Henry B. Walthall
Walthall in 1934
|Born||March 16, 1878|
Shelby County, Alabama, U.S.
|Died||June 17, 1936 58) (aged|
Monrovia, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Isabel Fenton (1907–1917)|
Mary Charleson (1918–1936),
Henry Brazeale Walthall (March 16, 1878 –June 17, 1936) was an American stage and film actor. He appeared as the Little Colonel in D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915).
Henry B. Walthall was born March 16, 1878 1437 on a cotton plantation owned by his father in Shelby County, Alabama. His father had been a captain in the Confederate army. Walthall worked full time with his father in the 1890s capturing and selling black Americans into forced labor. He was educated by his parents and an uncle who lent books to him. He studied at Howard College for six months.:
In 1898, during the Spanish–American War, he enlisted in the First Alabama Regiment.He contracted malaria while in camp in Jacksonville, Florida, and the war ended before he had recovered. He served 11 months, and when his regiment was discharged he returned home. Then, with $100, he left for New York to make his career on the stage. He played small parts with the Murray Hill Theater stock company. Later he became affiliated with the American Theater stock company and soon afterward joined the Providence, Rhode Island, stock company.
In New York in 1901,Walthall won a role in Under Southern Skies by Charlotte Blair Parker. He performed in the play for three years, in New York and on tour. With the company of Henry Miller he gained recognition on Broadway in plays, including Pippa Passes , The Only Way and William Vaughn Moody's The Great Divide (1906–08). His fellow cast member James Kirkwood introduced Walthall to D.W. Griffith, and at the conclusion of that engagement, Walthall joined the Biograph Company.
His career in movies began in 1909 at Biograph Studios in New York with a leading role in the film A Convict's Sacrifice. This film also featured James Kirkwood, and was directed by D.W. Griffith, a director that played a huge part in Walthall's rise to stardom. As the industry grew in size and popularity, Griffith emerged as a director, and Walthall found himself a mainstay of the Griffith company, frequently working with Griffith regulars such as Owen Moore, Kate Bruce, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Mae Marsh, Bobby Harron and Jack and Mary Pickford. He followed Griffith's departure from New York's Biograph to California's Reliance-Majestic Studios in 1913. After a few months with Reliance, he joined Pathé for a short period.
He decided to go into the producing business and formed The Union Feature Film Company, the first to be devoted entirely to full-length films. The venture was not successful, however, and he again became associated with Griffith's company.
Given the relatively short length of films in the early years, Walthall frequently found himself cast in dozens of films each year. He gained national attention in 1915 for his role as Colonel Ben Cameron in Griffith's highly influential and controversial epic The Birth of a Nation . Walthall's portrayal of a Confederate veteran rounding up the Ku Klux Klan won him large-scale fame, and Walthall emerged as a leading actor in the years leading up to the 1920s, parting ways with Griffith.
Walthall continued working in films through the 1920s, appearing in The Plastic Age with Gilbert Roland and Clara Bow. He portrayed Roger Chillingworth in Victor Seastrom's 1926 adaptation of The Scarlet Letter with Lillian Gish.
Walthall continued his career into the 1930s. After his performance in director John Ford's 1934 film Judge Priest starring Will Rogers he enjoyed a golden period of his career. He portrayed Dr. Manette in A Tale of Two Cities (1935), starring Ronald Colman. In 1936, he appeared as Marcel in The Devil-Doll and as Captain Buchanan in the American Civil War drama Hearts in Bondage . He was gravely ill during his final film China Clipper .
Frank Capra wanted Walthall to portray the High Lama in his 1937 film Lost Horizon . "Frail and failing, he died before we could test him," Capra wrote. 196:
Walthall has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard.
Lillian Gish described Walthall as "a slight man, about five feet six, fine-boned, with the face of a poet and a dreamer." 135 She recalled his patience while Griffith grappled with technical problems filming the epilogue of Home, Sweet Home (1914), a scene in which Gish, as an angel, lifts Walthall's character out of hell. "There was a long discussion while Walthall and I, encased in leather harness, hung on the guide wires. Wally, a true southern gentleman, didn't raise his voice, didn't complain; he simply fainted and hung there limply." :113:
Walthall was married twice. His marriage to actress Isabel Fenton (1907–1917) ended in divorce. His second marriage to Irish actress Mary Charleson lasted from 1918 until his death in 1936.
