Icon of early popular cinema Carlyle Blackwell was born in Syracuse, New York on this day (Note: some sources cite Troy, Pennsylvania, but given his desire to be buried in Syracuse--New York seems the likely place of his birth). He is primarily remembered for his acting roles, for which he was rewarded by becoming an early matinee idol; but he also dabbled in directing and production. Blackwell started in pictures in 1910 in the Vitagraph short Uncle Tom's Cabin, a Florence Turner vehicle. Although the first few films in which he appears were produced by Vitagraph, Blackwell is much more well known for being the heartthrob at Kalem during the 1910's. The first film that he made for them was When Lovers Part, a short romantic melodrama featuring Alice Joyce which was released in December of 1910. In fact, Joyce would be his co-star in romantic Kalem films for the next year and a half. After her departure, Blackwell veered into westerns for the bulk of 1912 and a portion of 1913. By 1914, Kalem was ready to let him take the directing reigns, which he did for the first time in the comedy Out In The Rain, which starred himself and Louise Glaum. They then allowed him to direct a series of lesser shorts during that same year--matinee material. Being as I am an Edwin S. Porter fan, I would like to point out that Blackwell was also directed by Porter during 1914; the most prominent of these is Such A Little Queen, which was co-directed by Porter and starred Mary Pickford (unfortunately it's yet another lost film--at least for now). By 1915, he was out from under contract to Kalem. The first film that he acted in outside that studio was produced by Jesse Lasky's company: The Puppet Crown. He stayed with Lasky's Feature Picture Play Co. for the remainder of the year, but by 1916 he was "on the float" again. He next landed at Equitable and production company under the distribution of World Film. He spent the next couple of years in the orbit of World Film and it's huge distribution universe. For example, his next turn in the director's chair came in 1917 for Peerless, one of World Film's many production partnerships. The film was a drama featuring himself opposite Evelyn Greeley entitled Good For Nothing. He would direct two more films in the silent era--Leap To Fame and His Royal Highness--both of which were made directly for World Film and both produced in 1918. By this time, he was wholly a commodity of the influential company; he would remain with them until the dawning of the new decade. By 1920 he had also developed a taste for stage acting (there is a two year gap in his film appearances between 1920 and 1922, when apparently he turned to the boards for work). In 1922 he landed the part of Captain Hugh Drummond in the film that most casual followers of silent film know him from, the joint UK/Netherlands Hollandia project that is Bulldog Drummond, if only for the fact that it is the very first such film--the film itself is presumed lost and is on the list of several British entities of "most wanteds." Blackwell worked in films in the UK for the remainder of the silent era and into the early sound era; in other words, for the rest of his film acting life. It was in the UK that he produced his first film--The Beloved Vagabond in 1923 under his own company (named for himself) and a partnership with Astra-National. He is known to have produced at least six films in his career, and is thought to have been an uncredited producer on Alfred Hitchcock's most famous silent film The Lodger. The first film that he worked on that was released with any sort of sound came in 1929 with Gainsborough's The Wrecker--which was a joint venture with a German production team--the sound featured an synchronized musical score (the film The Crooked Billet (1929) that he appeared in was re-released with partial sound in 1930, but was silent upon it's initial release). The last film of the 1920's in which he appeared was a fully silent German adaptation of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes: Der Hund von Baskerville in 1929, the film also featured a performance by German actor Fritz Rasp. Blackwell only appeared in two additional films after this--both of them he directed and produced and both were made in the UK (one of them, he also wrote, his only such credit). After this, he retired from film acting to devote his energies solely to stage work. At some point, he retired to the Miami area in Florida, where he died of a heart attack at the age of 71. He was transported for burial at Oakwood Cemetery in Syracuse. His son Carlyle Blackwell Jr., also an actor, is also buried there with him.