The Children of
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
“Breezy” Eason, Jr.
AMERICAN SILENT FILM CHILD ACTOR
né Barnes Reaves Eason
BORN: November 19, 1914, Los Angeles, California
DIED: October 25, 1921, Los Angeles, California
CAUSE OF DEATH: Automobile accident
BURIAL: Hollywood Forever Cemetery,
Garden of Legends (Section 8), Lot 107
By Allan R. Ellenberger
“Breezy” Eason, Jr. was the son of director B. Reaves Eason and actress Jimsy Maye. Eason, Sr., sometimes referred to as B. Reeves Eason, is known for directing B action films, mostly westerns. He also served as second unit director in charge of action sequences on such classic films as Ben-Hur (1926), Gone With the Wind (1939) and They Died with Their Boots On (1941). Jimsy Maye (née Charlotte Barnes) was a Universal contract player, sometimes appearing in her husbands films.
Breezy was born Barnes Reaves Eason on November 19, 1914 — reportedly in California (according to the census). However, there is no record of his actual birth in the California birth records. Eason Sr. put his son in films when he was barely able to toddle. Known as the “Wonderchild of the Screen,” and “Universal’s Littlest Cowboy,” young Breezy grinned and laughed his way to screen fame at Universal Studios, appearing in a dozen films with such actors as Theda Bara, Thomas Meighan, Hoot Gibson, and Harry Carey.
In the film, Nine-Tenths of the Law (1918), Breezy was directed by his father and appeared along side his mother and grandmother, Mollie Shafer. Breezy also had the chance to be the star of his own film, The Big Adventure (1921) – which was directed by his father.
Beezy Eason, Jr. lived here with his parents at the time of death
On Friday, October 21, 1921, Breezy, who had recently finished filming The Fox (1921) with Harry Carey, was playing like any six year-old at his home at 1130 North Orange Street in Hollywood. At some point, Breezy ran out into the street in front of a truck; the driver was unable to avoid hitting him. The boy was taken to the California Hospital where surgeons worked to try and save his life.
The street in front of his home where Breezy was playing when hit by a truck.
Harry Carey was notified about the accident shortly after it happened. He was at the Agoura ranch in Calabasas, about 25 miles northwest of Hollywood, working with 1,000 long-horns for the film, Man to Man (1922). Carey and Breezy had appeared in two films together and the actor had become very attached to the youngster. When he heard about the accident, Carey left the filming and raced to the hospital to be with Breezy.
For the next four days, Carey never left the hospital or Breezy’s side, holding his hand until the end. Despite the surgeons attempt, little Breezy died from his injuries on Tuesday, October 25, 1921, less than a month before his seventh birthday. Breezy was taken to the Strother and Dayton mortuary where services were held. On the day of his funeral, all operations at Universal were suspended. “Breezy” was interred at Hollywood Cemetery and was one of the first actors to be buried there.
The Los Angeles Times said of Breezy:
“Breezy was just a kid. He was all freckled and usually dirty but somehow his passing upset the big industry that grinds out motion pictures.”
Breezy’s grave marker at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
NOTE: After his son’s death, Reaves Eason took the nickname of “Breezy” in his son’s memory. At some point Reaves and Jimsy divorced and she remarried Clarence Rowley of Oregon. Jimsy’s mother Mollie Barnes Shafer no longer acted in films after her grandsons death and later became a wardrobe mistress at 20th Century-Fox. Interred next to Breezy at Hollywood Forever is his grandmother, Mollie (1872-1940), his mother Charlotte Rowley (1893-1968) and his father Wm Reaves Eason (1886-1956).
The preceding is one in a series of biographical sketches of
Hollywood Forever Cemetery residents.