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Claire Windsor in San Francisco

Charles R. Felweiler

San Francisco Bulletin/March 3, 1922

 

Indignant because of the wide-spread publicity given her name in connection with the mysterious murder of William D. Taylor in Los Angeles, Claire Windsor, statuesque blonde motion picture actress, today denied anything more than a passing acquaintanceship with the slain director.

Miss Windsor arrived in San Francisco today from Hollywood, and in an interview immediately after her arrival threw some interesting sidelights on her own connection with the Taylor case and the situation in the Hollywood film colony.

“Mr. Taylor was really nothing more than an acquaintance,” she said, “and it was only through a misunderstanding on my mother’s part that my name was mentioned in the case at all.

“It was said after the murder that I had been out driving with Mr. Taylor on the day he was murdered, and didn’t get home that night. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t seen Mr. Taylor for a week, and both the night before the murder and the night the crime was committed I worked practically all night at the studio and slept there because it was too late to go home.

“My mother, however, was confused when she was bombarded with questions, and did not give out facts that would have cleared things up immediately.”

In the belief of Miss Windsor, which, she says, echoes the opinions of many of the motion picture element, the Taylor case will go down as another Elwell mystery. The general impression is, she says, that the director was slain by his former valet, Sands.

“That is the only solution I can offer,” said Miss Windsor.

“The belief seems to exist that some members of the motion picture colony know more than they will tell and are trying to shield someone. Personally, I cannot imagine who among the motion picture people could possibly possess any definite knowledge without having had to reveal it. There have been so many stories passed about that it is hard to know what to think.”

According to the film star, she knew Taylor to speak to in passing for some time, but was only out with him on one occasion—a week prior to the murder, when she was invited to join Taylor, Antonio Moreno and Betty Francisco at a dinner party.

“I did not hear of the murder until about noon on the day the body was found,” Miss Windsor continued, “and I was as much astonished as anyone. However, it was not anything that was personally close to me and I worked at the studio that same day as usual.

“As an indication of how slightly acquainted I was with Mr. Taylor, I didn’t even know that he was a friend of Mabel Normand’s. I have met Miss Normand, and believe her to be a charming girl. I always look for the best in people, anyway, and believe the best of them until I am disappointed.”

Commenting on rumors that Taylor had made a threat to kill his former valet, if he could lay hands on him, Miss Windsor said today that she was present in a group that included Taylor, when the name of Sands was brought up, but that Taylor made no threat against his former employee, although he declared that he would prosecute him if he could find him.

Criticism of the film family at Hollywood and stories of “cocaine parties,” “love nests” and wild orgies, which she branded as unwarranted and unjust, particularly aroused the blonde film beauty’s ire.

“Some of the wild stories that were told, and which unfairly included my name, accused me of constantly going out on parties, while the truth is that I was only out one evening in the five weeks I was working at the studio on my last picture.

“Some of these tales would have the public believe that motion picture people live in one giddy whirl of gaiety, whereas the producers—mine, at least—are constantly warning us not to go out too much, as we would become too common with the people who see us on the screen.

“Motion picture people know how to have fun, but they do it in a clean way. They all know each other and are jolly together, but there is no looseness about it. The film people I know are terribly hurt by the unjust criticism that seems to include us all.”

Miss Windsor is in San Francisco for a few days of rest before starting work on her new picture. With her are Mrs. Sailing Baruch of New York and the latter’s son, and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Block of Philadelphia.

(Source: Taylorology, https://ia801504.us.archive.org/10/items/Taylor3140/Taylor31-40.pdf)