Douglas Fairbanks
Actor, producer, screenwriter, director
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks was an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He was best known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films such as The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, and The Mark of Zorro. An astute businessman, Fairbanks was a founding member of United Artists. Fairbanks was also a founding member of The Motion Picture Academy and hosted the first Oscars Ceremony in 1929.
Biography
Douglas Fairbanks's personal information overview.
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Popular photos of Douglas Fairbanks
News
News abour Douglas Fairbanks from around the web
SWEAT; Teaching the Art Of Surviving the Duel
NYTimes - over 5 years
IT was a perfectly peaceful late summer evening in downtown Manhattan, but a few steps off the sidewalk on Broome Street, two swordsmen tilted heavy Spanish rapiers at each other. Each keenly focused on the other's three-foot-long steel blade. After a circular, predatory dance, they clashed, laying into each other with a great clanking as furious
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Book review: 'Raoul Walsh,' by Marilyn Ann Moss - Washington Post
Google News - over 5 years
(Mary Walsh Collection) - Walsh and Douglas Fairbanks fooling around on the set of 'The Thief of Bagdad' in West Hollywood, late 1923-early 1924. Walsh was unusual in that he was a glamorous and romantic figure who could also be relied upon to get
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Mickey Mouse, back when he still channeled Chaplin and Astaire - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
In some pictures he has a touch of Fred Astaire; in others of Charlie Chaplin, and some of Douglas Fairbanks, but in all of these there should be some of the young boy.” As the animated Mickey became popular with children, parents began to object to
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Pic history embraces 'Three'-peat - Variety
Google News - over 5 years
By 1929, Douglas Fairbanks' iconic swashbuckler was already version number four. The first sound version was appropriately in French, "Les Trois Mousquetaires" (1932) with Edith Mera as Milady de Winter, billed as "une aventuriere sans foi ni loi" (a
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Laura Roth rekindles vaudeville at The Wood - The Saratogian
Google News - over 5 years
In the lobby, the original lobby card for Douglas Fairbanks in “The Thief of Bagdad” will be displayed. The lobby card is stamped by the Empire Theater, a former vaudeville house in Glens Falls, as well as an actual early Empire Theater program
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Cocktail recipes you can try at home - Daily News & Analysis
Google News - over 5 years
And the most iconic female face of the time, Mary Pickford; now, here was Hollywood royalty. She starred in over 120 films, married Douglas Fairbanks and lived a luxurious lifestyle in her Beverly Hills mansion and, like many celebrities of the day,
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Great Escape: Movie Screenings in a Cemetery and a Rudolph Valentino Memorial ... - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
The film series, now in its 10th year, takes place on the Fairbanks Lawn next to the crypt housing Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Sr. Bring a picnic, pillows and blankets. Alcohol is permitted, but no high back chairs, dogs or barbecue grills
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ARTS, BRIEFLY; New York Film Festival to Close With George Clooney Movie
NYTimes - over 5 years
''The Descendants,''Alexander Payne's first feature since his 2004 film ''Sideways,'' will be the closing night selection of the New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center announced on Wednesday along with the roster of 27 films that will be presented in the festival's main slate. Adapted from the Kaui Hart Hemmings novel, ''The
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Jennifer Aniston Cast in Stone At Grauman's - ThirdAge
Google News - over 5 years
Jennifer Aniston joined Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and Douglas Fairbanks in having her hands and feet immortalized in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Thursday. Joining Aniston at the ceremony was Jason Bateman, who stars with her
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The Black Pirate showtimes - Chicago Reader
Google News - over 5 years
Douglas Fairbanks stars as a Spanish nobleman who loses his father in a pirate attack and vows to bring the killers to justice; after infiltrating the pirate crew he proves himself by capturing a ship single-handedly, then complicates his scheme by
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Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium Silent Movie Double Feature - North Fort Myers Neighbor
Google News - over 5 years
Come enjoy two Douglas Fairbanks classic Movies, Mark of Zorro (1920) at 7pm and The Three Musketeers (1921) at 8:30pm. For only $5 for non-members and $3 for members you can enjoy both of the features or just watch your favorite!
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For Film Graduates, An Altered Job Picture
NYTimes - over 5 years
LOS ANGELES -- One after another, touring groups of prospective students and their parents stopped late last month to pose for pictures around a bronze Douglas Fairbanks, who wields his sword in a courtyard fountain here at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. Not even the imposing Mr. Fairbanks, a founder of the film
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Douglas Fairbanks
    FIFTIES
  • 1939
    Age 55
    On December 12, 1939, Fairbanks had a mild heart attack.
