William Beaudine

From Wikipedia

William Beaudine (January 15, 1892 – March 18, 1970) was an

American film actor and director. He was one of Hollywood’s most prolific

directors, turning out films in remarkable numbers and in a wide variety of


In 1915 he was hired as an actor and director by the Kalem

Company. He was an assistant to director D.W. Griffith on The Birth of a Nation

and Intolerance. By the time he was 23 Beaudine had directed his first picture,

a short called Almost a King (1915). He would continue to direct shorts

exclusively until 1922, when he shifted his efforts into making feature-length


Beaudine directed silent films for Goldwyn Pictures (before

it became part of MGM), Metro Pictures (also before MGM), First National

Pictures, Principal and Warner Brothers. In 1926 he made Sparrows, the story of

orphans imprisoned in a swamp farm starring Mary Pickford. Beaudine had at

least 30 pictures to his credit before the sound era began. Among his first

sound films were short Mack Sennett comedies; he made at least one film for

Sennett while contractually bound elsewhere, resulting in his adopting the

pseudonym “William Crowley.” He would occasionally use the pseudonym

in later years, usually as “William X. Crowley.”

He ground out several movies annually for Fox Films, Warner

Brothers, Paramount, and Universal Pictures. His most famous credit of the

early 1930s is The Old-Fashioned Way, a comedy about old-time show folks

starring W. C. Fields.

Beaudine was one of a number of experienced directors

(including Raoul Walsh and Allan Dwan) who were brought to England from

Hollywood in the 1930s to work on what were in all other respects very British

productions. Beaudine directed four films there starring Will Hay, including

Boys Will Be Boys (1935) and Where There’s a Will (1936).

Beaudine was often entrusted with series films, including

the Torchy Blane, The East Side Kids, Jiggs and Maggie, The Shadow, Charlie

Chan and The Bowery Boys series. His efficiency was so well known that Walt

Disney hired him to direct some of his television projects of the 1950s and had

him direct a feature western, Ten Who Dared (1960). Beaudine became even busier

in TV, directing Naked City, The Green Hornet, and dozens of Lassie episodes.

His last two feature films, both released in 1966, were the

horror-westerns Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (with John Carradine) and Jesse James

Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. By the end of the decade he was the industry’s

oldest working professional, having started in 1909.

Beaudine died of uremic poisoning in 1970 in California and

was interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood.