Illustrations of Horsham ‘Daffy’ Gilbert-Blackheart

Daffy in costume to play Alexei in ‘Anna Karenina’

dark star

Daffy with Tiger Davies in a comic film as melodramatic stunt actors. Tiger Davies produced many of Daffy’s films and Daffy considered her the smartest woman in Fairawayland. Tiger Davies before the camera played comic dumb blonds. Behind the camera she was a real estate tycoon as well as a respected producer.

Daffy in a breakout role at Titan playing with a mustache for the first time.

Daffy after leaving the hospital after the mysterious accident that ended Queen Maeve filming and almost killed Maralinga. As usual Daffy is busy — going to a Royal Court event. Daffy was a confidant of Queen Flavia. It was rumored he knew things about King ADA no man should have safely known.

Daffy with Maralinga at a premiere. The photo shows Daffy in total love and Maralinga—- well —- study the picture for yourself.

Another uneasy publicity still by Gigantic showing a nervy Daffy. Daffy was border line bi-polar and an rumored secret binge drinker.  He also suffered from bleeding ulcers and heart disease. People later said Sneed drove Daffy to death with incessant stress and hounding pressure. During’ Anna Karenina’ and ‘The Shining Prince’ he actually vomited blood  from the stress of filming. He could never watch one of his movies from nerves.

The last unofficial photo of Daffy on the set ‘playing with smoke’ for a scene. Daffy smoked only on camera but this photo taken only days before his mysterious death was hidden for years as a ‘dire thing’.

Studio cartoon of Daffy eying his replacement Danny Jack Montebanks being packaged by Gigantic as the new talkie sensation. Danny Jack  died under very mysterious circumstances —rumored by some to have been murdered by Daffy.

Daffy in a love scene. Daffy was accused by his co-stars of leaving their faces black and blue because of  his pronounced nose.  Daffy hated love scenes and once said ‘I am the only actor who can perform as Cyrano without makeup!’.  His black eyes atoned for his nose however. His flashing eyes were described as ‘being like death ray guns’.

Daffy with the Pendragons. Laurence Pendragon was considered the greatest actor of the silent era but Daffy rivaled him. Pendragon’s studio contract was a straitjacket that stifled his talent while Daffy’s contract (drafted by Stubs at Titan) gave him artistic freedom to challenge the studio’s narrowness.

Daffy in a famous matinee idol publicity still. Daffy defied Gigantic and created a broad away of films that included rowdy comic turns, adventure, action, drama, westerns,  romance, and cutting guard thrillers.  Daffy was never content to merely be a matinee idol. He considered acting in films very important and hoped his films would end up in museums. Today they are.

Daffy with Maralinga. Legends to the contrary, they were only in three films with Daffy only making a cameo appearance in the disastrous Queen Maeve bomb. Downsized by the studio, Daffy stole the film with a mere ‘supporting cameo’ appearance.

Daffy performing a sacred dance as Lugh the Black. Daffy studied ancient dances as well as Japanese No and Kabuki and Western Ballroom Dance. His silents often featured him at the piano and the studios always figured out how to feature him dancing. He sold records inspired by all of his movies — an example of early cross media promotion.

Daffy performing with Maralinga. The press sold the public on their romantic love affair but behind the scenes rumors told a different story….

Daffy in an early Gigantic publicity shot when he was being packaged as the 2nd rate Valentino.

Daffy in a early Titan film. Without his mustache Daffy was considered homely to the point of being ugly. He used this ability to change from handsome to plain to his advantage. Fans would say they could tell what a film was going to be by the poster. With mustache? Romantic! No mustache? Character! Beard! Anti hero.

Daffy with one of his favorite actresses , Tiger Davies,  who was also the  producer of the film ‘The Shining Prince’ which is considered a romantic classic today

Daffy in a still from ‘Desert Nights’  later revamped as ‘Moonlight’. The studio was downsizing expensive silent talent with the new talkies so they wrote off  Daffy off as a has-been. ‘Moonlight’ was a B picture dumped without advertising or studio publicity —and today is a cult classic  example of science fiction horror. The rival  Maralinga A picture bombed.

