Warner Baxter publicity photo
March 29, 1889|
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||May 7, 1951
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||pneumonia|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale|
|Spouse(s)||Viola Caldwell (1911-1913)
Winifried Bryson (1918–1951) (his death)
Warner Leroy Baxter (March 29, 1889 – May 7, 1951) (The book Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory gives his date of birth as March 29, 1891: American Classic Screen Profiles gives the date as March 29, 1892.) was an American actor, known for his role as The Cisco Kid in In Old Arizona (1929), for which he won the second Academy Award for Best Actor in the 1928–1929 Academy Awards. He frequently played womanizing, charismatic Latin bandit types in westerns, and played The Cisco Kid or a similar character throughout the 1930s, but had a range of other roles throughout his career. Warner Baxter started his movie career in silent film. Baxter's most notable silent films are The Great Gatsby (1926) and The Awful Truth (1925). When talkies came out, Baxter became even more famous. Baxter's most notable talkies are In Old Arizona (1929), 42nd Street (1932), Slave Ship (1937), Kidnapped (1938), and the 1931 20 minute all-star ensemble short film, The Stolen Jools. In the 1940s he was well known for his recurring role as Dr. Robert Ordway in the Crime Doctor series of 10 films.
Baxter was born in Columbus, Ohio to Edwin F. Baxter (October 1, 1867 – September 16, 1889) and Jane Barrett (December 29, 1869 Columbus, Ohio – March 29, 1962 Beverly Hills, California), and moved to San Francisco, California with his widowed mother in 1898, when he was nine. Following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, he and his family lived in a tent for two weeks. By 1910 Baxter was in vaudeville, and from there began acting on the stage.
The book American Classic Screen Profiles relates that Baxter was 5 months old when his father died. Jane Baxter and Warner went to live with her brother in Columbus, Ohio. Mother and son moved to New York City when he was 10 years old, and there he became active with dramatics — both participating in school productions and attending plays. The two later moved to San Francisco, where he graduated from Polytechnic High School. When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck, Baxter and his mother lived in Golden Gate Park for eight days and then went to live with friends in Alameda for three months. In 1908, they returned to Columbus. After selling farm implements for a living, worked for four months as the partner of Dorothy Shoemaker in an act on the Keith Vaudeville Circuit.
Baxter originally worked as an insurance agent, sales manager and commercial traveller. Baxter began his movie career as an extra in 1914 in a stock company and quickly rose to become a star. He had his first starring role in 1921, in a film called Sheltered Daughters, before starring in 48 features during the 1920s. His most notable silent roles were in The Great Gatsby (1926), Aloma of the South Seas (1926) as an island love interest opposite the famous dancer Gilda Gray, and a handsome but alcoholic doctor in West of Zanzibar with Lon Chaney.
Baxter's most famous starring role was as the Cisco Kid in In Old Arizona (1929), the first all-talking western, for which he won the second Academy Award for Best Actor. He also starred in 42nd Street (1933), Grand Canary (1934), Broadway Bill (1934) and Kidnapped (1938).
By 1936, Baxter was the highest paid actor in Hollywood, but by 1943 he had slipped to B movie roles, and he starred in a series of "Crime Doctor" films for Columbia Pictures. Baxter made over 100 films between 1914 and 1950.
When not acting, Baxter was an inventor and, in 1935, he co-created a revolver searchlight which would illuminate a target and allow a gunman to shoot at it in the dark. He later developed a radio device that would allow emergency crews to change traffic signals from two blocks away and allow them to safely pass through intersections. He financed its installation at an intersection in Beverly Hills in 1940.
Baxter suffered for several years from arthritis, and in 1951 he underwent a lobotomy to ease the pain. On May 7, 1951, he died of pneumonia at age 59 and was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. He was survived by his second wife and his mother.
