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William C. de Mille is a Actor, Director, Scriptwriter, Producer and Still Photographer American born on 25 july 1878 at Washington (USA)

William C. de Mille

William C. de Mille
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Birth name William Churchill de Mille
Nationality USA
Birth 25 july 1878 at Washington (USA)
Death 5 march 1955 (at 76 years) at Playa del Rey, Los Angeles (USA)

Willam C. de Mille (July 25, 1878 – March 5, 1955) was an American screenwriter and film director from the silent movie era through the early 1930s. He was also a noted playwright prior to moving into film. Once he was established in film he specialized in adapting Broadway plays into silent films.


De Mille was born in Washington, North Carolina, to Henry Churchill de Mille (1853–1893), an Episcopal lay minister and playwright from North Carolina, and Matilda Beatrice Samuel (1853–1923), who was born to a Sephardic Jewish family in England but converted to her husband's faith. He was the elder brother of the versatile Cecil B. DeMille, who altered the capitalization of his last name when he went to Hollywood, claiming that it fit better on marquees. (William continued to be known as "de Mille", and his daughter Agnes also chose "de Mille".) William received a bachelor's degree from Columbia University followed by graduate studies at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, at schools in Germany, and a second stint at Columbia studying under Brander Matthews.

In 1903, he married Anna Angela George, the daughter of notable economist Henry George. Anna bore William two children, choreographer Agnes de Mille (named after a younger sister who died in childhood) and actress Peggy George. Professionally, their life was stable. A successful Broadway playwright, William's works were regularly produced by the flamboyant impresario David Belasco. One notable production, The Warrens of Virginia (1907) featured future film star Mary Pickford and Cecil, both struggling actors playing minor roles. Cecil eventually moved to Hollywood and William followed. Though not as famous today as Cecil, he was one of the silent film era's most respected directors. And though most of his silents have been lost, 1921's Miss Lulu Bett shows a delicate touch in the telling of an impoverished spinster's misfortunes in a small town. One of the writers involved in the film was Clara Beranger, whom deMille would marry in 1929.

At about this time, William also met Lorna Moon, an established New York author from Scotland, who also wrote sophisticated Hollywood comedies. In 1998, Richard de Mille, who had grown up in Cecil's household, revealed in the memoir My Secret Mother, Lorna Moon that William C. deMille was his father and screenwriter Moon his biological mother. Richard had been adopted by Cecil B. and Constance DeMille to avoid a family scandal. Apparently, William's wife never knew the truth of Richard's birth.

In addition to his filmmaking fame, William deMille was an early member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (His brother was a founding member.) With Douglas Fairbanks, he co-hosted the 1st Academy Awards in 1929, and he solely hosted the 2nd Academy Awards the following year. He also served as President of the Academy briefly. DeMille helped found the USC Film School in 1929, and after his East Coast theatrical career failed to revive in the early 1930s, he was active on the faculty there until his death.

DeMille died in 1955 while living in Playa del Rey, California and was interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Usually with

Jesse L. Lasky
Jesse L. Lasky
(24 films)
Clara Beranger
Clara Beranger
(20 films)
Adolph Zukor
Adolph Zukor
(15 films)
James Neill
James Neill
(14 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of William C. de Mille (75 films)

Display filmography as list


Hollywood (1923)

Directed by James Cruze
Origin USA
Genres Comedy
Themes Films about television
Actors George K. Arthur, Bess Flowers, Ruby Lafayette, Roscoe Arbuckle, Gertrude Astor, Mary Astor
Rating67% 3.3761753.3761753.3761753.3761753.376175
Angela Whitaker (Hope Drown) is a young unknown who comes to Hollywood to become an actress, and brings her grandfather, Joel Whitaker (Luke Cosgrave). At the end of the first day, she has not found work, but her grandfather has.
The Rose of the Rancho
Directed by Oscar Apfel, Cecil B. DeMille, Wilfred Buckland
Origin USA
Genres Adventure, Romance, Western
Actors Bessie Barriscale, Jane Darwell, Dick La Reno, Jeanie Macpherson, Monroe Salisbury, William C. de Mille
Roles Cowboy
Rating40% 2.0050452.0050452.0050452.0050452.005045
Esra Kincaid (La Reno) takes land by force and, having taken the Espinoza land, his sights are set on the Castro rancho. US government agent Kearney (Johnston) holds him off till the cavalry shows up and he can declare his love for Juanita "The Rose of the Rancho" (Barriscale).


The Emperor Jones, 1h12
Directed by William C. de Mille, Dudley Murphy
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Musical
Themes Seafaring films, Monde imaginaire, Théâtre, Transport films, Films based on plays
Actors Paul Robeson, Dudley Digges, Fredi Washington, Ruby Elzy, Frank H. Wilson, Rex Ingram
Rating64% 3.244953.244953.244953.244953.24495
At a Baptist prayer meeting, the preacher leads a prayer for Brutus Jones, who has just been hired as a Pullman Porter, a job that served the upward mobility of thousands of African-American men in the first half of the 20th-century. Jones proudly shows off his uniform to his girlfriend Dolly (and the film's audience, setting up the contrast with the later scenes in which "the Emperor Jones" parades around in overdone military garb) before joining the congregation for a spiritual. But Jones is quickly corrupted by the lures of the big city, taking up with fast women and gamblers. One boisterous crap game leads to a fight in which he inadvertently stabs Jeff, the man who had introduced him to the fast-life and from whom he had stolen the affections of the beautiful Undine (played by Fredi Washington).
His Double Life, 1h8
Directed by William C. de Mille
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy, Comedy-drama
Actors Roland Young, Lillian Gish, Montagu Love, Lumsden Hare, Lucy Beaumont, Charles Richman
Rating64% 3.241853.241853.241853.241853.24185
Priam Farrel (played by Roland Young) is England's most famous living painter. A recluse who hates fame, he has not been seen by anyone, for years, not even his agent, or cousin. He is glad to be mistaken for his valet by everyone, including his cousin, when he returns to England. In this case of mistaken identity, he's happy to live a quiet country life with his manservant's mail order bride (played by Lillian Gish) ... until he gets hauled into court for bigamy and fraud.
The Idle Rich, 1h20
Directed by William C. de Mille
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Romantic comedy
Themes Films based on plays
Actors Conrad Nagel, Bessie Love, Leila Hyams, James Neill, Edythe Chapman
Rating62% 3.1448453.1448453.1448453.1448453.144845
Wealthy businessman William "Will" Van Luyn (Conrad Nagel) proposes to his secretary, Joan Thayer (Leila Hyams). She accepts, but worries how her family will react. When he meets them for the first time, little sister Helen (Bessie Love) is delighted by the advantages he will bring, but cousin Henry starts lecturing him on the virtues of the downtrodden middle class. The rich can afford medical treatment, and the poor can rely on the government to pay the bills, but the middle class has to shoulder the financial burden on its own. Nevertheless, Will marries Joan.