The famous still of the ‘Dark Star’ in Daffy’s breakout film.  Daffy was famous for his brooding anti-heros and dark romantic roles despite the studio’s attempts to cast him as  a Valentino ripoff.

Studio cartoon of Daffy. Daffy was famous for crying in his films and was ridiculed for his ability to cry on cue.

Daffy performing with Josephine Baker in ‘The Killers’. Daffy tended to fall in love with all of his co-stars but considered Miss Baker the most beautiful actress he ever performed with.

Daffy as Cyrano de Bergerac with makeup by Pendragon. This is Daffy’s favorite role.

Daffy as Bill Sikes in The Rise and Fall of the Swell Mob of the 7 Dials

Daffy performing  with Josephine Baker in ‘The Killers’

Daffy in a modern anime playing off his retro cult image

Daffy in the shoot out climax of ‘The Killers’

Daffy as Bres the Shining Hero in the ‘Savage Wars’ trilogy. Daffy naturally picked the darkest role to play.

Daffy in a modern anime based on the Snow Queen

Daffy with Josephine Baker in ‘The Killers’

Daffy with Josephine Baker on the opening night of ‘The Killers’

Daffy in a break out Titan film playing a ‘boy scout’ policeman confronting corruption based on an old scandal that triggered fresh murder during the film.

Daffy as Bres in the ‘Rape Scene’ of the ‘Savage Wars’.

Daffy in a studio cartoon in 1929 as talkies were coming in and Daffy was assumed to be going out.

Daffy at an opening of a film — where he would always pose for the cameras before walking into the movie house and then walking straight out of the back door. He never ever watched his films.

Daffy composing the ‘Horsham’ Score for the film.  Silents were never silent and from the mid 20s on top films were graced by original scores and full orchestras or else grand organs.  Daffy would also compose a record with  A and B sides featuring two songs tied to the film.  Daffy would perform the songs on live radio to sell the films. Sneed at Gigantic was furious  that Daffy controlled his copyrights and therefore Sneed needed Daffy’s music to sell his movies. It gave Daffy power few other actors in Fairawayland  enjoyed .

Daffy composing on the piano. Daffy assumed because he ‘cut the wax’ on records and sang on live radio he would have no trouble with talkies. But talkies were not just about a voice but an image and the chance for studios to crush expensive or powerful actors….

Daffy rehearsing for ‘Only For the Lonely’ in a studio cartoon. The film became a vicious battle between Daffy and Sneed who was the producer of Gigantic Films.

Daffy rehearsing for his first talkie ‘Only for the Lonely’  which he envisioned as a stark black and white crime drama played out to music. Daffy played a gangster. Daffy died during production under mysterious circumstances some said featured murder but enough of the film was completed  to allow it to be released.

Rehearsing for ‘Only For The Lonely’ . Rumors circulated for years that people involved with the film were murdered.

The circus drama at Gigantic that launched Daffy as a romantic lead.

A Titan photo of Daffy about the time Sneed was luring him over to Gigantic. Daffy wanted to work with Pendragon but not with Sneed.

Daffy as ‘Fawkes’ bloody in ‘Moonlight’. The film was notorious for rumors of actual violence, assaults, and murder at the remote location where it was filmed.  The mithril radiated monster that dies at the climax was rumored to NOT be an actor but an actual victim of radiation. It was filmed most oddly, shot at a distance. Others insisted it was all ‘PR’. But recent ‘outakes’ featuring the missing ‘closeups’ were found. The withholding of key closeups  hint that the final scene was actually of a real victim of industrial poisoning  which would make  the final scene of bloody murder genuine. That would explain  why the closeups in the ‘outtake can’ were not used. Scenes of real death were not allowed to be used in films in the 1920s and 1930s.

Studio photo of the filming of the ‘Breakdown Scene’. Love had turned to hatred for not only Anna and Alexei but also Daffy and his exotic co-star Maralinga.

