Elsie Jane Wilson

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Motion Picture Classic magazine September 1915

Elsie Jane Wilson (7 November 1885 – 16 January 1965) was a cinema actress, director, and writer.


Born in Sydney, Australia and professional actress from the age of two, she toured Australia and New Zealand with a number of J. C. Williamson companies, where she met and married fellow performer Rupert Julian in 1906. They emigrated to New York, United States in 1911, but eventually found work as actors in Hollywood in the silent era. They turned to directing, with Wilson later functioning as Julian's (uncredited) co-director. She also appeared in Oliver Twist (1916) and other Paramount movies, then in 1917 returned to Universal and started her directorial career,[1] mainly in light comedies.

According to the reviews of the day, Wilson was a modest filmmaker, being best appreciated for eliciting good performances from otherwise indifferent talent. Nevertheless, few women directors sustained careers in the 1920s, and she directed ten movies between 1917 and 1919. Actors on Julian's pictures later commented on how she came to set every day, often lightening the mood with jokes - at Rupert's expense - to relieve tension.

Elsie Jane Wilson died in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 79, and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California alongside her husband.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Slide, Anthony (1994), Early American Cinema p. 162

External links[edit]