Thursday, June 22, 2017

Born Today June 22: Edgar Lewis


Silent actor turned director Edgar Lewis was born on this day in Holden, Missouri.  He started out on the stage and graduated to film acting in 1911 when he appeared in The Violin Maker Of Nuremberg.  Though he started directing just two years later, he never stopped taking jobs in front of the camera.  His directorial debut came with Hiawatha (1913), though he is uncredited.  His first credited directing job came with his next film in a short western in which he directed himself: The Sheriff (1913).  In 1915 he added scenario writer to his list of credits with A Gilded Fool, a film that he also directed, which was made at Fox.  And in 1919 he got into that most silent film form of promotion, becoming a "presenter" on Caliber 38 (1919), which he directed under his newly founded Edgar Lewis Productions.  The following year he and his company got into full production mode on Lahoma (1920), a western that he directed and was set in his home state of Missouri.  His first sound film, a DeForest Phonofilm,  was Unmasked in 1929; he directed this now lost film.  The last film that he directed came in 1930 with the comedy Ladies In Love; though he continued to act.  The last film that he appeared in was a small uncredited role in Riding Wild; a Tim McCoy western released in 1935.  This was just three years prior to his death on the 21st of May 1938 in Los Angeles. He was 68.  He is buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

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