Exhausted from months of uninterrupted film work, Walthall collapsed on the Warner Bros. set after completing his scenes in the film China Clipper , in which he portrayed an airplane inventor. He entered the Pasteur Sanitarium at Monrovia, California, and died of an intestinal illness three weeks later on June 17, 1936.
|1909||A Convict's Sacrifice||The Convict's Friend||Short :1437|
|1909||The Mended Lute||Indian||Short|
|1909||The Sealed Room||The Minstrel||Short :1437|
|1909||In Old Kentucky||Robert, the Confederate Son||Short :1437|
|1909||The Hessian Renegades||Short|
|1909||A Corner in Wheat||The wheat king's assistant||Short :1437|
|1909||Fools of Fate||Short|
|1909||A Trap for Santa Claus||Arthur||Short|
|1909||In Little Italy||Victor||Short|
|1909||The Day After||Party Guest||Short|
|1909||Choosing a Husband||Harry||Short :1437|
|1910||The Honor of His Family||George Pickett Jr.||Short :1437|
|1910||In Old California||Perdita's Son||Short :1437|
|1910||The Two Brothers||Pedro||Short|
|1910||The Kid||Walter Holden||Short|
|1910||The Gold Seekers||The Prospector||Short :1437|
|1910||In the Border States||Confederate Corporal||Short, Uncredited|
|1910||The House with Closed Shutters||The Confederate Soldier||Short|
|1910||The Sorrows of the Unfaithful||Bill||Short :1437|
|1910||A Summer Idyl||Albert||Short :1437|
|1910||The Oath and the Man||Henri Prevost||Short :1437|
|1910||Rose O'Salem-Town||The Trapper||Short|
|1910||The Armorer's Daughter||Short :1437|
|1911||A Little Child||The Burglar||Short :1437|
|1912||The Miser's Daughter||The Miser's Daughter's Sweetheart||Short :1437|
|1912||Home Folks||Short :1437|
|1912||The Inner Circle||Short|
|1912||A Change of Spirit||First Gentleman Thief||Short|
|1912||Two Daughters of Eve||The Father||Short|
|1912||Friends||Dandy Jack||Short :1437|
|1912||So Near, Yet So Far||Short|
|1912||A Feud in the Kentucky Hills||Psalm Singer||Short|
|1912||In the Aisles of the Wild||Jim Watson||Short|
|1912||The One She Loved||The Husband||Short|
|1912||The Painted Lady||At Ice Cream Festival||Short, Uncredited|
|1912||My Baby||The Husband||Short|
|1912||The Informer||The false Brother||Short|
|1912||My Hero||Indian Charlie||Short|
|1912||The Burglar's Dilemma||Householder's Weakling Brother||Short|
|1912||The God Within||The Woodsman||Short|
|1913||Three Friends||Ned Billings - the Husband||Short|
|1913||Oil and Water||The Idealist||Short :1437|
|1913||Love in an Apartment Hotel||The Young Woman's Fiance||Short|
|1913||Broken Ways||The Road Agent||Short :1437|
|1913||The Sheriff's Baby||First Bandit||Short|
|1913||The Perfidy of Mary||Poet||Short|
|1913||The Lady and the Mouse||The 1st Rival||Short|
|1913||If We Only Knew||The Father||Short|
|1913||The Wanderer||The Wanderer||Short|
|1913||The Tenderfoot's Money||The Prospector||Short|
|1913||The Stolen Loaf||The Poor Man||Short|
|1913||The House of Darkness||Minor Role||Short|
|1913||Red Hicks Defies the World||In Crowd||Short|
|1913||Death's Marathon||The Husband||Short :1437|
|1913||The Switch Tower||The Switchman||Short|
|1913||The Mothering Heart||Club Patron||Short, Uncredited|
|1913||The Mistake||Jack, the Friend, a Prospector||Short|
|1913||A Gambler's Honor||Beth's Brother||Short|
|1913||During the Round-Up||The Stranger||Short|
|1913||The Mirror||The Station Agent||Short|
|1913||The Vengeance of Galora||Short :1437|
