Jack Nelson (actor)

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Jack Nelson
Jack Nelson flier inset portrait.jpg
Born(1882-10-15)October 15, 1882
DiedNovember 10, 1948(1948-11-10) (aged 66)
OccupationActor, film director
Years active1910-1935

Jack Nelson (October 15, 1882 November 10, 1948) was an American actor and film director of the silent era. He appeared in 88 films between 1910 and 1935. He also directed 58 films between 1920 and 1935. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee and died in North Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Film director Person who controls the artistic and dramatic aspects of a film production

A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. A film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfilment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. Under European Union law, the director is viewed as the author of the film.

Silent film Film with no synchronized recorded dialogue

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound. In silent films for entertainment, the plot may be conveyed by the use of title cards, written indications of the plot and key dialogue lines. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, the introduction of synchronized dialogue became practical only in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the advent of the Vitaphone system. The term "silent film" is a misnomer, as these films were almost always accompanied by live sounds. During the silent-film era that existed from the mid-1890s to the late 1920s, a pianist, theater organist—or even, in large cities, a small orchestra—would often play music to accompany the films. Pianists and organists would play either from sheet music, or improvisation. Sometimes a person would even narrate the intertitle cards for the audience. Though at the time the technology to synchronize sound with the video did not exist, music was seen as an essential part of the viewing experience.

Memphis, Tennessee City in Tennessee, United States

Memphis is a city located along the Mississippi River in southwestern Shelby County, Tennessee, United States. The 2017 city population was 652,236, making Memphis the largest city on the Mississippi River, the second most populous city in Tennessee, as well as the 25th largest city in the United States. Greater Memphis is the 42nd largest metropolitan area in the United States, with a population of 1,348,260 in 2017. The city is the anchor of West Tennessee and the greater Mid-South region, which includes portions of neighboring Arkansas and Mississippi. Memphis is the seat of Shelby County, the most populous county in Tennessee. As one of the most historic and cultural cities of the southern United States, the city features a wide variety of landscapes and distinct neighborhoods.


Upon arriving in North Bay, Nelson took over management of the Capital Theatre, one of two movie theatres in North Bay at the time. Years later after World War Two broke out, Nelson played an important role in the nine national Victory Loan Drives (1941-1945). Acting as chairman of public relations, Nelson served on the Nipissing District National War Finance Committee. His duties included organizing parades, corresponding with the local North Bay Daily Nugget Newspaper, and hosting occasional free movie admission nights for residents who purchased bonds. During the Sixth Victory Loan Drive in May 1944, Nelson and his employees at the Capital Theatre were awarded a coveted flag on behalf of the National War Finance Committee in Ottawa. The entire staff at the theatre, under Nelson's management, had subscribed 15% their payroll during the four-week drive. In accordance with the Sixth Victory Loan drive promotions, any company within Canada that subscribed 15% of payroll finances to bond purchases were awarded the Victory Loan V-Flag in recognition. The V-Flag was subsequently hung in the lobby of the Capital Theatre. [1]

Selected filmography

<i>If My Country Should Call</i> 1916 film by Joe De Grasse

If My Country Should Call is a 1916 silent drama film directed by Joe De Grasse and starring Lon Chaney. The film survives incomplete at the Library of Congress and the National Archives of Canada/Ottawa.

<i>Undine</i> (film) 1916 film by Henry Otto

Undine is a 1916 American silent fantasy drama film which featured the athletic actress Ida Schnall in a water-themed story based upon the fairy tale Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouque. The film was directed by Henry Otto and produced and distributed by the Bluebird Photoplays division of Universal Film Manufacturing Company. It is not known whether the film currently survives.

Pasquale is a 1916 American comedy silent film directed by William Desmond Taylor and written by George Beban and Lawrence McCloskey. The film stars George Beban, Helen Jerome Eddy, Page Peters, Jack Nelson, Myrtle Stedman and Nigel De Brulier. The film was released on May 21, 1916, by Paramount Pictures.

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  1. North Bay Daily Nugget, Monday April 24, 1944, pg 13.