|1914||Her Own Money||Lew Alden||uncredited|
|1921||First Love||Donald Halliday||Incomplete; Museum of Modern Art (New York)|
|Cheated Hearts||Tom Gordon|
|The Love Charm||Thomas Morgan|
|Sheltered Daughters||Pep Mullins|
|1922||If I Were Queen||Vladimir|
|A Girl's Desire||Jones/Lord Dysart|
|The Ninety and Nine||Tom Silverton/Phil Bradbury|
|The Girl in His Room||Kirk Waring|
|Her Own Money||Lew Alden|
|1923||St. Elmo||Murray Hammond||Lost|
|Blow Your Own Horn||Jack Dunbar|
|In Search of a Thrill||Adrian Torrens|
|Those Who Dance||Bob Kane||Extant; Library of Congress (per Tave/IMDb review)|
|1924||Christine of the Hungry Heart||Stuart Knight||Extant; Library of Congress (per Tave/IMDb review)|
|The Female||Col. Valentia|
|His Forgotten Wife||Donald Allen/John Rolfe||Extant; Library of Congress|
|The Garden of Weeds||Douglas Crawford|
|1925||The Best People||Henry Morgan||Lost|
|A Son of His Father||Big Boy Morgan|
|Rugged Water||Calvin Horner||Lost|
|Welcome Home||Fred Prouty||Extant|
|The Awful Truth||Norman Satterlee||print preserved at UCLA Film and Television (per IMDb)|
|The Air Mail||Russ Kane||Incomplete|
|The Golden Bed||Bunny O'Neill||'Extant'|
|1926||Aloma of the South Seas||Nuitane||Lost|
|The Runaway||Wade Murrell||Lost|
|The Great Gatsby||Jay Gatsby||now a lost film|
|Miss Brewster's Millions||Thomas B. Hancock Jr||Lost|
|1927||The Coward||Clinton Philbrook|
|Drums of the Desert||John Curry||Lost|
|The Telephone Girl||Matthew Standish|
|Craig's Wife||Walter Craig||Lost|
|1928||Danger Street||Rolly Sigsby|
|Three Sinners||James Harris||Lost|
|The Tragedy of Youth||Frank Gordon||Lost|
|West of Zanzibar||Doc||directed by Tod Browning; Extant|
|A Woman's Way||Tony||Lost|
|In Old Arizona||The Cisco Kid||Academy Award for Best Actor - Extant|
|1929||Romance of the Rio Grande||Pablo Wharton Cameron|
|Behind That Curtain||Col. John Beetham||Extant|
|The Far Call||?||Lost|
|Thru Different Eyes||Jack Winfield||Extant (special silent version only, incomplete)|
|Linda||Dr. Paul Randall||Extant|
|Such Men Are Dangerous||Ludwig Kranz||Extant; Library of Congress|
|The Arizona Kid||The Cisco Kid||Extant; Library of Congress|
|The Squaw Man||James 'Jim' Wingate, aka Jim Carston||Extant|
|1931||Their Mad Moment||Esteban Cristera|
|Doctors' Wives||Dr. Judson Penning|
|The Stolen Jools||The Cisco Kid|
|Daddy Long Legs||Jervis Pendleton|
|The Cisco Kid||The Cisco Kid|
|1932||Six Hours to Live||Capt. Paul Onslow|
|Man About Town||Stephen Morrow|
|Amateur Daddy||Jim Gladden|
|1933||Dangerously Yours||Andrew Burke|
|42nd Street||Julian Marsh|
|I Loved You Wednesday||Philip Fletcher|
|Paddy the Next Best Thing||Lawrence Blake|
|Penthouse||Jackson 'Jack' Durant|
|1934||Hell in the Heavens||Lt. Steve Warner|
|As Husbands Go||Charles Lingard|
|Grand Canary||Dr. Harvey Leith|
|Stand Up and Cheer!||Lawrence Cromwell|
|Such Women Are Dangerous||Michael Shawn|
|Broadway Bill||Dan Brooks|
|1935||Under the Pampas Moon||Cesar Campo|
|One More Spring||Jaret Otkar|
|La Fiesta de Santa Barbara||Himself||Short film|
|1936||White Hunter||Capt. Clark Rutledge|
|To Mary - with Love||Jack Wallace|
|The Road to Glory||Captain Paul La Roche|
|The Prisoner of Shark Island||Dr. Samuel Mudd|
|King of Burlesque||Kerry Bolton|
|The Robin Hood of El Dorado||Joaquin Murrieta|
|1937||Wife, Doctor and Nurse||Dr. Judd Lewis|
|Vogues of 1938||George Curson|
|Slave Ship||Jim Lovett|
|1938||I'll Give a Million||Tony Newlander|
|Wife, Husband and Friend||Leonard Borland aka Logan Bennett|
|The Return of the Cisco Kid||The Cisco Kid|
|1941||Adam Had Four Sons||Adam Stoddard|
|1943||Crime Doctor||Dr. Robert Ordway/Phil Morgan||first of 10 films in the Crime Doctor B-film series|
|Crime Doctor's Strangest Case||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|1944||Shadows in the Night||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|Lady in the Dark||Kendall Nesbitt|
|1945||Crime Doctor's Warning||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|The Crime Doctor's Courage||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|1946||Crime Doctor's Man Hunt||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|Just Before Dawn||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|1947||Crime Doctor's Gamble||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|The Millerson Case||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|1948||The Gentleman from Nowhere||Earl Donovan/Robert Ashton|
|1949||The Crime Doctor's Diary||Dr. Robert Ordway||last of the Crime Doctor series|
|The Devil's Henchman||Jess Arno|
|Prison Warden||Warden Victor Burnell|
|1950||State Penitentiary||Roger Manners|
|1952||O. Henry's Full House||clip of Baxter from The Cisco Kid|
- Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 35. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- Tibbetts, John C.; Welsh, James M. (2010). American Classic Screen Profiles. Scarecrow Press. pp. 26–29. ISBN 9780810876774. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- "("Warner Baxter" search results)". Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- Cliff Aliperti (29 March 2010). "Warner Baxter-A Brief Biography". Things and Other Stuff. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Warner Baxter, 62, Star Of Motion Pictures, Dies". The Morning Herald. Maryland, Hagerstown. Associated Press. May 8, 1951. p. 1. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Warner Baxter, 59, Film Star, Is Dead: Winner of 'Oscar' in 1929– Best Known for Cisco Kid and 'Crime Doctor' Portrayals". The New York Times. psychosurgery.org. 8 May 1951. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Hollywood Walk of Fame, Walk of Fame Stars > Warner Baxter". Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. 8 February 1960. Archived from the original on 2016-04-03. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
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