James Kirkwood Sr.

James Kirkwood Sr. (February 22, 1875 – August 24, 1963) was an American actor and director.

James Kirkwood Sr.
Born(1875-02-22)February 22, 1875
DiedAugust 24, 1963(1963-08-24) (aged 88)
OccupationActor, film director
Years active1909–1956
Spouse(s)Gertrude Robinson
Lila Lee
(m. 1923; div. 1931)

Biography

Kirkwood debuted on screen in 1909 and was soon playing leads for D. W. Griffith. He started directing in 1912, and became a favorite of Mary Pickford. In 1923 he married actress Lila Lee; with her, he had a son, James Kirkwood Jr., who became a writer. He was George Melford's original choice for the starring role of Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan in The Sheik, which was later famously passed to Rudolph Valentino.[1][2] His directing career fizzled in 1920, but he continued acting well into the 1950s.

His film career would span more than two hundred films over nearly a half century. Many years later his son, James Jr., would become a successful writer, winning both a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize for A Chorus Line.[3][4]

He died at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital.[5]

Selected filmography

References

  1. "Greenroom Jottings (Page One)". Motion Picture Magazine. New York: Brewster Publications. October 1921. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  2. "Greenroom Jottings (Page Two)". Motion Picture Magazine. New York: Brewster Publications. October 1921. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  3. New York Times, “James Kirkwood, Actor, Dead at 80,” August 25, 1963, p. 82; Los Angeles Times, "Actor James Kirkwood Dies at 80”, August 25, 1963, p. K10
  4. Whitfeld, Eileen, Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood, pp. 137–138
  5. "JAMES KIRKWOOD, ACTOR, DEAD AT 80; Hero of Silent Films Also Starred on the Stage Began Career in 1900". 25 August 1963 via NYTimes.com.
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