|1913||Two Men of the Desert||First Partner||Short :1437|
|1913||A Woman in the Ultimate||Member of the Badger Gang||Short|
|1913||The Wedding Gown||:1437|
|1913||The Battle at Elderbush Gulch||Indian Chief's Son||Short :1437|
|1913||The Little Tease||The Valley Man|
|1914||The Green-Eyed Devil||Short|
|1914||The Gangsters of New York :1437||Porky Dugan||Short|
|1914||Judith of Bethulia||Holofernes|
|1914||Strongheart||Soangataha / Strongheart||Short, :1437|
|1914||The Floor Above||Stephen Pryde||Short|
|1914||Ashes of the Past||:1437|
|1914||Home, Sweet Home||John Howard Payne||:1437|
|1914||The Mountain Rat||Douglas Williams||Short :1437|
|1914||Lord Chumley||Lord Chumley||Short|
|1914||The Avenging Conscience||The Nephew|
|1914||The Odalisque||Joe, in love with May||Short :1437|
|1915||The Birth of a Nation||Col. Ben Cameron|
|1915||Beulah||Dr. Guy Hartwell|
|1915||Ghosts||Captain Arling / Oswald||:1437|
|1915||The Raven||Edgar Allan Poe|
|1915||The Woman Hater||:1437|
|1916||The Misleading Lady||Jack Craigen|
|1916||The Strange Case of Mary Page||Phil Langdon, Attorney||Serial, lost film|
|1916||The Birth of a Man|
|1916||The Sting of Victory||David Whiting/Walker Whiting|
|1916||The Pillars of Society||Karsten Bernick||:1437|
|1916||The Truant Soul||Dr. John Lancaster / Dr. Lawson|
|1917||Little Shoes||David Noel|
|1917||Burning the Candle||James Maxwell|
|1917||The Saint's Adventure||Rev. Paul Manson|
|1917||National Association's All-Star Picture|
|1918||His Robe of Honor||Julian Randolph|
|1918||Humdrum Brown||Hector "Humdrum" Brown|
|1918||With Hoops of Steel||Emerson Mead|
|1918||The Great Love||Sir Roger Brighton|
|1918||And a Still Small Voice||Clay Randolph|
|1919||The Long Lane's Turning||Harry Sevier|
|1919||The False Faces||Michael Lanyard, "The Lone Wolf"|
|1919||Modern Husbands||Stephen Duane|
|1919||The Boomerang||George Gray|
|1919||The Long Arm of Mannister||George Mannister|
|1920||The Confession||Father Bartlett|
|1920||Parted Curtains||Joe Jenkins|
|1920||A Splendid Hazard||Karl Breitman|
|1921||Flower of the North||Philip Whittemore|
|1922||The Ableminded Lady||Breezy Bright|
|1922||One Clear Call||Henry Garnett|
|1922||The Kickback||Aaron Price|
|1922||The Long Chance||Harley P. Hennage|
|1922||The Marriage Chance||Dr. Paul Graydon|
|1923||The Face on the Bar-Room Floor||Robert Stevens|
|1923||The Unknown Purple||Peter Marchmont / Victor Cromport|
|1923||Boy of Mine||William Latimer|
|1924||The Woman on the Jury||Prosecuting Attorney||Lost film|
|1924||Single Wives||Franklin Dexter|
|1924||The Bowery Bishop||Norman Strong|
|1925||The Golden Bed||Colonel Peake|
|1925||On the Threshold||Andrew Masters|
|1925||The Girl Who Wouldn't Work||William Hale|
|1925||Kit Carson Over the Great Divide||Dr. Samuel Webb|
|1925||Kentucky Pride||Mr. Beaumont|
|1925||Dollar Down||Alec Craig|
|1925||Simon the Jester||Brandt|
|1925||The Plastic Age||Henry Carver|
|1926||Three Faces East||George Bennett|
|1926||The Barrier||Gale Gaylord|
|1926||The Unknown Soldier||Mr. Phillips|
|1926||The Road to Mandalay||Father James|
|1926||The Scarlet Letter||Roger Chillingworth|
|1927||Fighting Love||Filipo Navarro|
|1927||The Enchanted Island||Tim Sanborn|
|1927||The Rose of Kildare||Bob Avery|
|1927||Love Me and the World Is Mine||Van Denbosch|
|1927||A Light in the Window||Johann Graff|
