1-50 of 1,086 names.

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1. Walter Brennan Walter Brennan Actor, Rio Bravo 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. 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...
4. Jean Renoir Jean Renoir Director, 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...
5. Zasu Pitts Zasu Pitts Actress, Greed 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...
6. Jack Benny Jack Benny Actor, To Be or Not to Be 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...
7. Warren William Warren William Actor, Gold Diggers of 1933 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...
8. 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...
9. 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...
10. King Vidor King Vidor Director, War and Peace
11. Henry Daniell Henry Daniell Actor, The Great Dictator One of Hollywood's greatest screen villains, Charles Henry Daniell had the profound misfortune to make his professional theatrical debut on the eve of World War I. His life thus interrupted, he served in the trenches on the Western Front with the 2nd Battalion of the British Army's Norfolk Regiment...
12. Percy Helton Percy Helton Actor, 20000 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...
13. Billy Bletcher Billy Bletcher Actor, Dry and Thirsty Diminutive-sized comedian, in Hollywood from 1920.
14. Ben Hecht Ben Hecht Writer, Notorious Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood & 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...
15. 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...
16. William Fawcett William Fawcett Actor, Batman and Robin "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.
17. Mae Marsh Mae Marsh Actress, The Birth of a Nation Like much of early Hollywood history, much of Mae Marsh's biography is shrouded in mystery and the creation of studio publicity people. The story of the Marsh children being taken to Hollywood by their aunt is often told, but according to the 1910 U.S. Census, the Marsh children were all living with their parents in Los Angeles...
18. Frank Borzage Frank Borzage Director, A Farewell to Arms
19. 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...
20. 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...
21. 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)...
22. 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...
23. Minerva Urecal Minerva Urecal Actress, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao A stage actress, Urecal made her screen debut in 1934. For the remainder of her career and two hundred plus movies, she played cleaning women, landladies, shopkeepers and the like. She was known as a Marjorie Main type actress and later went on to a career in television playing in such shows as "Tugboat Annie" and "Peter Gunn." Minerva claimed her name was an amalgam of her hometown...
24. Dashiell Hammett Dashiell Hammett Writer, The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hammett was born May 27l, 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...
25. Moms Mabley Moms Mabley Self, Killer Diller One the most successful entertainers of the Black vaudeville stage, also known as the Chitlin Circuit, was Jackie "Moms" Mabley, born Loretta Mary Aiken in 1894. At the apex of her long career, she was earning $10,000 a week at Harlem's Apollo Theatre. Mabley focused on conventional topics such as family and others not normally covered by comedians of the era...
26. 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...
27. Dave Fleischer Dave Fleischer Director, Gulliver's Travels
28. 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...
29. 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, Diane 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.
30. 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...
31. James Thurber James Thurber Writer, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty James Grover Thurber was born in 1894 in Columbus, Ohio. He began his career as a reporter for the Columbus Evening Dispatch. He became known for his work on The New Yorker, where he was a writer and a cartonist. His most famous story is "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".
32. Jolie Gabor Jolie Gabor Self, The People vs. Zsa Zsa Gabor
33. Bobby Barber Bobby Barber Actor, Barber Lou
34. Fred Allen Fred Allen Self, Judge for Yourself 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...
35. Robert Williams Robert Williams Actor, Platinum Blonde It's fair to say that if 'Frank Capra (I)' hadn't cast Robert "Bobby" Williams in his 1931 film Platinum Blonde the actor would be entirely forgotten today. When the movie was made available on video in the 1980s the promotional copy on the video box emphasized the names most buffs would recognize: actresses Jean Harlow and Loretta Young...
36. 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...
37. Corinne Griffith Corinne Griffith Actress, The Divine Lady Corinne Griffith became a popular star of the silent movies. Corinne started her film career at Vitagraph in 1916. She later moved to First National where she became one of their biggest stars. At the height of her popularity, she was known as the "Orchid Lady of the Screen." 'Black Oxen (1924)' was one of her most popular films...
38. Aleksandr Dovzhenko Aleksandr Dovzhenko Director, Arsenal
39. 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...
40. Lewis Martin Lewis Martin Actor, The War of the Worlds
41. Basil Sydney Basil Sydney Actor, Around the World in Eighty Days 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...
42. Kenji Takaki Kenji Takaki Actor, A Town Like Alice Kenji was born in Japan and as a teenager set out to make his fortune abroad. Eventually he ended up in Liverpool where he found work on various ships as a merchant seaman. He became naturalized and obtained a British passport. In 1941 he was captured at sea and, because of his British passport, was held as a prisoner of war in MILAG - the prison camp for merchant seamen...
43. Fay Compton Fay Compton Actress, The Haunting
44. Kathleen Lockhart Kathleen Lockhart Actress, A Christmas Carol
45. Richard Wallace Richard Wallace Director, The Young in Heart Richard Wallace was born in Sacramento, California, in 1894. At 14 years of age he got a job as a theater projectionist, a job he held for four years. He later traveled to Los Angeles to get into the film industry, and wound up as an editor for such studios as Triangle and Robertson-Cole. His career was interrupted by service in the US Army Signal Corps during World War I...
46. Stuart Buchanan Stuart Buchanan Actor, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
47. Charles C. Wilson Charles C. Wilson Actor, It Happened One Night
48. David Butler David Butler Director, Calamity Jane
49. Bessie Smith Bessie Smith Soundtrack, Kill Bill: Vol. 2
50. Enid Markey Enid Markey Actress, The Naked City
1-50 of 1,086 names.