Movies Way Back When: A Hometown Movie Star

By Betsy J. Green

Some Santa Barbara folks appeared in silent movies produced by the “Flying A” film studio, but here’s a hometown actress who appeared in some 200 films, although not with our local company. Bessie Eyton was born Bessie Harrison in Santa Barbara in 1890. By 1900, she and her family were living in Los Angeles. Her career spanned the 19-teens and 1920s.

Betsy’s Way Back When book — 1919 — is now available in local bookstores and at This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at​.

Written by bjgreen

Betsy J. Green is a Santa Barbara historian and author. Her books are available in local bookstores, and at (Shop local if you can.) Learn more at

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