The Watsons are an American family of nine sibling actors, who are known as "the first family of Hollywood". They were all first active as child actors in silent motion picture films. As of 2019, only Billy Watson (born 1923) and Garry Watson (born 1928) are still alive.
When Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios, located just 600 feet from the Watson family home, needed child actors for films, the father Canadian American J. C "Coy" Watson Sr. provided the kids. The Watson children worked with many big stars in the early Hollywood era, notably James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Fred Astaire, Shirley Temple, Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. Several members of the Watson family also worked as press, newsreel and television photographers during their adult careers.
The family were collectively honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6674 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood , California on April 22, 1999. Billy, Garry, and Louise were interviewed in July 2017 about their experiences in Hollywood.
The Watson Family
The Watson family's grandfather, James Watson, was a photographer who took photos of Buffalo Bill on Broadway. His son, J.C. (James Caughey) "Coy" Watson Sr. (born Ontario, Canada, April 14 1890 - May 23 1968), a horse breaker, married Golda Gladdis Wimer (1893-1979) on September 23, 1910. Their nine children went on to act in over 1,000 films, starting out as toddlers and child stars. The eldest of the nine siblings, Coy Watson Jr., authored a book, The Keystone Kid.
- Coy Watson Jr. (born as James Caughey Watson Jr. November 1912 – March 14 2009) (His first acting role in Keystone Cops comedies was at age nine months in the 1913 film "The Price of Silence)
- Vivian Watson (February 19, 1915 – December 18, 1994 (aged 79)
- Gloria Watson (July 4, 1917 – June 1, 1997 (aged 79)
- Louise Roberts Watson, (born Mamie Louis Watson, November 22, 1919 – June 5, 2018, Burbank, California); debuted at age eight in Taxi 13; her last performance was in 1997.
- Harry Watson (Harry R. Watson, August 31, 1921 – June 8, 2001)
- Billy Watson (born December 25, 1923
- Delmar Watson (David Delmar Watson, July 1926 – October 26, 2008)
- Garry Watson (born Gary Armand Watson, September 27, 1928 (made his debut as a one year old in the 1929 film Drag in 1929)
- Bobs Watson (Robert Ball Watson, November 11, 1930 – July 27, 1999)
- Pool, Bob. "Star Shines Brightly for Hollywood's First Family", The Los Angeles Times, April 23, 1999. Metro Part B Metro Desk, pg. 1.
- Hollywood's first family: The children stars of the silent movies
- J.C. Watson on IMDb
- Valerie J. Nelson, "Coy Watson Jr. dies at 96; one of nine silent-era sibling actors", Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2009
- Louise Watson on IMDb