How did Myrtle Gonzalez die? All we know

Myrtle Gonzale

Google honored Myrtle Gonzalez on its Google Doodle 110 years after the premiere of one of her most famous films, The Level. Myrtle was born in Los Angeles to Irish and Mexican parents on 28th September 1891. She sang soprano in local church choirs and performed in plays throughout the city. 

When film creation took hold in Los Angeles, Gonzalez capitalized, joining Vitagraph Company of America, where she made her film debut in The Yellow Streak. Gonzalez appeared in 80 films during her five-year career. She retired from silent film after marrying her second husband, Allen Watt.

Myrtle Gonzalez died during the height of the Spanish flu

After marrying Allen, Gonzalez moved to Tacoma, Washington, where Watt was stationed as an officer in the U.S. Army. Myrtle’s health was too frail for the cold Washington climate, so Captain Watt was placed on the retirement list, facilitating the couple’s return to Southern California. 

Myrtle didn’t live long after the couple’s return: She died on 22nd October 1918 at her parents’ house in Los Angeles, at 908 West Thirtieth Street.

Gonzalez died at the height of the Spanish flu, but reports claim didn’t die from the disease: Myrtle Gonzalez passed due to injuries from a ‘fall suffered three years [earlier] while doing stunt riding in a photoplay’, Forbes reports. At the time, The Los Angeles Times reported that Myrtle died of heart failure. 

Myrtle left behind her husband, Watt, and a son, James Jones, from her first marriage. Forbes reports that most of her work got lost, with the few remaining productions preserved by the Library of Congress.