|D. W. Griffith Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 11 in|
|Date of Birth||January 22, 1875|
|Date of Death||July 23, 1948|
D. W. Griffith was an American film director, producer, and screenwriter who is considered one of the most influential figures in the history of the motion picture. He is known for directing the silent epic drama film The Birth of a Nation (1915) which became one of the most financially successful films of all time. Over the years, the film has also been criticized for its degrading portrayals of African Americans, its glorification of the Ku Klux Klan, and its racist viewpoint. Moreover, D. W. Griffith co-founded the studio United Artists alongside Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in 1919.
David Wark Griffith
The Father of Film Technique, The Man Who Invented Hollywood, The Shakespeare of the Screen
He was born on January 22, 1875.
On July 23, 1948, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 73 in Hollywood, California, United States.
Mount Tabor Methodist Church Graveyard, Centerfield, Kentucky, United States
Oldham County, Kentucky, United States
D. W. Griffith was taught in a one-room schoolhouse by his older sister Mattie.
Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter
- Father – Jacob Wark “Roaring Jake” Griffith (A Confederate Army colonel in the American Civil War who was elected as a Kentucky state legislator)
- Mother – Mary Perkins (née Oglesby)
- Siblings – Mattie (Older Sister)
5 ft 11 in or 180.5 cm
70 kg or 154.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
D. W. Griffith had dated –
- Mae Marsh
- Lillian Gish
- Mae Madison
- Linda Arvidson (1906-1912) – In 1906, D. W. Griffith married actor Linda Arvidson. They met on the set of the play named Fedora and in Arvidson’s memoir When the Movies Were Young, she recalls Griffith’s encouragement: “Said I had wonderful eyes for the stage and if I ever went to New York and got it right, I’d get jobs ‘on my eyes.'” She also stated that he advised her to never get married if she wanted to continue to have a career as an actor. Ironically, the two ended up marrying less than 2 years later. They kept their relationship confidential as it was deemed “unprofessional” to mix personal and business matters. The duo eventually separated in 1912 and later divorced on March 2, 1936, when D. W. Griffith wished to remarry.
- Carol Dempster (1922-1923) – He was romantically involved with actor Carol Dempster between 1922 and 1923.
- Evelyn Baldwin (1936-1947) – Griffith married Evelyn Baldwin in 1936 but they later divorced in 1947.
Race / Ethnicity
Often cast Lillian Gish in most of his movies
D. W. Griffith Facts
- He was 10 years old when his father passed away and then the family experienced financial troubles.
- In 1908, D. W. Griffith made his directorial debut with the silent film The Adventures of Dollie.
- He directed the 1910 silent Western short film In Old California which was the first film shot in Hollywood, California.
- Reportedly, he was the first to utter the catchphrase “Lights, camera, action!” on the set of In Old California.
- D. W. Griffith directed his first sound film Abraham Lincoln, a 1930 pre-Code biographical film.
- He started writing an autobiography but never finished it.
- Charlie Chaplin called D. W. Griffith “The Teacher of Us All”.
- Entertainment Weekly voted him as the 15th greatest director of all time.
- His character is portrayed by Charles Dance in Good Morning Babylon (1987) and by Colm Feore in And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003).
- D. W. Griffith enjoyed boxing as a form of exercise.
Featured Image by Unknown Author / George Grantham Bain Collection at the Library of Congress / Public Domain