Agnes Ayres (April 4, 1898 - December 25, 1940) was a silent film star in the 1920s. Born Agnes Hinkle in Carbondale, Illinois, she had planned to have a career in law, but in 1915 at the age of 17 she made her film debut at Essanay Studios in Chicago, and was signed by Fox Studios in 1919.
Moving to New York, Agnes gained popularity after being cast in Richard the Brazen (1917), and was signed by Paramount Pictures in 1920.
During World War I she married Captain Frank P. Schuker. The marriage ended in Summer 1921.
Suddenly, and sensationally, in 1921 she shot to stardom when she was cast in what is probably her best know role opposite Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik. Agnes played the role for all it was worth, and became the envy of every woman alive as the love interest to the cinema's sexiest new idol. Advertisements and lobby posters showed Ayres's name was top-billed above Valentino's.
In October 1924, Ayres revealed that, on July 13, 1924, she had married Mexican diplomat S. Manuel Reachi. Their daughter, Maria Eugenia, was born on March 25, 1926, in Los Angeles.
She went on to have major roles in many other films including The Affairs of Anatol (1921), Forbidden Fruit (1921), and The Ten Commandments (1923), but soon afterward, Agnes' stardom began to decline. In 1926 she reprised her role as Diana in Valentino's The Son of the Sheik.
In Los Angeles, on June 10, 1927, she and Reachi divorced on the grounds of desertion and failure to provide. Ayres never remarried.
In 1929 Agnes lost her fortune in the Crash, and her career ended with the beginning of talking pictures. Her voice was, according to trade journal reports, improperly pitched for sound pictures. Ayres went successfully into real estate after her film career was over and handled prime Beverly Hills properties.
In 1940 Agnes Ayres died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 42. For her contribution to motion pictures, she was given star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6504 Hollywood Boulevard.