|1927||London After Midnight||Sir James Hamlin|
|1928||Retribution||Henry / Tommy Mooney||Short, Vitaphone Varieties 2418|
|1928||Freedom of the Press||John Ballard|
|1929||The Jazz Age||Mr. Maxwell|
|1929||Stark Mad||Captain Rhodes||Lost film|
|1929||The Bridge of San Luis Rey||Father Juniper|
|1929||From Headquarters||Buffalo Bill Ryan|
|1929||River of Romance||Gen. Jeff Rumford|
|1929||Black Magic||Dr. Bradbroke|
|1929||In Old California||Don Pedro DeLeón||:1437|
|1929||The Phantom in the House||Boyd Milburn|
|1930||Blaze o' Glory||Burke||Lost film|
|1930||Abraham Lincoln||Colonel Marshall|
|1930||The Love Trader||Captain Adams|
|1930||Tol'able David||Amos Hatburn|
|1931||Is There Justice?||District Attorney John Raymond|
|1931||Anybody's Blonde||Mr. Evans|
|1932||Police Court||Nat Barry|
|1932||Strange Interlude||Professor Leeds|
|1932||Alias Mary Smith||Atwell|
|1932||Chandu the Magician||Robert Regent|
|1932||Ride Him, Cowboy||John Gaunt|
|1932||The Cabin in the Cotton||Eph Clinton|
|1932||Me and My Gal||Sarge|
|1932||Self Defense||Dr. Borden|
|1933||42nd Street||The Actor||Uncredited|
|1933||The Whispering Shadow||J.D. Bradley - Company President||Serial :1437|
|1933||The Flaming Signal||Rev. James|
|1933||Somewhere in Sonora||Bob Leadly|
|1933||Hold Your Man||Clergyman in Alternate Version||Uncredited|
|1933||Laughing at Life||Presidente Valenzuela|
|1933||Headline Shooter||Judge Beacon||Uncredited|
|1933||Her Forgotten Past||Mr. Maynard|
|1933||The Wolf Dog||Jim Courtney||Serial|
|1933||The Sin of Nora Moran||Father Ryan|
|1934||Beggars in Ermine||Marchant the Blind Man|
|1934||Men in White||Dr. McCabe|
|1934||Viva Villa!||Francisco I. Madero|
|1934||City Park||Colonel Henry Randolph Ransome|
|1934||The Murder in the Museum||Bernard Latham Wayne, alias Professor Mysto|
|1934||Judge Priest||Rev. Ashby Brand|
|1934||The Scarlet Letter||Roger Chillingworth|
|1934||The Lemon Drop Kid||Jonas Deering||:1437|
|1934||A Girl of the Limberlost||Dr. Ammon|
|1934||Love Time||Duke Johann von Hatzfeld|
|1934||Bachelor of Arts||Professor Barth|
|1935||Dante's Inferno||Pop McWade|
|1935||A Tale of Two Cities||Dr. Manette|
|1936||The Garden Murder Case||Dr. Garden||:1437|
|1936||The Mine with the Iron Door||David Burton|
|1936||Hearts in Bondage||Captain Buchanan|
|1936||The Last Outlaw||Under Sheriff Calvin Yates||Screening on Broadway when Walthall died|
|1936||China Clipper||Dad Brunn||Walthall collapsed on the set after completing his scenes and died three weeks later |
(final film role)
David Wark Griffith was an American film director. Widely considered as the most important filmmaker of his generation, he pioneered financing of the feature-length movie.
A Corner in Wheat is a 1909 American short silent film which tells of a greedy tycoon who tries to corner the world market on wheat, destroying the lives of the people who can no longer afford to buy bread. It was directed by D. W. Griffith and adapted by Griffith and Frank E. Woods from a novel and a short story by Frank Norris, titled The Pit and A Deal in Wheat.
Lillian Diana Gish was an American pioneering actress of the screen and stage, and a director and writer. Her film acting career spanned 75 years, from 1912, in silent film shorts, to 1987. Gish was called "The First Lady of American Cinema", and is credited with pioneering fundamental film performance techniques.
