Biography of Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939)

Actor, director, screenwriter and film producer American born in Denver (Colorado) on May 23, 1883 and died in Santa Monica (California) on December 12, 1939. His full name was Douglas Elton Ulman.

After completing his basic studies, began to highlight as an athlete and to demonstrate a keen interest in the world of the stage, where he debuted with 17 years, which remained for many years and consolidated an artistic career that gave him a great reputation. Newly completed the 30 years, the Triangle, one of the more established producers of the Hollywood film industry, offered him his first works for the screen. The film's comedy and the western allowed him to fit a character that led him, from his first speech in the Lamb (1915), William Christy Cabanne, to become a very popular actor, claimed by viewers of the time. The success encouraged to become independent from the Triangle and founding his own company, the Douglas Fairbanks Film Corporation, with continued it for a few years as a glittering star.

It worried and intervened directly in all your projects. He wrote stories, produced and directed several titles in order to obtain the creative and commercial results that he considered more adjusted to his conception of the film, it showed, especially, great scenic versatility and blew into his film that marked his life, Fairbanks was a man athletic, energetic, with great self-confidence and ideals that treasured a permanent pursuit of happiness through a great vitalitymanifest in unusual optimism. During these early years he devoted to writing books about how to give confidence, live fully and find incentives to everything you do in life.

After intervening in other films of Cabanne, was John Emerson who witness picked up in his portrait in the newspapers (1916), living to the painted (1917) or delusions of grandeur (1917). However, the career of Fairbanks reached in these years some of its highest levels thanks to the participation of the director Allan Dwan, whose orders was from the habit of happiness (1916) to triumphs life (1918), by intervening in other six films as hatred of races (1916) and the modern musketeer (1917). In these years he was producer of many films, and they began to discover the importance of the atmosphere and the decor (and which led him, years later, to raise two of the most spectacular scenery of Hollywood, those carried out for Robin Hood and the thief of Bagdad). Always bet on the quality, and perhaps why he joined David w. Griffith , Mary Pickfordand Charlie Chaplin in the Constitution of the producer and distributor United Artists.

The myth was consolidated when, years later, the film's swashbuckling became the benchmark highlights in his career. Dwan directed Douglas in the superb Robin Hood (1922) and the mask of iron (1929). It was in this kind of movies where Fairbanks showed his ability and skill in handling the sword or bow, also confirmed his fitness, preparation that is fussing particularly (never allowed be folded by a specialist). He confirmed their unmatched skills in the mark of Zorro (1920) and d'Artagnan (1921), of Fred Niblo; in the thief of Bagdad (1924), by Raoul Walsh; and the black pirate (1926), Albert Parker, films that have become history as some of the best examples of the adventure, with splendid sequences of action films.

The introduction of sound films not allowed him to maintain the level of their previous work. The Taming of the Shrew (1929), by Sam Taylor, next to Mary Pickford; The round the world (1931), Victor Fleming; or the latest adventure of Don Juan (1934), of Alexander Korda, never cease to be a sample of how an actor who wanted to keep the creative bar very high long of her life refused to recognize himself in roles of middle-aged.

Few actors in American cinema have meant so much to the entertainment industry. We can say that Douglas Fairbanks reached a unprecedented popularity and shone in the sky of stars with such brilliance that it hid his entrepreneurial vision and businessman. In this field, Fairbanks got to introduce in the cinema of the time a discerning look towards the production of a film; reviewed carefully each one of his projects and monitored them until the phase of commercial launch. This control says much of his creative engagement, which placed him above the directors with whom he worked. His image helped him to channel his work which, however, were at a level of quality above the average.

Douglas Fairbanks was married to Anna Beth Sully, and from this marriage was born his only son. In 1919 he married "bride of America", Mary Pickford, which divorced in 1935. In all Hollywood parties are remembered and encounters that Fairbanks-Picford marriage offered over three decades in their Pickfair mansion in one of the hills of Beverly Hills, a palace that "their Majesties", enjoyed as they were known in the world of the film industry. The visits carried out to numerous countries were received as genuine idols, confirming the effect of his films in a wide legion of fans who not only knew how to accept the marriage between two film idols, but they also took the "Twilight" of his great hero who had been.

Published since 1917 laughs live, initiative and self-confidence, make that life deserves the penalty and collaborated in Photoplay during a few years.


[Douglas Fairbanks since 1917 was screenwriter and producer of all his movies]

1915: The Lamb; Double mess; Martyrs of the Alamo. 1916: Her portrait in the newspapers; The custom of bliss; The generous thief (and screenplay); A fearsome adversary; The mystery of the leaping; Flirting with fate; Hatred of races; The Madwoman of Manhattan; American Aristocrat; The marriage of Jimmy; The American. 1917: The arreglalotodo; Of living things to painted; Down to earth; The V Ranch; Delusions of grandeur; The modern musketeer. 1918: From North to South; The eccentric; Hey, young!; The land of the Moor; Triumphs of life; Arizona (and Manager). 1919: the modern Don Quixote; His Majesty the American; Nightmares. 1920: A courageous chicken; The mark of Zorro. 1921: In eleven staff shirt; D'Artagnan. 1922: Robin hood. 1924: The thief of Bagdad. 1925: Don Q., the son of Zorro. 1926: The black pirate. 1927: The gaucho. 1929: The iron mask; The Taming of the Shrew. 1930: To reach the moon. 1931: The return to the world (and Manager). 1932: El modern Robinson. 1934: The last adventure of Don Juan.

Working occasionally

1916: Intolerance. 1917: All-star Production of Patriotic Episodes for Second Liberty loan. 1918: Sic'em Sam (short film). 1921: Non-Sense of Censorship. 1923: Hollywood. 1925: ben-Hur. 1927: A kiss of Mary Pickford. 1928: Mirages. 1932: Talking Screen Snapshots.o



BALIO, T.: United Artists. Thje Company Built by the Stars. Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Press, 1976.

ROBINSON, D. Hollywood in the Twenties. London, Tantivy-Zwemmer-Barnes, 1968.