1-50 of 1,243 names.

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1. Walter Brennan Walter Brennan Actor, The Real McCoys In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and performed in school plays...
2. John Ford John Ford Director, The Searchers John Ford is, arguably, The Great American Director. When Orson Welles, who repeatedly screened Ford's Stagecoach as a crash course in filmmaking before helming his first film, Citizen Kane, was asked who his three favorite directors were, he answered, "John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford." Along with D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille...
3. Jack Benny Jack Benny Actor, The Jack Benny Program The son of a saloonkeeper, Jack Benny (born Benny Kubelsky) began to study the violin at the age six, and his "ineptness" at it later become his trademark (in reality, he was a very accomplished player). When given the opportunity to play in live theatre professionally, Benny quit school and joined vaudeville...
4. Will Wright Will Wright Actor, Adam's Rib One of those familiar character actors who seems to have been born old, Will Wright specialized in playing crusty old codgers, rich skinflints, crooked small-town politicians and the like. A former newspaper reporter in San Francisco, he switched careers and entered vaudeville, then took to the stage...
5. William Fawcett William Fawcett Actor, Fury "Doc T". as he was known, was a Ph.D., and Professor of Theatre at Michigan State University in the early 1940's, just before World War II. He often spoke about leaving academia and actually trying his hand at the craft he taught. After the war, he got his chance and never looked back.
6. Percy Helton Percy Helton Actor, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea One of the most familiar faces and voices in Hollywood films of the 1950s. Percy Helton acted almost from infancy, appearing in his father's vaudeville act. The famed Broadway producer David Belasco cast Helton in a succession of child roles over several years, giving the boy an invaluable grounding in the technique and spirit of the theatre...
7. Jean Renoir Jean Renoir Writer, La Grande Illusion Son of the famous Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste, he had a happy childhood. Pierre Renoir was his brother, and Claude Renoir was his nephew. After the end of World War I, where he won the Croix de Guerre, he moved from scriptwriting to filmmaking. He married Catherine Hessling, for whom he began to make movies; he wanted to make a star of her...
8. Henry Daniell Henry Daniell Actor, The Great Dictator London-born Henry Daniell began his career on the British stage, and continued it on the Broadway stage when he emigrated to the US. He entered films in 1929, and excelled at playing the suave, well-bred villain who could kill an enemy or start a war with a certain air of upper-class disdain, as if all of this effort was beneath him...
9. Zasu Pitts Zasu Pitts Actress, The Gale Storm Show: Oh! Susanna Classic comedienne Zasu Pitts, of the timid, forlorn blue eyes and trademark woebegone vocal pattern and fidgety hands, was born to Rulandus and Nellie (Shay) Pitts, the third of four children on January 3, 1894. Her aged New York-native father, who lost a leg back in the Civil War era, had settled the family in Kansas by the time ZaSu was born but relocated to Santa Cruz...
10. Arthur Treacher Arthur Treacher Actor, Mary Poppins Born Arthur Veary Treacher in Brighton, East Sussex, England, he was the son of a lawyer. He established a stage career after returning from World War I, and by 1928, he had come to America as part of a musical-comedy revue called Great Temptations. When his film career began in the early 1930s, Treacher was Hollywood's idea of the perfect butler...
11. Rondo Hatton Rondo Hatton Actor, The Brute Man An only child, Rondo Hatton was born to Stewart and Emily Hatton in Hagerstown, Maryland. The family moved to Tampa, Florida, in 1912, when he was a high-school senior, and his father joined a family-owned business there. Rondo was apparently popular and a good athlete, especially in football. After leaving high school...
12. Frank Borzage Frank Borzage Director, A Farewell to Arms
13. King Vidor King Vidor Director, War and Peace
14. Billy Gilbert Billy Gilbert Actor, The Great Dictator The son of singers in the Metropolitan Opera, Billy Gilbert began performing in vaudeville at age 12. He developed a drawn-out, explosive sneezing routine that became his trademark (he was the model for, and voice of, Sneezy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). Gilbert's exquisite comic timing made him the perfect foil for such comedians as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy...
