San Antonio, TX Flaming Costume Kills Film Star, Nov 1923

Martha Mansfield, Film Star, Dies of Burns Caused by Costume Fired by Smoker's Match

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Nov. 30 — Martha Mansfield, leading woman in "The Warrens of Virginia," being filmed here, died today at noon from burns suffered yesterday when a smoker's match ignited her Civil War costume of billowing hoopskirts and flimsy ruffles. She had just finished her scenes and had retired to an automobile, when her clothing suddenly burst into flames.

As Miss Mansfield jumped from the car, men in the cast came to her rescue. Wilfred Lytell, leading man, threw his heavy overcoat over her, thus saving her face and neck. The fire was extinguished, but she received severe burns about the body.

She was rushed to a hospital, where she died less than twenty-four hours later, though announcement was given out late Thanksgiving Day by Elmer Clifton, director of the company, that her condition was not serious.

Miss Mansfield was born 23 years ago in Mansfield, Ohio, and was reared in New York, where her mother now lives. Accompanied by Philip Shorey, a member of the cast, her body will be sent to New York tomorrow, at the request of her mother.

Since her entrance into moving pictures, Miss Mansfield has appeared opposite some of the leading actors. She also had played on the vaudeville stage. She first gained prominence In "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" in which John Barrymore starred. She appeared with Eugene O'Brien in "The Perfect Lover." Recently, she was seen in "Potash and Perlmutter." She was playing the part of Agatha Warren in the picture being filmed here.

Dec. 1, 1923 edition of "The New York Times"