Barriscale in a photo from Moving Picture World (1917)
Bessie Barriscale was an American silent film and stage actress, and a major star for producer Thomas Ince in the late 1910s. Barriscale began her film career in 1913, and worked intensively for New York Motion Picture Company and Triangle Film Corporation (among other studios) until she announced her retirement in the early 1930s. In 1918, Barriscale was contracted by J.L. Frothingham of B.B. Features and the Roberson Cole Company to make sixteen films by January 21, 1921. At this time Miss Barriscale's managers insured her life for a half million dollars against eventualities.
The actress was also an excellent swimmer and in 1919, she starred in The Woman Michael Married, directed by Henry Kolker. Barriscale went so far as to hire a swimming and diving instructor and took lessons in Venice, California, Also, a giant pool was constructed at Brunton Studios where Barriscale's scenes were shot. In late 1919, she traveled with her husband, actor, director, and film producer Howard C. Hickman and their small son, on a world tour. They anticipated producing motion pictures during their journey and traveled with a cameraman. In 1921, Barriscale came east to act in the play The Skirt. The play was to travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Boston, Massachusetts after opening in Washington, DC. Later the production would appear in New York City, New York. By her retirement in the early 1930s, Barriscale's career had spanned over three decades and included work in more than sixty films.