    More Details Hide Details He died later that day at his home in Santa Monica at the age of 56. Fairbanks's famous last words were, "I've never felt better." His funeral service was held at the Wee Kirk o' the Heather Church in Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery where he was placed in a crypt in the Great Mausoleum. Two years following his death, he was removed from Forest Lawn by his widow, Sylvia, who commissioned an elaborate marble monument for him featuring a long rectangular reflecting pool, raised tomb, and classic Greek architecture in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. The monument was dedicated in a ceremony held in October 1941, with Fairbanks's close friend Charles Chaplin reading a remembrance. The remains of his son, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., were also interred there upon his death in May 2000. In 1998, a group of Fairbanks fans started the Douglas Fairbanks Museum in Austin, Texas. The museum building was temporarily closed for mold remediation and repairs in February 2010. Plans and fundraising efforts are underway to re-open the museum to the public.
  • FORTIES
  • 1933
    Age 49
    Fairbanks and Pickford separated in 1933, after he began an affair with Sylvia, Lady Ashley. They divorced in 1936, with Pickford keeping the Pickfair estate.
    More Details Hide Details Within months Fairbanks and Ashley were married in Paris. He continued to be marginally involved in the film industry and United Artists, but his later years lacked the intense focus of his film years. His health continued to decline, and in his final years he lived at 705 Ocean Front (now Pacific Coast Highway) in Santa Monica, California, although much of his time was spent traveling abroad with third wife, Sylvia, Lady Ashley.
  • 1929
    Age 45
    On March 29, 1929, at Pickford's bungalow, United Artists brought together Pickford, Fairbanks, Charles Chaplin, Norma Talmadge, Gloria Swanson, John Barrymore, D.W. Griffith and Dolores del Rio to speak on the radio show The Dodge Brothers Hour to prove Fairbanks could meet the challenge of talking movies.
    More Details Hide Details Fairbanks's last silent film was the lavish The Iron Mask (1929), a sequel to 1921's The Three Musketeers. The Iron Mask included an introductory prologue spoken by Fairbanks. He and Pickford chose to make their first talkie as a joint venture, playing Petruchio and Kate in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew (1929). This film, and his subsequent sound films, were poorly received by Depression-era audiences. The last film in which he acted was the British production The Private Life of Don Juan (1934), after which he retired from acting.
    Fairbanks was a founding member of United Artists. Fairbanks was also a founding member of The Motion Picture Academy and hosted the first Oscars Ceremony in 1929.
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  • 1927
    Age 43
    During the first ceremony of its type, on April 30, 1927, Fairbanks and Pickford placed their hand and foot prints in wet cement at the newly opened Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. (In the classic comedy Blazing Saddles, Harvey Korman's villain character sees Fairbanks' prints at Grauman's and exclaims, "How do he do such fantastic stunts with such little feet?") Fairbanks was elected first President of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences that same year, and he presented the first Academy Awards at the Roosevelt Hotel.
    More Details Hide Details Today, Fairbanks also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7020 Hollywood Boulevard. While Fairbanks had flourished in the silent genre, the restrictions of early sound films dulled his enthusiasm for film-making. His athletic abilities and general health also began to decline at this time, in part due to his years of chain-smoking.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1920
    Age 36
    By 1920, he had the inspiration of staging a new type of adventure-costume picture, a genre that was then out of favor with the public; Fairbanks had been a comic in his previous films.
    More Details Hide Details In The Mark of Zorro, Fairbanks combined his appealing screen persona with the new adventurous costume element. It was a smash success and parlayed the actor into the rank of superstar. For the remainder of his career in silent films he continued to produce and star in ever more elaborate, impressive costume films, such as The Three Musketeers (1921), Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood (1922), The Thief of Bagdad (1924), The Black Pirate (1926), and The Gaucho (1927). Fairbanks spared no expense and effort in these films, which established the standard for all future swashbuckling films. In 1921, he, Pickford, Chaplin, and others, helped to organize the Motion Picture Fund to assist those in the industry who could not work, or were unable to meet their bills.
    By 1920, Fairbanks had completed twenty-nine films (twenty-eight features and one two-reel short), which showcased his ebullient screen persona and athletic ability.
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    With his marriage to Mary Pickford in 1920, the couple became Hollywood royalty and Fairbanks was referred to as "The King of Hollywood", a nickname later passed on to actor Clark Gable.
