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Richard Barthelmess Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (1)  | Salary (2)

Overview (5)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Southampton, New York, USA  (throat cancer)
Birth NameRichard Semler Barthelmess
Nicknames Corey
Dick
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Richard Barthelmess was born into a theatrical family in which his mother was an actress. While attending Trinity College in Connecticut, he began appearing in stage productions. While on vacation in 1916, a friend of his mother, actress Alla Nazimova, offered him a part in War Brides (1916), and Richard never returned to college. He appeared in a number of films before signing a contract with D.W. Griffith in 1919. Griffith put Richard into Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919) with Lillian Gish which made him a star. He had an uncanny ability to become the characters he played. The next year, he was again teamed with Lillian in Way Down East (1920). This film would become the standard for many movies in the future. Best remembered is the river scene in which Richard jumps over the ice floes in search of Lillian as she heads towards the falls. He formed Inspiration Pictures to make Tol'able David (1921) and gave one of his best performances as a lad who saves the U.S. mail from the outlaws. He remained popular throughout the twenties and became one of the biggest stars at First National Pictures. He received Academy Award nominations for The Patent Leather Kid (1927) and The Noose (1928). Sound was not a medium that would embrace Richard. He did make a number of talkies in the first few years of sound, but his acting technique was not well suited for sound and the parts began to get smaller. With his career over by the mid-30s, but he came back with a fine performance in Howard Hawks's Only Angels Have Wings (1939). Richard joined the Navy Reserve in 1942, and when the war ended he retired to Long Island and lived off his real estate investments.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Spouse (2)

Jessica Stewart Sargent (1928 - 17 August 1963) ( his death)
Mary Hay (18 June 1920 - 1927) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (11)

One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Screen actor and film producer.
Son of actress Caroline Harris.
Barthelmess made 75 films in the twenty years between his first feature in 1916 and his semi-retirement from the screen in 1936. He appeared in only six more films between 1936 and 1942. His silent films number 57. His early talkies number 19.
Co-founder of Inspiration Pictures along with Charles H. Duell and Henry King in 1921.
Had one daughter, Mary, with Mary Hay.
Interred at the Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum in Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA.
Founder of Richard Barthelmess Productions, a film production company, in 1923.
His great uncle, the Reverend William Boone, was the first Episcopal Bishop of Shanghai, China, and his great grandfather was the first Episcopal Bishop in China.
In February of 1914, Barthelmess and another Trinity College student were booked on drunkenness charges. The prosecutor, not wanting to blemish their student records, let them go.
Has never appeared in a film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

Personal Quotes (1)

When I saw my friends were earning just seven or eight dollars a week in banks, I thought I'd better try acting.

Salary (2)

War Brides (1916) $7 .50/day
The Patent Leather Kid (1927) $375,000

See also

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