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Maurice Costello Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (1) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 22 February 1877Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Date of Death 28 October 1950Hollywood, California, USA  (heart ailment)
Nickname * The Dimpled Darling
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Maurice Costello was born on February 22, 1877 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He was an actor and director, known for It All Came Out in the Wash (1912), Fellow Voyagers (1913) and Through Life's Window (1914). He was married to Ruth Reeves and Mae Costello. He died on October 28, 1950 in Hollywood, California, USA.

Spouse (2)

Ruth Reeves (8 August 1939 - 1941) (divorced)
Mae Costello (8 June 1902 - 1927) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (14)

Father of actresses Dolores Costello and Helene Costello.
Entered films with Thomas A. Edison in 1905.
Grandfather of John Drew Barrymore.
Great-grandfather of actress Drew Barrymore.
Discovered Moe Howard, later of The Three Stooges. Twelve-year-old Moe, who was hoping to get into movies, would hang around the American Vitagraph studio and run errands for the actors and crew. Costello was impressed with Moe because he didn't charge extra to run errands. He invited Moe into the studio. Moe, under the name Harry Howard, appeared in several Vitagraph dramas and comedies that summer. [1909]
In the early days of the movie industry, everybody on the set (actors, directors, writers, cameramen, lighting crews, grips, etc.) was expected to build sets and paint scenery. Costello was the first actor to get away with refusing this duty. He claimed that he was hired as an actor and nothing else. He often sat in a chair, reading a newspaper and drinking coffee while the others did set work.
In 1939 his financial situation was so dire that he sued his daughters Dolores Costello and Helene Costello for support.
Shares his birthday, 22nd February, with his great-grandaughter Drew Barrymore
Although during the late 'teens and early '20s he was one of the most successful, and highest paid, stars in Hollywood, by the late '30s his career had declined to the point where he was reduced to taking unbilled work as a background extra for a day or two at a few dollars a day. By 1939 he was so broke that he had to sue his daughters for financial support.
Strongly opposed the marriage of daughter Dolores Costello to John Barrymore. Maurice knew of Barrymore's history of womanizing and heavy drinking and was strongly put off by the fact that Barrymore was closer in age to him than his daughter, and he frequently begged his daughter not to go through with it, saying that it would not last. She went against his wishes and married Barrymore anyway. Maurice was proved right when the marriage did not even last ten years.
Parents were Thomas Costello (born 1852) and Ellen Fitzgerald (born 1853).
Made his stage debut in 1894 as an Irish comedian in vaudeville.
Irish-American.
He is the first actor credited with playing the role of Sherlock Holmes, the most portrayed character in film history.

Personal Quotes (1)

[In reference to his plummeting film career] It's better to be a has-been than a never-was.

Salary (1)

Tin Pan Alley (1940) $12 .50/day

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