Young Daffy in possibly first film role in an early Titan movie. Daffy came to Fairawayland reluctantly after an abusive childhood courtesy of a drunken and unstable mother who was a second rate hack theater actress. Daffy’s biological father abandoned his pregnant mother but later tried to blackmail Daffy with a bogus marriage certificate which might  have turned him from a bastard to legitimate. Daffy told  Pringle to ‘go to the Fiery Fissure’.

Daffy in a nightclub with Cedric Gabon and one of his many lovers.  Gabon designed the many interiors and stage sets for Gigantic films.  They were loyal friends.  At one point Gabon claimed to have a ‘nervous breakdown’ in Hawaii to avoid betraying Daffy. Naturally Gabon took three mistresses with him to suffer in beautiful surroundings and warm surf.

Gabon’s home on the ‘Heights’ above Moon Bay were a scene of a Daffy film was done.

Daffy’s living room of his small home which Gabon remodeled.

Daffy’s living room of the Dagmar Deco home.

Daffy in a Titan film ‘Honor First’

Daffy in his first film with Maralinga.

Incubus Night Terror modern drawing of Daffy as the Dark Dream Lover.

Daffy with Little Daffy Keens the resident comic genius of Gigantic. Sneed plotted to ruin both men. The talkies were used to destroy many actors and actresses by ruthless studios who saw it as ‘house cleaning’ to bring in cheaper new talent.

Daffy’s last official PR studio photo.

A late studio photo of Daffy smiling.  At that point in his life there was damn little to smile about but he was a very good actor so he faked the smile.

Daffy laughing when his career was shinning bright.

Studio cartoon for ‘Only For The Lonely’. Daffy was rumored to be over the hill and the studio did not even want to do  a talkie with Daffy. The failure of ‘Queen Maeve’ forced Gigantic’s hand. The music and songs were released prematurely and hit Number One on the charts. Sneed still wanted to use a young talkie actor  Danny Jack  Montebanks to mime the pre-recorded songs  for the film in order to kick Daffy out of his own come back film.

‘Coming Soon’ poster featuring the biggest movie theater owned by Gigantic.

Daffy and Maralinga  in a studio PR advertising photo. Gigantic wanted to sell their hot foreign star who struck everyone as icy enough to be nicknamed the ‘Snow Queen’ and Daffy had two failed marriages which incited rumors of being gay. He actually maintained three mistresses who were private lovers for hire but his secret taste for professional courtesans  he could trust to not betray him. But that did not reassure the public. Daffy thought rumors of being gay were just funny but Gigantic felt they needed to ‘macho’ Daffy up. The affair with Maralinga was actually genuine but short lived.  Their hatred endured for decades ( in the case of Maralinga who loathed Daffy until the end of her tragic life) and Daffy loathed Maralinga enough to help ruin ‘Queen Maeve’.

Daffy and Maralinga when they were genuinely in love — at least as far as Daffy was concerned.

Daffy and Maralinga filming ‘Anna Karenina’.  Daffy played Alexei as oddly cold and ruthless as he goaded Maralinga as Anna into performing as  unraveling and mentally unstable woman  as Tostoy’s novel of love that turns to hatred played out in real life.

Daffy and Maralinga in the ‘Dishonor of the Regiment’. Daffy’s friends knew Maralinga was ‘bad news’ but Daffy was besotted with her. She used Daffy to climb to the top and then dumped him. Love turned to hatred.

Daffy with Maralinga in the ‘Green Hat’ where Daffy was ‘punished’ by Sneed by being forced to perform as the weakling boy toy in Maralinga’s follow up film to ‘Anna Karenina’.

Daffy in ‘Moonlight’ which Sneed assumed would be Daffy’s humiliating last silent and last firm for Gigantic. Sneed paid Gigantic PR to spread rumors to destroy Daffy.  Mysterious rumors implied Daffy was  drunken, homosexual, womanizing, untalented, egotistical, overrated, unstable, neurotic has been.  What happens when the powers of a huge movie studio are used to destroy a star instead of building up a star?

