Spring 2014 News Letter

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Lew Cody, Silent Movie Actor

Feb. 22, 1884 – May 31, 1934

        Lew Cody is the stage name for Louis J. Cote, who was born in Waterville, Maine, and brought up in Berlin. He was a famous silent movie actor during the 1920,’s but also adapted well to acting in “talkies” in the early 1930’s.  Lew Cody was the son of Louis Cote, Sr., who was a prominent  pharmacist and business man in Berlin for 35 years. Louis Cote, Sr. built the Cote Block on Main Street in 1904 and was Berlin’s largest individual tax payer when he died in 1919.

    The following story of Lew Cody was written by his sister, Cecile Cote, for the 1935 edition of the Berlin High School yearbook.                                          

Lew Cody was born Louis J. Cote in Waterville, ME. His early ambition was to become a physician, and he studied at McGill University in Montreal. Finding that amateur theatricals interested him deeply, he put medicine aside and attended the Stanhope Wheatcroft School of Dramatic Art. There, he worked hard and served a novitiate of one-night stands, experiencing all the heartbreaks of a small-time actor.Gaining experience and a certain amount of approbation, he entered vaudeville, and then toured in stock companies, later entering the silent motion pictures. In his roles, he portrayed the suave villain of society and adventure, attaining considerable popularity. Being a skilled actor, wise in the tricks of the silent screen, he quickly adapted himself to the technique of talking pictures.

      The pictures for which he is particularly remembered are: Klondike; Madison Square Garden; Wine, Women, and Song; the Sign on the Door; His Secretary, The Valley of Silent Men; The Gay Deceiver; Monte Carlo; 70,000 Witnesses; What a Widow; X Marks the Spot;, and Shoot the Works.   

     Lew was famous, in Hollywood, for his corned beef and cabbage dinners at which he entertained many movie celebrities. The “piece de resistance” of the dinner, conceived by the host who loved a “gag”, was the final course. James Glenn, who had been Lew’s butler so long that he called himself James Cody, always passed the bicarbonate of soda.  

      In the death of Lew Cody, Hollywood lost one of its veteran actors of the legitimate stage, the silver screen, and the “talkies”new col

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One Response to Spring 2014 News Letter

  1. Hollywood Remembers Lew…

    On July 1st. 2014, The Hollywood Hollywood Heritage and The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce celebrated “A Centennial Party for’The Squaw Man'” at The Historic Laski-DeMille Barn, where the first full length motion picture in Hollywood was made.
    To set the theme… a numbers of actors and performers dressed as known and forgotton Silent Film Stars of the time frame and re-created an actually film on the property of The Lasky-DeMille Barn.
    Of the many performers that appeared on the set, was Actor-Performer/Writer-Director, Edward Moch (aka: Alfred Cota), portrayed, Silent Film Actor and Leading Man, Lew Cody(aka: Lewis Joseph Cote). The likeness of Lew Cody was stunning and took some by surprise, when Moch said that he was a Direct Cousin to Lew Cody, from another Cote Family Line. Not only that, but Moch also is A Distant Cousin to, Famous Actress-Director, Mabel Normand (Aka: Mabel Normand-Cody)… Lew Cody’s Friend and Wife.
    While there… Edward Moch, other Hollywood Cousins were about and he was introduced to Distant Cousin, Betty Lasky, Daughter of Jesse L. Lasky, of The Lasky-DeMille Film Company and later Paramont Pictures.
    Betty Lasky asked Moch, “So what side of my family are you related?” Moch answered her. She responded back, “I would like to know more about you and your families background… I am writting a biography on My Father (Jesse), lets keeo in touch.” With Moch’s family background in Show Business, it helps provide just how much Lew Cody and Mable Normand-Cody influenced The Hollywood and Film Industry. Event and Photo Information can be found at The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce http://www.hollywoodchamber.net/events. The Hollywood Heritage Museum, and at A. Edward Moch or Alfred Cota at http://www.Facebook.com

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