Raymond Griffith

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Raymond Griffith
How Stars Are Made.jpg
Ray Griffith (sitting) in How Stars Are Made (1916)
Born (1895-01-23)January 23, 1895
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died November 25, 1957(1957-11-25) (aged 62) (Asphyxia due to partially masticated food)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Occupation actor
Spouse(s) Bertha Mann (1928-1957) (his death) 2 Children

Raymond Griffith (January 23, 1895 – November 25, 1957) was one of the great silent movie comedians. Later in his career, he worked behind the camera as writer and producer and became one of the co-founders of what became known today as 20th Century-Fox.


Griffith was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He lost his voice at an early age, causing him to speak for the rest of his life in a hoarse whisper. Griffith claimed that it was the result of his having to scream at the top of his lungs every night in a stage melodrama as a child actor—others have stated that a childhood disease was more likely the cause.

Although a few comedy films of his are considered classics he is almost totally forgotten today. His film debut was for the L-KO Kompany. Many of his starring feature films have long since been lost, but probably the best known of his films today is Hands Up! (1926), a Civil War comedy feature directed by Clarence G. Badger, and co-starring Mack Swain, which was entered into the National Film Registry in 2005. Also considered a classic is Badger's Paths to Paradise, a caper film that is in all circulating prints missing its final reel. Like many silent comedians, he had a traditional costume; his was a top hat, white tie and tails, often augmented by a cape and/or walking stick.

The coming of sound ended Griffith's acting career, but he did have one memorable role in a motion picture before retiring from the screen, playing a French soldier killed by Lew Ayres in the 1930 Lewis Milestone film All Quiet on the Western Front. He then segued into a writing/producing career at Twentieth Century Fox.

Griffith choked to death at The Masquers Club in Los Angeles, California, aged 62, on November 25, 1957.

Selected filmography[edit]

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