Daffy in a glamour photo when he was the daring of Gigantic. Daffy preferred to play grimy and dark anti heros but the Studio kept trying to sell him as a Valentino ripoff.

Daffy with Pendragon the greatest actor of Fairawayland.

Daffy with Normii when he was being packaged as the young romantic lead — a role he loathed.

Daffy’s studio pavilion before it was torn down — it was rumored to be haunted.

Newspaper cartoon of Daffy, Pendragon, and Sneed the producer of Gigantic. ‘Just ignore him’ is the caption. It is not known if Pendragon really said that but Sneed swore to destroy both his top actors anyway.

Daffy as the cameo role of Prince Puski in  ‘Queen Maeve’ which was to be Maralinga’s gigantic talkie to end all talkies —- which bombed . Only Daffy’s Puski survived — as he stole the film with the help of Prince Bear Sherker the son of Prince Puski who aided and abetted in the robbery of silver nitrate celluloid   magic from the humiliated Maralinga. Because Maralinga never rehearsed she was unprepared for the dazzling Daffy who suddenly appeared in a  genuine cloth of gold tunic, rich fur, and genuine gems and jewels owned by Prince Puski which blew Maralinga’s cut rate glass right off the screen.  So did his  electric performance as the manic and over the top prince. Prince Bear Sherker held lavish parties to ‘celebrate’ ‘Queen Maeve’ which actually celebrated the bombing of ‘Queen Maeve’ while helping repackage and sell Daffy as  a viable talkie actor.

Daffy rehearsing to play ‘Horsham of Arcadia’ which featured great stunts. Daffy was one of the better swordsmen in Fairawayland.

An early Titan film with Daffy as the reluctant lover. He insisted ‘love scenes’ humiliated him and certainly the actresses usually did — stepping on his toes and pinching him as they pretended to make love for the camera. So Daffy moved toward dark roles that featured threatening his co-stars rather than romancing his co-stars.

Studio cartoon of Daffy eying his replacement Danny  Montebanks. Montebanks died under mysterious circumstances just before he could steal the role of a lifetime in ‘Only For The Lonely.’

Daffy with the one actress he never bullied or threatened or upstaged: Wisteria  Rosemont. She was so fragile and sweet he said a puff of cruelty could sweep her away. She ended up on Sneed’s ‘Hit List’.

Daffy with Wisteria Rosemont. She vanished under mysterious circumstances during the filing of the last scene of ‘Only For The Lonely’ which was a ‘closed set’ so no knew what actually happened. The Pendragons also vanished and Little Daffy Keens was found dead.

‘Russian Nights’ — the film Daffy hated the most. A studio cartoon.

Daffy performing as Horsham of Arcadia doing a sacred dance. Daffy studied formal dance as well as it’s related dance form of Japanese No and Kabuki . He was often asked to perform for the Royal Court as well as Cleardan House where such antique dances were still favored.  It was rumored Daffy performed some genuine sacred dances on the Cosmati Mosaic for Cleardan House which held secret sacred dance rituals  per ancient protocols during the Winter Solstice. By the 1920s sacred dance was a rarity outside of the Courts. Daffy became a popular performer and tennis player for King ADA and Queen Flavia based on his skill at dancing the ancient dances and also through a mutual friend Adrian Reid. He was one of the very few actors or actresses from Fairawayland to be invited to Court Events because of snobbery toward  the ‘low’ quality of actors.

Daffy with a Fairawayland  director .Daffy’s contract allowed him to do one film a year with Titan which translated into films for the other four rival studios to Gigantic to the fury of Sneed.

Daffy in a breakout Titan Film. Daffy was so skinny co-stars called him ‘Mr Bone E Skeleton’ and ‘giraffey’ because of his long and thin neck. But costume designers loved both features which allowed them to design fantastic costumes. Daffy was insecure about his looks and usually had panic attacks during costume fittings resulting in deliveries of ‘forgive me’ baskets of fruits and flowers. Otherwise, Daffy was extremely professional compared to most Fairawayland actors and actresses who tended to be nutters. Daffy was a ‘workaholic’ and doctors later said overwork along with stress caused his messy and bloody death even if that could hardly explain his messy and bloody death.

