Max Linder Ill in Arizona; - No More Comedies
Essanay Comedian Forced by Ill Health to Seek Higher Alti-
tude – Production of Linder Comedies Postponed Indefinitely
THE sudden serious breakdown in health of Max Linder, the much heralded and counted on French comedian of the Essanay Company, has put an indefinite end to the production of the Linder comedies for the present and probably forever. Monsieur Linder, racked by weakened lungs and a serious stomach affection, gave up reluctantly and it is reported from California, where he made his last two comedies, that he, his faithful pet dog and others of his retinue have gone to the high altitudes of Arizona to make a fight against the illness that has beset him. His present illness has been super-induced by wounds received two years ago when he was a member of the French army.
It was after he returned from the front in France and seemed to have recovered almost fully from his wounds that he began negotiations with George K. Spoor, of Essanay, to make a series of twelve comedies for that company. Much publicity was given the coming of the famous French comedian to America and his first comedy, “Max Comes Across,” made in Chicago, was well received. The strenuous work of the studio and the climate didn't seem to agree with him however and he suffered several slight relapses of trouble with his old wounds.
Then it was decided to go to Californit to make the rest of the series and give Monsieur Linder the advantage of the climate. That his work was regretfully impaired by his breakdown in health became apparent in the recent Linder releases. By mere grit and courage he managed to finish his third comedy, “Max in a Taxi.” Then it was decided by the Essanay officials to discontinue all work indefinitely for the present.
The announcement of this has just gone forth this week. At the Essanay headquarters, in Chicago, the decline to forecast whether the remaining nine of the series of twelve comedies will ever be finished. While there is a hope that the climate of Arizona will bring Linder back to health again and fit him to fulfill the contract, it is doubted in many quarters that he will ever be able to stand the strain of studio work again.
This possibility has received much conjecture in Chicago and other places where the word has gone forth. To the Essanay Company it will be unfortunate. It is pointed out that besides the disappointment it will mean to exhibitors, it will also necessitate the refunding of thousands of dollars in deposits made for the Linder series. (Motion Picture News, May 12, 1917)