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Crane Wilbur Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (5)  | Trivia (4)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Athens, New York, USA
Died in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, California, USA  (pulmonary embolism)
Birth NameErwin Crane Wilber
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Actor, screenwriter and director Crane Wilbur was born Erwin Crane Wilbur on November 17, 1886, in Athens, NY. The nephew of the great stage actor Tyrone Power Sr., Wilbur first took to the boards as an actor, making his Broadway debut billed as Erwin Crane Wilbur on June 3, 1903, in a trilogy of William Butler Yeats plays, "A Pot of Broth" / "Kathleen ni Houlihan" / "The Land of Heart's Desire", put on by the Irish Literary Society at the Carnegie Lyceum.

He began appearing in films in 1910, but he made his name as a cinema actor as the male lead in The Perils of Pauline (1914), the enormously popular serial starring Pearl White. A star during the 1910s, Wilbur's career as a movie actor began petering out after he appeared as the eponymous hero of Breezy Jim (1919). As the Roaring Twenties made their debut, Wilbur went back to the stage. Between 1920-34 he had seven plays presented on Broadway: "The Ouija Board" (1920); "The Monster" (1922; revived 1933); "Easy Terms" (1925); "The Song Wtiter" (1928); "Border-Land" (1932); "Halfway to Hell" (1933); and "Are You Decent" (1934). He also staged "Halfway to Hell" and directed Donald Kirkley and Howard Burman's "Happily Ever After" in 1945. Crane also performed in "The Ouija Board", "Easy Terms" and nine other Broadway shows from 1927-32, including "A Farewell to Arms" (1930) and "Mourning Becomes Electra" (1932).

Wilbur had directed several silent pictures, but he made his sound debut as a director with the controversial Tomorrow's Children (1934), touted as "The Most Daring, Sensational Drama Ever Filmed!" The movie is an expose of the "science" of eugenics, tied to a story about the attempted forced sterilization of a married couple by the Welfare Bureau. "Tomorrow's Children" exposed the fact that many people were sterilized against their will and even without recourse to due process of law. The movie was banned in New York state on the grounds that it was "immoral", that it would "tend to corrupt morals" and that it was an incitement to crime. The ban was challenged but was upheld in the courts and on appeal as it was found to disseminate information about birth control, which was illegal at the time.

After this controversy Wilbur went on to a long and productive career, particularly in the mystery-thriller genre, as both a director and a screenwriter. He had a hand in the production of such genre classics as House of Wax (1953), The Bat (1959) (which he also directed) and Mysterious Island (1961).

Wilbur died on October 18, 1973, in Toluca Lake, CA, of complications following a stroke.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (5)

Lenita Lane (18 April 1936 - 18 October 1973) ( his death)
Beatrice Blinn (12 November 1928 - 13 November 1933) ( divorced)
Suzanne Caubert (4 April 1922 - 6 January 1928) ( divorced)
Florence Dunbar Williams (14 February 1917 - 1921) ( divorced)
Edna Hermance (? - 1914) ( divorced)

Trivia (4)

He was the nephew of Tyrone Power Sr. and cousin of Tyrone Power and Anne Power.
He died in his home in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, CA.
He was the son of Henry Wilber, who built and repaired yachts to well-to-do families, and Carrie Crane, a former actress.
He changed the spelling of his surname to Wilbur.

Personal Quotes (1)

I'm going to give people what they want. Sensation, horror, shock. Send them out into the streets to tell their friends how wonderful it is to be scared to death.

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