Daffy with Sneed the producer of Gigantic Films which was the largest film studio in Fairawayland.  Daffy signed with Gigantic after being promised that Sneed would not go near him. It proved to be a short lived promise.

Daffy with Max Sprat to film ‘The Shining Prince’. The German  (actually Austrian Jewish) actor later praised Daffy for allowing him to ‘steal’ the film with a showy villain.

Daffy with Surrey in ‘Badlands’ which was a gritty western  with sound effects and a somber harmonica score to accent the stark violence. Surrey was an aging cowboy actor who was also on Sneed’s ‘hit list’ .  Sneed bought Surrey’s production company and films in a hostile takeover and then replaced Surrey with a fake cowboy actor  who did not know the front from the back of a horse. ‘Badlands’ was Surrey’s last film. The film ended with a graphic shootout that got the film banned in many countries because of the graphic violence. People later asked Surrey why the film’s shoot out was so graphically violent and Surrey replied ‘That is what the West really was. Ugly. Mean. Violent. And short.’

Daffy in a typical film with him holding his terrified co-star — after first brutalizing her. Daffy like to play dark types and even played abusive lovers and murderers which other Fairawayland actors would not agree to play.

Young Daffy on a Titan photo still. Tubs protected Daffy so Daffy was unprepared for the savage cruelty of Sneed at Gigantic.

Daffy in a now famous early studio still which captured his dark quality. Fairawayland typecast actors and actresses as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’  or ‘virginal’ or ‘evil’ so Daffy implied darkness even when playing apparently ‘good’ boys or charismatic charm when playing ‘bad’ boys was disconcerting to viewers in the 1920s when anti-heros were not acceptable.

Daffy in another uneasy studio photo.

Daffy as the murderous Vallii cleaned up and seducing the only witness to his murder.

Daffy as the murderous Vallii in the ‘Wreak of the Hanna Lay Lonesome’.

Daffy as the murderous Vallii seducing the only witness to his murder.  Today the film is confusing because stills done during the filming show one actress but the film itself shows another actress — who only arrived at Gigantic after talkies arrived and Daffy was dead. No one has ever explained the mystery.

Daffy as Vallii weeping  as he confesses his murders. There are persistent rumors that some of Daffy’s silver nitrate celluloid films are haunted.  The films appear to ‘change’ from viewing to viewing and scientists confirm there are ‘anomalies’ which cannot be explained.

A very young Daffy in a very early Titan film. At this time in his life he was dominated by the mysterious Adrian Reid.

Daffy crushing a poor co-star’s hand in an awkward love scene in a very early Titan film.

A very young Daffy in a Titan Film in a supporting role. Daffy started out as a stunt man and double for the lead actor who usually was a bloated over the hill matinee has been. By the 1920s producers realized they needed young kids in front of the cruel cameras and harsh kelig lights which aged  suffering performers  by 20 years.  The crude  and as well as cruel  films  made 30 year old actresses appear to be hags and 40 year old theater actors appear to be  decayed relics. The harsh lights burned the skin and even blinded performers. The kabuki like makeup did not help either.  Cameras and lights did not begin to ‘flatter’ performers until well into the mid 1920s.

Daffy with Victor King filming on location..

Daffy with Victor King during the premiere of ‘Anna Karenina

Studio cartoon of Daffy vs Sound. Gigantic ‘assumed’ Daffy was doomed and told every magazine and trade journal that so naturally Fairawayland assumed Daffy was doomed. After all, why would a studio deliberately libel it’s top star…….

Daffy watching one of his early films — which he quickly learned not to do. He usually left the movie house or else paced outside in the hallway.

Daffy writing the screen play for Anna Karenina.

Epitaph of Horsham ‘Daffy’ Gilbert Blackheart


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