Dorothy Elizabeth Gish was an American actress of the screen and stage, as well as a director and writer. Dorothy and her older sister Lillian Gish were major movie stars of the silent era. Dorothy also had great success on the stage, and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. Dorothy Gish was noted as a fine comedian, and many of her films were comedies.
Biograph Studios was an early film studio and laboratory complex, built in 1912 by the Biograph Company at 807 East 175th Street, in The Bronx, New York City, New York.
The Biograph Company, also known as the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, was a motion picture company founded in 1895 and active until 1916. It was the first company in the United States devoted entirely to film production and exhibition, and for two decades was one of the most prolific, releasing over 3000 short films and 12 feature films. During the height of silent film as a medium, Biograph was America's most prominent film studio and one of the most respected and influential studios worldwide, only rivaled by Germany's UFA, Sweden's Svensk Filmindustri and France's Pathé. The company was home to pioneering director D. W. Griffith and such actors as Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, and Lionel Barrymore.
Robert Emmett "Bobby" Harron was an American motion picture actor of the early silent film era. Although he acted in over 200 films, he is possibly best recalled for his roles in the D.W. Griffith directed films The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916).
Judith of Bethulia (1914) is an American film starring Blanche Sweet and Henry B. Walthall, and produced and directed by D. W. Griffith, based on the play of the same name by Thomas Bailey Aldrich. The film was the first feature-length film made by pioneering film company Biograph, although the second that Biograph released.
The New York Hat (1912) is a short silent film directed by D. W. Griffith from a screenplay by Anita Loos, and starring Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore, and Lillian Gish.
Home, Sweet Home (1914) is an American silent biographical drama directed by D.W. Griffith. It stars Earle Foxe, Henry Walthall and Dorothy Gish.
An Unseen Enemy is a 1912 Biograph Company short silent film directed by D. W. Griffith, and was the first film to be made starring the actresses Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish. A critic of the time stated that "the Gish sisters gave charming performances in this one-reel film". The film was shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey where early film studios in America's first motion picture industry were based at the beginning of the 20th century. Consistent with practice at that time, the actors in the cast and their roles are not listed in the film.
Oil and Water is a 1913 film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Blanche Sweet. The supporting cast includes Henry B. Walthall, Lionel Barrymore, and Harry Carey. A stage dancer (Sweet) and a serious-type homebody (Walthall) discover, after marriage, that their individual styles don't mesh. The movie includes elaborate dance sequences.
Ramona is a 1910 American short drama film directed by D. W. Griffith, based on Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel Ramona. Through a love story, the early silent short explores racial injustice to Native Americans and stars Mary Pickford and Henry B. Walthall. A copy of the print survives in the Library of Congress film archive. The film was remade in 1928 with Dolores del Río and 1936 with Loretta Young.
The One She Loved is a 1912 American silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith. The film, by the Biograph Company, was shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey when many early film studios in America's first motion picture industry were based there at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Informer is a 1912 American dramatic short film directed by D. W. Griffith and featuring Mary Pickford, Henry B. Walthall, Harry Carey, Lionel Barrymore, Dorothy Gish and Lillian Gish. It was filmed in the Pike County town of Milford, Pennsylvania. Prints of the film survive at the film archive of the Library of Congress.
The Battle of the Sexes is a 1914 American silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith for the Majestic Motion Picture Company. No complete prints of the film are known to exist, however, a fragment has survived. Griffith remade the film as The Battle of the Sexes in 1928 as a comedy-drama and this latter version is available on DVD.
The Escape was a 1914 American silent drama film written and directed by D. W. Griffith and starred Donald Crisp. The film is based on the play of the same name by Paul Armstrong who also wrote the screenplay. It is now considered lost.
The Mended Lute is a 1909 silent short western film directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Florence Lawrence. It was produced by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.
Pippa Passes; or, The Song of Conscience is a 1909 silent short directed D. W. Griffith. It was produced and distributed by the Biograph Company. It is based on a play Pippa Passes by Robert Browning.
The Little Tease is a 1913 silent black and white film directed by D.W. Griffith, produced by Biograph Company and starring Henry B. Walthall and Mae Marsh.
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