Douglas MacLean

Douglas MacLean (born Charles Douglas MacLean; January 10, 1890July 9, 1967) was an American stage and silent film actor, who later worked as a producer and screenwriter in the sound era.

Douglas MacLean
Often billed as "The Man With the Million Dollar Smile", c. 1915
Charles Douglas MacLean

(1890-01-10)January 10, 1890
DiedJuly 9, 1967(1967-07-09) (aged 77)
Spouse(s)Barbara Barondess (1938–1948)
Lorraine Maclean (1931–1936)
Faith Cole (1914–1930)
Florence Barton

Early life and stage career

MacLean was of Scottish descent, a sixth generation American born in Philadelphia and educated at the Northwestern University Preparatory School, and Lewis Institute of Technology, in Chicago. Although he came from a navy family and was slated for Annapolis, he chose a different career path.[1] After working as a bond salesman, MacLean enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and later played juvenile leads in repertory theatre and performed as supporting characters in major stage productions such as Peter Pan starring Maude Adams.


MacLean's first film was the 1914 production As Ye Sow with Alice Brady, followed by a bit parts in Fuss and Feathers and in two Mary Pickford features, Captain Kidd, Jr. and Johanna Enlists. He went on to appear with Dorothy Gish in The Hun Within, and he co-starred with Doris May in the romantic comedy 23 1/2 Hours' Leave, which was a big hit. From 1922 to 1929 he starred in 14 other features for Paramount and First National, all maintaining the standard light romantic comedy formula that continued to prove successful for him. MacLean during his film career was often billed as "The Man With the Million Dollar Smile". In 1929 he was cast in his only "talkie", Divorce Made Easy; he then retired from acting.

Producer and screenwriter

In 1932 Douglas made his debut as a producer with Ladies of the Jury. He produced a total of eight films for Paramount, including Tillie and Gus starring W.C. Fields, Ladies Should Listen starring Cary Grant, and Two for Tonight. He retired from film production in 1937 but continued to work as a freelance writer for movies and television during the 1940s and 1950s.

Personal life and death

MacLean was married four times. He met his fourth wife, Barbara Barondess, in a producer's office in April 1932, six years before they wed. At the time they were already aware of each others' work and recognized each other's voices. In her 1986 autobiography One Life is Not Enough, Barondess recalls, "There was something in this man's manner and speech that made an indelible impression on me."[1] She describes him as having a vaulted, almost regal presence:

He was the most elegant man I had ever met. I didn't identify with him in the girl-and-boy sense. He was too far away, on a pedestal, completely out of reach. I would have felt the same way if he had been the Prince of Wales.[1]

MacLean, at age 77, died in 1967 in his Beverly Hills home from the effects of a stroke. His gravesite is located at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.






  1. MacLean, Barbara Barondess. One Life is Not Enough. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1986.
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