Born William Claude Dukenfield, W.C. Fields started his professional career as a juggler, working the vaudeville circuit. But his ad-libbed comments on stage made him change the focus of his act to comedy. He starred on the Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway for nine years before moving onto the silver screen. Despite initially working in D.W. Griffith movies, it was his roles in Mack Sennett comedies that Fields crafted the on-screen persona for which he is now known, which included mastering the art of physical comedy. He transferred his love of comedy from what is seen on the screen to what happened on set. He expressed an intense dislike for children and animals, but worked with both often. His on screen image as the dipsomaniac belied the fact that he enjoyed keeping healthy through physical exercise. His career tapered off at the height of his fame.