J. Jiquel Lanoe was a French-born silent film actor in early Hollywood. According to leading lady Blanche Sweet, Mr. Lanoe was lovers with Harry Hyde, with whom he lived. Hyde was also an actor, both under contract for the Biograph Company, and were in several early Griffith films.
Lanoe was born Joseph Jiquel Lanoe in Vannes, France on October 3, 1875. According to historian William J. Mann, in his book "Behind the Screen", Lanoe came to the United States with the "French Company of Players" and performed on Broadway as early as 1907. This is true and seems to be the beginning of his acting career in American, but ship manifests in San Francisco show that he had been in that city in 1900 and again in 1903 (sailing from Papeete, Tahiti - a French colony). At that time he was listed as a "painter", and was most likely working in that capacity. In 1907 and 1908 he was in New York working in theater and appearing in a George M. Cohan musical. He was therefore, most likely recruited by American Biograph in New York and moved on to California in 1910 when he started making films for them in Hollywood. Considering his occupation as painter, its not inconceivable to assume that he may have also made or helped with back drops or other pieces. In 1913 Joseph played an effeminate eunuch in D. W. Griffith's "Judith of Bethulia". The picture at the top of this page shows Lanoe as the eunuch (left) during the filming. The eunuch was the best and funniest part of the film, wearing necklaces and long hair and swishing about. He also showed a great deal of grace and used camp movements that would later be very popular in drag clubs - and perhaps had already been popular for some time.
His partner, Harry, was also in the film but, playing one of the many soldiers, he cannot be identified. They were in several other films together as well including "Death's Marathon" and "The Mother's Heart". In both of these films they played in the same scene. The photo below depicts both of them outside "the Club" in "The Mother's Heart". They are wearing top hats and looking very dapper - common fashions among the upper-upper class and the gay community of the time. All of the other people at the club are dressed in more simple upper-middle class fashions and the goings on inside are far too rowdy. Again, Joseph (and Harry) are playing gay characters.
We can also see Joseph in the 1913 Griffith film "The Reformers" - where he is, ironically, one of only two male members of the "League of Civic Purity". Both men are campy and uppity - giving each other knowing glances and acting more like offended women, then the women in the group - some of which are very sapphic in mannish attire. In 1914 they would appear together in "The Massacre" as two gamblers traveling the frontier on a wagon train. They look more like European aristocracy on safari. One brief but funny scene plays out when the roughnecks and introduced to homosexuals. The roughnecks are shocked by their fashion and effeminate air and leave laughing, while Harry's character doesn't quite understand the joke. Later, when the people of the wagon train are surrounded by the Indians, a boy (Jack Pickford) rushes out and is shot. Harry rushes out to save him and carries the body back to the group, and is shot himself. Joseph then rushes up and toward his fallen friend and is also shot, the three bodies laying together on the ground. Joseph, or his "body", is seen in several more scene, his head lying on Jack Pickfords stomach.
During the duration of WWI, Lanoe is absent from making any films, from 1915 to 1919. A handwritten note on a ship manifest from 1919 recorded that he had enlisted in the French Army. Interestingly, and perhaps coincidently, Harry Hyde also did not make any films during this time. In truth, it seems that fewer films were being made in general during this time - probably due to the lack of available men to produce them.
Lanoe notes that he arrived in the United States aboard SS La Lorraine from La Havre, arriving in New York April 28, 1919 - according to his Declaration of Intention for citizenship. This arrival would have been his most recent before the Declaration was filed in 1924, rather than the first time he had arrived. In the same document he gave his address as 5555 Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles. By the time he had decided to apply for citizenship he had already made his final film, "Prodigal Daughters", in 1923.
It seems that he may have continued work as an artist, specifically a painter, after 1923. He listed "artist" as his occupation on his Declaration of Intent in 1924, so he was still working in the arts at that time. It could also be noted that Joseph never described himself as an actor, in spite of having been in over 100 films. When ever asked in an official document - ship manifests, census records, immigration records - he always gave his occupation as "artist" or "painter".
Currently, we have no record of Joseph after 1924. We are currently in search of early 20th century works of art signed in the name of Joseph Jiquel Lanoe - or variations.
Two dapper gentlemen in "The Mother's Heart" (1913). J. Jiquel Lanoe is far left and Harry Hyde is far right.
J. Jiquel Lanoe (left) and Adolph Lestine in "The Reformers" (1913).
Joseph (in white hat) and Harry seated in "The Massacre" (1914)
Declaration of Intention: Immigration
I, Joseph Jiquel Lanoe, age 48 years, occupation artist, do declare on oath that my person description is: Color: white, complexion: light, height: 5 feet 7 inches, weight: 153 pounds, color of hair: Brown, color of eyes: Brown, other visible distinctive marks: none.
I was born in Vannes, France on the 3rd day of October, anno Domini 1875; I now reside at 5555 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, California. I emigrated to the United States of American from Havre, France on the vessel La Lorraine; my last foreign residence was Rennes, France; I am not married.
It is my bona fide intention to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to The French Republic, of whom I am now a subject; I arrived at the port of New York in the State of New York, on or about the 28th day of April, anno Domini 1919; I am not an anarchist; I am not a polygamist nor a believer in the practice of polygamy; and it is my intention in good faith to become a citizen of the United States of America and to permanently reside therein: So HELP ME GOD
Signed: Joseph Jiquel Lanoe
Subscribed and sworn to before me in the office of the Clerk of said Court at Los Angeles, Cal., this 19th day of Jan, anno Domini, 1924. - CHAS N. WILLIAMS, Clerk of the U. S. District Court, Southern District of California.
Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) - September 10, 1922
Dagmar Godowsky, after an absence of almost three years, is back in motion pictures. She is playing an important part in "The Alter Stairs" a Universal attraction, starring her husband, Frank Mayo. The leading feminine role is being played by Louise Lorraine. Others in the supporting cast are Lawrence Hughes, Boria Karless, Hugh Thompson, and J. J. Lanoe.
5553 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California - January 7, 1920
SS Mariposa from Papeete, Tahiti to San Francisco - November 11-23, 1903
Joseph Jiquel - age 28, male, painter, Steerage, France
Intended Destination: San Francisco
Has over $50 on him.
Previously in US: yes, in San Francisco in 1900.
SS La Lorraine from LaHavre to New York - April 19-28, 1919
Jiquel, Joseph - age 44, male, painter (artist)
Can read and write French, is French
Last residence: Rennes, France
Contact: Friend, Mr. Borel at 2 rue de Cartage, Rennes
Destination: Los Angeles, California
Location: Hartmann Apartments, Oak Str., Los Angeles
Last in the US: 1914, in New York
Note: enlisted in French army
Description: 5 feet 7 inches, grey hair, brown eyes, no identifying marks.
Birth Place: Vannes, France