name = Wilfred Lucas
birthdate = birth date |1871|1|30|mf=y
deathdate = death date and age|1940|12|5|1871|1|30|mf=y
Los Angeles, California, United States
Actor, Film director
yearsactive = 1908–1941
Wilfred Lucas (
January 30, 1871- December 5, 1940) was a stage and film actor, a film director, and a screenwriter.
A native of
Ontario, Canada, Lucas headed to New York Cityto work in the theater, making his Broadway acting debut in 1904 at the Savoy Theater in the production of " The Superstition of Sue". Following his 1906 role in the highly successful play, " The Chorus Lady", Lucas was recruited to the fledgling Biograph Studiosby D. W. Griffith. At the time, the film business was still looked down upon by many members of the theatrical community. In her 1925 book titled " When the Movies Were Young", Griffith's wife, actress Linda Arvidson, told the story of the early days at Biograph Studios. In it, she referred to Lucas as the "first real grand actor, democratic enough to work in Biograph movies."
In 1908, Lucas made his motion picture debut in Griffith's production, "
The Greaser's Gauntlet". He appeared in more than 50 of these short films (usually 17 minutes) over the next two years and in 1910, while still acting, he wrote the script for Griffith's film " Sunshine Sue" which was followed by many more scripts between then and 1924. Lucas also began directing in 1912, first with Griffith on " An Outcast Among Outcasts", and during the ensuing twenty years directed another 44 films. In 1916, Lucas appeared in Griffith’s film, "Intolerance", a monumental project regarded by many as the most spectacular film of all time.
Part of the group of
Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood, Lucas became friends and sometimes starred with Mary Pickford, Sam De Grasse, and Marie Dressler. Canadian born director Mack Sennetthired him to both direct and act in a large number of films at his Keystone Studios.
Wilfred Lucas made the successful transition from
silent filmto sound. While working in Hollywood, in 1926 he returned to the stage, performing in several Broadway plays.He later appeared as a foil for Laurel and Hardy,in their feature films " Pardon Us" and " A Chump at Oxford".
During his long career, Wilfred Lucas appeared in more than 375 films. Although for a time he was cast in leading roles, he became very successful as secondary and minor characters, making a good living in the film industry for more than three decades.
While working at Biograph Studios, Wilfred Lucas met and ultimately married actress/screenwriter
Bess Meredyth(1890-1969) with whom he had a son. John Meredyth Lucas(1919-2002) became a successful writer and director including a number of episodes of " Mannix" and " Star Trek". The divorce was a bitter one and through what is now known as Parental Alienation Syndrome(PAS), Wilfred Lucas became estranged from his son.
Actor, Film director
DATE OF BIRTH=
January 30, 1871
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
December 5, 1940
PLACE OF DEATH=
Los Angeles, California United States
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