # The Jewel Thieves Outwitted (1913) .... Maid

    # The Vicar of Wakefield (1913/II) .... Olivia Primrose

    # Two Little Pals (1913) .... Mrs. Pete

    # Love in a Laundry (1912)

    # The Umbrella They Could Not Lose (1912) .... Mildred

    # Mr. Tubby's Triumph (1910) .... Mrs. Tubby

  7. #7
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    Hahahahaha.....oh my. Wearysloth is right, that Violet Hopson was indeed a horse; the Violet Hopson Filly and the Violet Hopson Colt were her offspring, yet to be named in their own right.

    Bobfilm; I know someone who has been working on Violet Hopson the actress; I will pass this thread on to him so he may contact you with more info.


    The point being that quite a chunk of her self-produced - or produced under her brand - films of the early 20's were on a horseracing theme; Violet played either the owner, or even the trainer. Not unusual unless you realise that The Jockey Club didn't recognise and license women trainers until the 1960's; one of the first was the redoubtable Florence Nagle, who had actually been training since the twenties, but using either her husband or her head lad as the license holder. I'd love to know if she and Hopson knew each other, and how much one inspired the other; there weren't too many women film producers in the UK in the 20's either.....if anyone finds that out, let me know.....

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Well, you learn something every day!

    The Guardian Oct 13th 1923

  9. #9
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    Hi. I've been doing a bit of research on Violet Hopson. I've mainly been looking at the reception of her film work, but here's what I can piece together about her personal life...

    Her place of birth remains a bit of a mystery to me, although the information on the Women and Silent British Cinema website seems entirely plausible. Wales is another possibility - this comes from an entry in the 1901 UK census which names a 14-year-old Violet Hopson (and her mother, Lunette) staying with the Eyton family in Douglas on the Isle of Man. The assertion that she was born in the US seems to have come from contemporary film company publicity, which often mentioned a Californian birthplace, most likely to add to her star credentials.

    The official studio biogs also claimed that she worked in musical comedy before she went into film, which may well be true. When she married Alexander Howett Worster (screen name: Alec Worcester) on 7 June 1909, she gave her occupation as "actress". This is a few years, incidentally, before she and Worster joined the Hepworth company around 1912. She had two children with Worster - Nicholas, born 13 March 1910, and Jessica, born 24 May 1913. Hopson (or rather Elma Kate Worster) filed for divorce in November 1918 on grounds of adultery and desertion. This was granted in February 1919, just after Hopson told the press that she would be producing her own films for the Broadwest Film Company.

    The films released as "Violet Hopson" productions were "A Gentleman Rider" (1919), "Kissing Cup's Race" (1920), "The Scarlet Lady" (1922) and "When Greek Meets Greek" (1922). As far as I know, none of these have survived. After Broadwest went bust in 1921, there were plans to make a further twelve Violet Hopson films, although, for whatever reason, these didn't materialise. The beauty parlour and hat shop business is news to me...

    If you're looking for relatives, her son, Nicholas, seems to have emigrated to Canada in 1928, and it looks like her daughter, Jessica, married a Mr Peter W. Fowler in 1938. Before Hopson died in 1973, a "whatever happened to" news story from the 1940s found her living with her daughter and son-in-law in Bayswater. Hope some of that helps.

  10. #10
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    Thank you cpo25 for your information.

    I have her mother as Lauretta Josephine Reynolds in South Australia.

    Lunette Noe Hopson, aged 39 (who is shown as being born in France, British subject) I think was her tutor?

    She is credited in 1910 in the film Mr. Tubby's Triumph . Directed by David Aylott for Cricks & Martin Films.

    A comedy with Johnny Butt as Tubby and Violet Hopson as Mrs. Tubby.

    I have no reference to her working in musical comedy before she went into film,and would be grateful for any sources.

    BFI shows Violet Hopson Productions starting trading from 1920 (Great Britain) and has details of three films all with Walter West as Director

    and one of these as a joint production with Walter West Productions.

    By September 1921 the Broadwest company is in the hands of the receivers.

    Any other information on Violet Hopson welcome.

  11. #11
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    Elma Kate Victoria Karkeek was indeed born in South Augusta, Australia 16 December 1887 her parents being William Charles Karkeek who died 18 October 1891 aged 37 and was a carpenter in the copper mines in that area, and Lauretta Josephine Reynolds.
    She was the youngest of four childeren the others being Zoe Ora Harris 28 January 1879, Lauretta 11 November 1880, and Eugene Charles Byron 11 February 1886.
    Zoe married Stacey William Beaufort Grimaldi in Durban, South Africa 19 December 1903. Stacey was a Natal policeman at least until 1917. In July 1930 Zoe and Stacey arrived in England from Canada. At present I am unaware of Zoe's death although Stacy died in 1952 in London with Elma's daughter Jessica in attendance. Jessica incidently died in 1990 of "old age".
    Regarding the 1901 census showing Elma on the Isle of Man myself and a fellow researcher both felt that Lauretta Zoe Hopson aged 39 was in fact Elma's mother rather than a tutor. This entry has her status as Widow which does fit with what is known about the family. Interestingly the head of the household George Eyton describes himself as a Professor of Music given the refernces to musical comedy in these posts.
    The Times of Saturday 12 May 1928 shows the results from Kempton Park from the day before with Violet Hopson gelding wining the 2:30 The Sunbury selling plate at 10/1. The jockey was Gordon Richards. Hourse is owned by Mrs Hartigan and trained by M. Hartigam at Ogbourne, Wiltshire.
    In August 1900 Zoe Karkeek arrived in England from USA on the Manitou with Kitty Karkeek aged 10. As there are apparently no other children it is possible to assume that Kitty is in fact Elma and that Kitty is a family name for her.

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