William Courtright

William Courtright (February 10, 1848 March 6, 1933)[1] was an American film actor.

William Courtright
Courtright (back, center) in advertisement for Hard Boiled (1919)
Theodore Courtright

(1848-02-10)February 10, 1848
DiedMarch 6, 1933(1933-03-06) (aged 84)
Years active1912-1930

Early years

He was born Theodore Courtright in New Milford, Illinois, and was educated in the public schools of Ione, California.[1] When he was 16, he ran away from home to join a stock theater company.[2]


Courtright's acting career began with Shakespearean plays, as he worked with Lawrence Barrett.[3] Before entering the film industry, he appeared in minstrel shows.[1] He made a world tour as a minstrel, with the tour's activities including performing before King Edward VII.[3]

Sometimes billed as Billy Courtright,[1] he appeared in 68 films between 1912 and 1930. He worked with D. W. Griffith and in his later career at the Hal Roach Studios, where he appeared in several early Laurel and Hardy comedies.

Courtright was still acting at age 80. An item in the October 28, 1928, edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer described him as "the oldest living motion-picture actor on the screen ..."[4]

His best-known role was Oliver Hardy's wealthy Uncle Bernal in That's My Wife (1929). His last film, the Our Gang comedy Teacher's Pet, was also his first sound film.

Personal life

In 1873, Courtright married actress Jennie Lee, and they worked together in vaudeville for 12 years as Courtright and Lee.[5] They also appeared together in Intolerance. Courtright died in Ione, California.

Selected filmography


  1. Katchmer, George A. (2009). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. p. 76. ISBN 9781476609058. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  2. "Veteran Actor on Screen at Empire". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Hawaii, Honolulu. October 10, 1928. p. 28. Retrieved March 27, 2018 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "Were of the Stage". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. April 23, 1933. p. 11. Retrieved March 27, 2018 via Newspapers.com.
  4. "Screen Shorts". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Ohio, Cincinnati. October 28, 1928. p. Section Three - Page 4. Retrieved March 27, 2018 via Newspapers.com.
  5. "An Old Minstrel Man". The Washington Times. D.C., Washington. June 6, 1914. p. 6.
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