    More Details Hide Details Though widely considered as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood during the 1910s and 1920s, Fairbanks' career rapidly declined with the advent of the "talkies". His final film was The Private Life of Don Juan (1934). Fairbanks was born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman (spelled "Ulman" by Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in his memoirs) in Denver, Colorado, the son of H. Charles Ullman (born September 15, 1833) and Ella Adelaide (née Marsh; born 1847). He had two half-brothers, John Fairbanks, Jr. (born 1873) and Norris Wilcox (February 20, 1876 - October 21, 1946), and a full brother, Robert Payne Ullman (March 13, 1882 – February 22, 1948). Douglas Fairbanks's father, Hezekiah Charles Ullman (1833–1915) was born in Berrysburg, Pennsylvania, but raised in Williamsport. He was the fourth child in a Jewish family consisting of six sons and four daughters. Charles's parents, Lazarus Ullman and Lydia Abrahams, had immigrated to the U.S. in 1830 from Baden, Germany.
  • 1918
    Age 34
    In late 1918, Sully was granted a divorce from Fairbanks, the judgment being finalized in early 1919. After the divorce, Fairbanks was determined to have Pickford become his wife, but she was still married to actor Owen Moore. He finally gave her an ultimatum. She then obtained a fast divorce in the small Nevada town of Minden on March 2, 1920. Fairbanks leased the Beverly Hills mansion Grayhall and was rumored to have used it during his courtship of Pickford. The couple married on March 28, 1920. Pickford's divorce from Moore was contested by Nevada legislators, however, and the dispute was not settled until 1922.
    More Details Hide Details Even though the lawmakers objected to the marriage, the public went wild over the idea of "Everybody's Hero" marrying "America's Sweetheart." They were greeted by large crowds in London and Paris during their European honeymoon, becoming Hollywood's first celebrity couple. During the years they were married, Fairbanks and Pickford were regarded as "Hollywood Royalty," famous for entertaining at their Beverly Hills estate, Pickfair.
  • 1917
    Age 33
    In 1917, Fairbanks capitalized on his rising popularity by publishing a self-help book, Laugh and Live which extolled the power of positive thinking and self-confidence in raising one's health, business and social prospects.
    More Details Hide Details To avoid being controlled by the studios and to protect their independence, Fairbanks, Pickford, Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith formed United Artists in 1919, which created their own distributorships and gave them complete artistic control over their films and the profits generated. The company was kept solvent in the years immediately after its formation largely by the success of Fairbanks' films.
    In 1917, they joined Fairbanks' friend Charlie Chaplin selling war bonds by train across the United States.
    More Details Hide Details Pickford and Chaplin were the two highest paid film stars in Hollywood at that time. To curtail these stars' astronomical salaries, the large studios attempted to monopolize distributors and exhibitors. By 1918, Fairbanks was Hollywood's most popular actor, and within three years of his arrival, Fairbanks' popularity and business acumen raised him to the third-highest paid.
  • 1916
    Age 32
    Fairbanks met actress Mary Pickford at a party in 1916, and the couple soon began an affair.
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    In 1916, Fairbanks established his own company, the Douglas Fairbanks Film Corporation, and would soon get a job at Paramount.
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  • 1915
    Age 31
    After moving to Los Angeles, Fairbanks signed a contract with Triangle Pictures in 1915 and began working under the supervision of D.W. Griffith.
    More Details Hide Details His first film was titled The Lamb, in which he debuted the athletic abilities that would gain him wide attention among theatre audiences. His athleticism was not appreciated by Griffith, however, and he was brought to the attention of Anita Loos and John Emerson, who wrote and directed many of his early romantic comedies.
    They had one son, Douglas Elton Fairbanks, who later became known as actor "Douglas Fairbanks Jr." In 1915, the family moved to Los Angeles.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1907
    Age 23
    On July 11, 1907, Fairbanks married Anna Beth Sully, the daughter of wealthy industrialist Daniel J. Sully, in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1902
    Age 18
    After two years, he decided to take a crack at Broadway, and moved to New York, where he found his first Broadway role in Her Lord and Master, which premiered in February 1902.
    More Details Hide Details He worked in a hardware store and as a clerk in a Wall Street office between Broadway jobs. His Broadway appearances included the popular A Gentleman from Mississippi in 1908-09.
  • 1899
    Age 15
    He went with the acting troupe of Frederick Warde, beginning a cross country tour in September 1899.
    More Details Hide Details He toured with Warde for two seasons, functioning in dual roles, both as actor and as the assistant stage manager in his second year with the group.
    He left school in the spring of 1899, at the age of 15.
    More Details Hide Details He variously claimed to have attended Colorado School of Mines and Harvard University, but neither claim is true.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1883
    Born
    Born on May 23, 1883.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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