Blanche Sweet, who made her first stage appearance in 1898 and later became a major star of silent films, died Saturday in New York.
Friends said she suffered a stroke in her home. She was 90.
Miss Sweet made 124 motion pictures, all but three of them silent films. Her first was "The Man With Three Wives" in 1909. She became a star in 1913 in director D. W. Griffith's "Judith of Bethulia," one of the first feature-length films made in this country.
Played Strong Female Roles
Unlike most silent-screen heroines, she was not the fragile flower type, but instead played the strong and determined young woman in most of her films. Griffith originally had cast her as Elsie Stoneman in the 1915 epic "The Birth of a Nation," but gave the role instead to Lillian Gish.
Born Sarah Blanche Sweet in Chicago, a member of a show business family, she debuted on stage at the age of 18 months as "Baby Blanche." As a teen-ager, she took dancing lessons from Ruth St. Denis.