15. Billy Bletcher Billy Bletcher Actor, Dry and Thirsty Billy Bletcher, standing 5' 2", was known as the little guy with the big voice, who, ironically, started his film career during the silent era. Billy's show business career began in 1913 at the age of 19 in vaudeville, and within a year, he went to work for Vitagraph Studios in Brooklyn where he both acted and directed...
16. Josef von Sternberg Josef von Sternberg Director, The Blue Angel Josef von Sternberg split his childhood between Vienna and New York City. His father, a former soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army, could not support his family in either city; Sternberg remembered him only as "an enormously strong man who often used his strength on me." Forced by poverty to drop out of high school...
17. Mae Marsh Mae Marsh Actress, Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages Mae Marsh's father was an auditor for the railroad who died when she was four. Her family moved to San Francisco, where her stepfather was killed in the 1906 earthquake. Her great-aunt then took Mae and her sister to Los Angeles. With her show business background, Mae's aunt took them to the various movie studios for work as extras...
18. Minerva Urecal Minerva Urecal Actress, The Adventures of Tugboat Annie Of Scottish descent, cruel-eyed, hatchet-faced veteran actress Minerva Urecal was a radio-trained player who spent some time on the clock with stage work before setting her sights on film and TV. Born Minerva Holzer in 1894 in the town of Eureka, California, her subsequent stage moniker would become a partial anagram of her hometown name...
19. Beatrice Lillie Beatrice Lillie Self, Beatrice Lillie Dubbed "the funniest woman in the world", comedienne Beatrice Lillie was born the daughter of a Canadian government official and grew up in Toronto. She sang in a family trio act with her mother, Lucy, and her piano-playing older sister, Muriel. Times were hard and the ambitious mother eventually took the girls to England to test the waters...
20. James A. FitzPatrick James A. FitzPatrick Producer, Minnesota: 'Land of Plenty' American documentary film director. After completing training in the dramatic arts, he worked for a while as a journalist. In 1925 he entered films and specialized throughout his career in travel documentaries. Besides directing, he also wrote, produced, and narrated many of his films. MGM distributed...
21. Dashiell Hammett Dashiell Hammett Writer, The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hammett was born May 27, 1894, in St. Mary's County, Maryland, to Richard Hammett and Mary Bond. He joined the Baltimore branch of the Pinkerton Detective Agency in 1915. He enlisted in the US Army's Ambulance Corps in June 1918 and was posted to a camp 20 miles from Baltimore, where he caught the flu...
22. Norman Rockwell Norman Rockwell Self, Norman Rockwell's World... An American Dream
23. Fred Allen Fred Allen Self, What's My Line? Fred Allen, the well-known comedian who went on to star in radio, television, and film, was born John Florence Sullivan in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1894 and educated at Boston University. His Broadway shows include "The Passing Show of 1922" and "The Greenwich Village Follies". He produced...
24. Fay Compton Fay Compton Actress, The Haunting
25. Ben Hecht Ben Hecht Writer, His Girl Friday Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood's and Broadway's greatest writers, won an Oscar for best original story for Underworld at the first Academy Awards in 1929 and had a hand in the writing of many classic films. He was nominated five more times for the best writing Oscar, winning (along with writing partner and friend Charles MacArthur...
26. Ernst Ziegler Ernst Ziegler Actor, Something for Everyone
27. Tay Garnett Tay Garnett Director, The Postman Always Rings Twice Following his service as a naval aviator in WW I, Tay Garnett entered films in 1920 as a screenwriter. After a stint as a gag writer for Mack Sennett and Hal Roach he joined Pathe, then the distributor for both competing comedy producers, and in 1928 began directing for that company. Garnett garnered some attention in the early 1930s with such films as One Way Passage and Her Man...
28. Stanley Blystone Stanley Blystone Actor, Modern Times
29. Norma Talmadge Norma Talmadge Actress, Going Straight Norma Talmadge was born on May 26, 1895, in Jersey City, New Jersey. The daughter of an unemployed alcoholic and his wife, Norma did not have the idyllic childhood that most of us yearn for. Her father left the family on Christmas Day and his wife and three daughters had to fend for themselves. Her mother...
30. Dimitri Tiomkin Dimitri Tiomkin Music Department, It's a Wonderful Life Dimitri Tiomkin was a Russian Jewish composer who emigrated to America and became one of the most distinguished and best-loved music writers of Hollywood. He won a hallowed place in the pantheon of the most successful and productive composers in American film history, earning himself four Oscars and sixteen Academy Awards nominations...
