Douglas Fairbanks SR., born Douglas Elton Ulman (Denver (Colorado), 1883 - May 23, Santa Monica (California), december 12, 1939) was an American actor, film producer and screenwriter. He was one of the first major movie stars from the era of the silent film, best known for roles in Swashbuckler films. He was among other things shows up as Zorro (The Mark of Zorro, 1920), D'Artagnan (The Three Musketeers, 1921) and Robin Hood (Robin Hood, 1922). By Douglas Fairbanks was known that he did all his own stunts .
Fairbanks was the name of the first husband of his mother. His father, a lawyer, left the family when he was five years old. He and his brother Robert were raised only by their mother since that time. At the age of twelve, he began acting in amateur theatre. Probably he attended the Colorado School of Mines and he went to Harvard for a while.
Around 1900 departed Fairbanks from Denver to New York to be an actor. Among other things he worked first as an office clerk in Wall Street. In 1902 , he made hisdebut on Broadway. On 11 June 1907 he married Anna Beth Sully, the daughter of a rich industrialist. They had a son, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., on 9 december 1909.Fairbanks Jr. would later also be actor. In 1915 the family moved to Hollywood, where Fairbanks a film career began.
Fairbanks signed a contract with Triangle Pictures, where he worked under D. W. Griffith, who did not see him first sit. Fairbanks would become a big movie star, who got $ 2,000 a weeksalary . He was especially successful in comedies, mainly comedies. In 1916 he went together with the two best paid movie stars of that time, Charlie Chaplin(a good friend of Fairbanks) and Mary Pickford (with whom he had an affair at the time), by train on a concert tour of the United States to sell war bonds . That same year he also founded his own production company.
In 1919 he founded along with Chaplin, Pickford and D.W. Griffith , a new film company United Artists. To set up their own society by the four artists were independent of the major movie studios. That same year, on 3 March 1919, divorced Fairbanks and Sully. Not long after he asked to marry Mary Pickford, who was then still married to actor Owen Moore. The two were married on March 28, 1920. The couple moved into a house in Beverly Hills, which has been known as Pickfair .
After having played mainly in comedies, Fairbanks decided that it was time for something else. In 1920, he made his first swashbuckler, The Mark of Zorro. The film was a great success and Fairbanks became a superstar. In the following years, he would make more of such films, of which The Thief of Baghdad from 1924 and 1926 The Black Pirate the most. These films were all great costume/adventure films, in which the athletic Fairbanks did most of his stunts himself.
Douglas Fairbanks was the first president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, from 1927 to 1929. He also presented the first Oscar ceremony in 1929.That same year, he also appeared in his first sound film, next to Mary Pickford in The Taming of The Shrew, to the piece of Shakespeare. The film was not a success. His last film was The Private Life of Don Juanfrom 1934.
In 1933 went Fairbanks and Pickford apart, and on 10 January 1936 followed the separation. He married two months later, on 7 March, with Sylvia Ashley and went with pension. In 1939 Fairbanks died in his sleep of a heart attack. He was 56 years old. Fairbanks was buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to Los Angeles.Douglas Fairbanks in the film Robin Hood (1922)
In all the movies enter Fairbanks on as an actor.
- The Lamb (1915)
- Intolerance (1916)
- Manhattan Madness (1916)
- Reggie Mixes In (1916)
- The Mystery of The Leaping Fish (1916)
- Flirting with Fate (1916)
- Wild and Woolly (1917)
- Down to Earth (1917)
- Reaching for the Moon (also producer, 1917)
- A Modern Musketeer (also producer, 1917)
- When the Clouds Roll By (also producer and writer, 1919)
- The Mark of Zorro (also a writer, 1920)
- The Nut (also producer, 1921)
- The Three Musketeers (also a writer, 1921)
- Robin Hood (also producer and writer, 1922)
- The Thief of Baghdad (also producer and writer, 1924)
- The Black Pirate (also producer and writer, 1926)
- The Gaucho (also producer and writer, 1927)
- The Iron Mask (1929)
- The Taming of The Shrew (also producer and writer, 1929)
- Reaching for the Moon (1930)
- The Private Life of Don Juan (1934)