William Black (actor)

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William Black
The Fatal Fortune (1919) - 2.jpg
Black (center) in serial The Fatal Fortune (1919)

William Black was an American Broadway theatre and silent film actor. He appeared on Broadway in 10 productions from 1899 to 1931, and in 39 films between 1916 and 1941. He also appeared under the names Bill Black, William Wallace Black, William W. Black, and W. W. Black.



Black was born in Irvington, New York in 1871. [1] He appeared in his first Broadway production, a revival of an opera by Jacques Offenbach called La Belle Hélène , in 1899. [2] He went on to appear in eight other productions through 1910, including three mountings of His Honor the Mayor, a musical comedy in 1906 and 1907, and a production of Little Nemo , in which he received star billing. [1] His final stage appearance on Broadway was 21 years later, in 1931 in a farce called Company's Coming which ran for only 8 performances. [3]


At the time that Black was initially appearing on Broadway, the American film industry was centered in the New York metropolitan area. Black's first film appearance was in 1916, in a film called Vanity. [4] He worked consistently, generally playing small parts, through 1919 and into the early 1920s, when the pace of his appearances slowed down. [4] Whether or not this was the result of the industry's switch to sound is not clear. By the mid-20s, his film appearances were few, with two films in 1924, two in 1926, and then two in 1930. His next film appearance was in 1935, followed by two uncredited appearances in 1938 and 1941, when he was in Hello, Sucker in a bit part. [4]

Partial filmography

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