31. Lois Wilson Lois Wilson Actress, Guiding Light A schoolteacher who became a stage actress (briefly), Lois Wilson entered films in 1916 at Paramount (her sisters, Diana Kane and Connie Lewis, also worked as actresses). Wilson played leading roles well into the sound era, and after she retired from the screen she worked sporadically in television and again appeared on stage.
32. Corinne Griffith Corinne Griffith Actress, The Divine Lady Corinne Griffith was a popular star of the silent movies. She started her film career at Vitagraph in 1916 and later moved to First National, where she became one of that studio's biggest stars. At the height of her popularity she was known as the "Orchid Lady of the Screen." Black Oxen was one of her most popular films...
33. Aldous Huxley Aldous Huxley Writer, The Devils Aldous Leonard Huxley was born on July 26, 1894, at Laleham in Godalming, Surrey, England. He was the third of four children. His brother Julian Huxley was a biologist known for his theories of evolution. His grandfather, named Thomas Henry Huxley, was a naturalist known as "Darwin's Bulldog." His father...
34. Symona Boniface Symona Boniface Actress, Micro-Phonies An American actress most frequently seen in bit parts in comedy shorts, mostly at Columbia Pictures, particularly those of The Three Stooges, Symona Boniface entered the theatre as a playwright and actress, and produced plays as well. After the stock market crash of 1929 she began taking bit parts in films...
35. Estelle Taylor Estelle Taylor Actress, Cimarron A former typist, Estelle Taylor married a banker at age 14 and, after leaving him, moved to New York to study dramatic acting. She also modeled for artists and appeared in the chorus of a couple of Broadway shows. In the early 1920s she came to Hollywood and was noted as one of the film colony's most beautiful women...
36. Warren William Warren William Actor, The Wolf Man Warren William, the stalwart leading man of pre-Production Code talkies, was born Warren William Krech on December 2, 1894 in Aitkin, Minnesota, the son of a newspaper publisher. William originally planned to become a journalist, but he had a change of heart, and instead went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and trained to become an actor...
37. Norman Kerry Norman Kerry Actor, The Phantom of the Opera Popular leading man or villain in the silent era. He often wore fancy wax mustaches. Made a sucessful transtion to sound. Retired from films in 1941 concluding a thirty five year career.
38. Olive Thomas Olive Thomas Actress, The Flapper Oliveretta Elaine Duffy was born on October 20, 1894, in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. Olive, as she was known to family and friends, did not have much of a childhood. Life in industrial Pittsburgh was depressing and grim with its smoky factories and hard living. She married Bernard Krug Thomas at the age of 16 (which wasn't uncommon at the time)...
39. George Waggner George Waggner Director, The Wolf Man
40. Harold Miller Harold Miller Actor, Souvenirs
41. David Butler David Butler Director, Leave It to Beaver
42. Paul Hörbiger Paul Hörbiger Actor, The Third Man
43. Martin Garralaga Martin Garralaga Actor, Lonely Are the Brave
44. Aleksandr Dovzhenko Aleksandr Dovzhenko Writer, Arsenal
45. Basil Sydney Basil Sydney Actor, The Dam Busters The son of a stage manager, Basil Sydney entered the acting profession in 1909. His burgeoning career was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I, during which he saw action with the Norfolk Regiment in the British Army. In the early 1920's, Basil established himself as a matinée idol on the London stage...
46. Kathleen Lockhart Kathleen Lockhart Actress, A Christmas Carol
47. Bobby Barber Bobby Barber Actor, The Medicine Men
48. Nita Naldi Nita Naldi Actress, Blood and Sand Nonna Dooley, the future silent screen star, began her career as a showgirl in a Shubert revue in the Winter Garden, later went on to the famed Ziegfeld Follies. After a successful career on the stage with the Follies, Nita decided to try her hand with films in Hollywood. Her rise to fame was very quick...
49. Jovan Gec Jovan Gec Actor, Pop Cira i pop Spira
50. Opal Euard Opal Euard Actress, The Two Little Bears
1-50 of 1,243 names.