Watson family

Last updated

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. [1]

Hollywood District in Los Angeles, California, United States

Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry, including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.

The term child actor or child actress is generally applied to a child acting on stage or in motion pictures or television, but also to an adult who began their acting career as a child. To avoid confusion, the latter is also called a former child actor. Closely associated is teenage actor or teen actor, an actor who reached popularity as a teenager.

Contents

Beginnings

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. [ citation needed ]

Mack Sennett Canadian-American actor and filmmaker

Mack Sennett was a Canadian-American film actor, director, and producer, and studio head, known as the King of Comedy.

Keystone Studios American film studio (Los Angeles; 1912–1935)

Keystone Studios was an early film studio founded in Edendale, California on July 4, 1912 as the Keystone Pictures Studio by Mack Sennett with backing from actor-writer Adam Kessel (1866–1946) and Charles O. Baumann (1874–1931), owners of the New York Motion Picture Company. The company, referred to at its office as The Keystone Film Co., filmed in and around Glendale and Silver Lake, Los Angeles for several years, and its films were distributed by the Mutual Film Corporation between 1912 and 1915.

James Stewart American actor

James Maitland Stewart was an American actor and military officer who is among the most honored and popular stars in film history. Known for his distinctive drawl, down-to-earth persona, and authentic, everyman acting style, Stewart's film career spanned over 55 years and 80 films. With the strong morals he portrayed both on screen and in his personal life, Stewart epitomized the "American ideal" in the 20th-century United States. The characters he played spanned a wide range of subjects and appealed to large audiences. His emotional film performances contributed to his cinematic acclaim.

Legacy

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. [2]

Hollywood Walk of Fame Entertainment hall of fame in Hollywood, Los Angeles

The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The stars are permanent public monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry, bearing the names of a mix of musicians, actors, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups, fictional characters, and others. The Walk of Fame is administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust. It is a popular tourist destination, with a reported 10 million visitors in 2003. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce holds trademark rights to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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. [3] 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.

Buffalo Bill American frontiersman and showman

William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody was an American scout, bison hunter, and showman. He was born in Le Claire, Iowa Territory, but he lived for several years in his father's hometown in Toronto Township, Ontario, Canada, before the family returned to the Midwest and settled in the Kansas Territory.

Broadway theatre class of professional theater presented in New York City, New York, USA

Broadway theatre, also known simply as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada. Located in Central Canada, it is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

Coy Watson Jr. American child actor of the silent era

James Caughey Watson Jr. professionally Coy Watson, was an American child actor of the silent era, who was from an extended family of fellow performers known as The Watson Family. He appeared in more than 60 films.

Burbank, California City in California, United States

Burbank is a city in Los Angeles County in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of Southern California, United States, 12 miles (19 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The population at the 2010 census was 103,340.

<i>Taxi 13</i> 1928 film by Marshall Neilan

Taxi 13 is a 1928 silent film comedy produced and distributed by Film Booking Offices of America and directed by Marshall Neilan. The film stars Chester Conklin in what is FBO's first film with a pre-recorded soundtrack.

Related Research Articles

Wallace Beery American actor

Wallace Fitzgerald Beery was an American film and stage actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Bill in Min and Bill (1930) opposite Marie Dressler, as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1934), as Pancho Villa in Viva Villa! (1934), and his titular role in The Champ (1931), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Beery appeared in some 250 films during a 36-year career. His contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer stipulated in 1932 that he would be paid $1 more than any other contract player at the studio. This made Beery the highest-paid actor in the world. He was the brother of actor Noah Beery Sr. and uncle of actor Noah Beery Jr.

William Haines American actor and interior designer

Charles William "Billy" Haines, known professionally as William Haines, was an American film actor and interior designer.

Gilbert M. "Bronco Billy" Anderson was an American actor, writer, film director, and film producer, who is best known as the first star of the Western film genre. He was a founder and star for Essanay studios. In 1958, he received a special Academy Award for being a pioneer of the movie industry.

Noah Beery Sr. American actor

Noah Nicholas Beery was an American actor who appeared in films from 1913 to 1945. He was the older brother of Academy Award-winning actor Wallace Beery and the father of character actor Noah Beery Jr. Beery was billed as either Noah Beery or Noah Beery Sr. depending upon the film.

Jobyna Ralston American actress

Jobyna Ralston was an American stage and film actress. She had a featured role in the first Oscar-winning film, Wings in 1927, but is perhaps best remembered today for her on-screen chemistry with Harold Lloyd, with whom she appeared in seven movies.

Ford Sterling American comedian

Ford Sterling was an American comedian and actor best known for his work with Keystone Studios. One of the 'Big 4', he was the original chief of the Keystone Cops.

Diana Serra Cary American actress, author, publisher, historian

Diana Serra Cary, known as Baby Peggy, is an American former child actress, author and historian. Although other child actors from the time who had minor roles or bit-parts are still living, she is the last living film star of the Silent Era of Hollywood.

Philippe De Lacy American actor

Philippe De Lacy was a silent film era child actor.

Louise Lorraine actress

Louise Lorraine was an American film actress.

Marceline Day actress

Marceline Day was an American motion picture actress whose career began as a child in the 1910s and ended in the 1930s.

Gordon Griffith American actor and film producer

Gordon S. Griffith was an American assistant director, film producer, and one of the first child actors in the American movie industry. Griffith worked in the film industry for five decades, acting in over 60 films, and surviving the transition from silent films to talkies—films with sound. During his acting career, he worked with Charles Chaplin, and was the first actor to portray Tarzan on film.

Lucille Ricksen American child actress

Lucille Ricksen was an American motion picture actress during the silent film era. She died of tuberculosis on March 13, 1925 at the age of 14.

(for a vaudeville era actor see Harry Watson Jr.)

David Delmar Watson was an American child actor and news photographer.

Bobs Watson American actor and Methodist minister

Robert Ball Watson credited as Bobs Watson, was an American actor and Methodist minister.

Louise Drew American actress

Louise Drew was an American stage actress.

References

1