Wallace Ashley Worsley
December 8, 1878
Wappingers Falls, New York
|Died||March 26, 1944 (aged 65)|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale|
|Spouse(s)||Julia M. Taylor (1878–1976)|
Wallace A. Worsley, Sr. (December 8, 1878 – March 26, 1944) was an American stage actor who became a film director in the silent era. During his career, Worsley directed 29 films and acted in 7 films. He directed several motion pictures starring Lon Chaney Sr., and his professional relationship with the actor was the best Chaney had, second to his partnership with Tod Browning.
In April 1901 Worsely appeared at the Empire Theatre (41st Street) as Lt. Earl of Hunstanton in a revival of Leo Trevor's comedy Brother Officers. It ran for eight performances. He followed this immediately with Diplomacy, which ran for about six weeks. Between 1903 and 1915, Worsley was in nine more plays, most of them short-lived.
In 1916 Worsley left Broadway for Hollywood and acted for two years before taking up directing.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
This was to be the first big-screen adaptation of Hugo's novel and Universal's major production of 1923. Chaney owned the rights, and reportedly, his first choice for director was Erich von Stroheim. However, Irving Thalberg had recently fired von Stroheim due to conflicts over Merry-Go-Round. Worsley, who had already worked on four films with Chaney, directed on loan from Paramount.
Worsley married Indiana-born actress, Julia Marie Taylor, on September 18, 1904. Amongst Julia's film credits is the title role of Juliet in the 1911 short, Romeo and Juliet, directed by Barry O'Neil, considered to be the first attempt to distill the entire Shakespeare narrative into a single film. Together, they had two sons, Wallace Worsley, Jr. (1908-1991), an assistant director and production manager whose career spanned nearly six decades and included The Wizard of Oz and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Paul Brackenride Worsley (1920-1933).
|1917||Borrowed Plumage||Sir Charles Broome|
|1917||Paws of the Bear||Curt Schrieber|
|1918||A Man's Man||Henry Jenks|
|1918||Madam Who?||Albert Lockhart|
|1918||The Goddess of Lost Lake||Director|
|1919||Diane of the Green Van||Director|
|1919||Playthings of Passion||Director|
|1919||A Woman of Pleasure||Director|
|1921||The Ace of Hearts||Director|
|1921||Voices of the City||Director|
|1922||A Blind Bargain||Director|
|1922||When Husbands Deceive||Director|
|1923||A Man's Man||Henry Jenks|
|1923||Is Divorce a Failure?||Director|
|1923||The Hunchback of Notre Dame||Director|
|1924||The Man Who Fights Alone||Director|
|1926||Shadow of the Law||Director|
- Lon Chaney Archive
- "Brother Officers", 1901, IDBD
- Diplomacy, IBDB
- "Wallace Worsley", IBDB
- "Wallace Worsley Sr. papers", Margaret Herrick Library, AMPAS
- "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", American Cinematheque
- Blake, Michael F. A Thousand Faces: Lon Chaney's Unique Artistry in Motion Pictures. Vestal, New York: Vestal Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-8795-1121-7
- "Radio Replaces Megaphone". The Film Daily. 23–24: 493. March 1923.
- "Biggest Money Pictures". Variety. June 21, 1932. p. 1.
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