Jeanne Eagels c. 1918.
The actress (from Kansas City) was 28 in 1918 when Boston painter Elizabeth Piutti-Barth created the photo-on-colored sketch of her above.
Eagels elbowed her way to the New York stage in 1911, three years after D.W. Griffith did.
She began as a Ziegfeld Follies chorus girl and appeared in her first film in 1915. By 1922, she had ascended to Broadway stardom, playing Sadie Thompson in Somerset Maugham's Rain. She was brilliant, troubled, tempestuous.
The Letter premiered in Times Square on March 17th, 1929. Seven month later Eagles convulsed to death at the feet of a doctor in a hospital in Manhattan. Alcohol, a choral hydrate tranquilliser, or heroin consumed her.
In 1930, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences electors nominated Eagels in The Letter, posthumously, for best actress of 1929.
  In Somerset Maugham's script for The Letter, Leslie confides to a bosom friend that she continues to love the man she killed. Maugham created his ending for performance on the theatrical stage.  
  In Maugham's ending, Leslie vows to keep her secret perpetually in order to protect her husband from the anguish of knowing her deceit. "He shall never know that I don't love him as he wants to be loved," Leslie tells her confidant.  
  But in the 1930 movie ending, Leslie ends in hysteria. She confesses directly to her husband. The words hiss. The confession burns. Eagles crackles. The movie ends. Darkness descends. Silence falls.  
  In darts, contestants call that a bull's eye; scriptwriters deem it a curtain line. "With all my heart and all my soul I still love the man I killed."