Sidney Olcott Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died in Hollywood, California, USA
Birth NameJohn Sidney Alcott

Mini Bio (1)

Prolific silent film director, the son of Irish immigrants. Olcott started as an actor on the New York stage and then appeared in films for Mutoscope in 1904, eventually working his way up to general manager of Biograph. Lured away to a rival company he began to direct features for Kalem by 1907. That year, he became embroiled in a hitherto unprecedented lawsuit (which dragged on for four years), since he had filmed Ben Hur (1907) in blatant disregard of copyright. Publishers and the estate of author Lew Wallace sued Kalem to the tune of $25,000.

In addition to shooting films in Jacksonville, Florida, and Ireland (where Kalem had their studios), Olcott also took his film crews to far-flung overseas locations -- in the process becoming the first-ever filmmaker to do so. He went to Egypt and Palestine to film the life of Christ, From the Manger to the Cross; or, Jesus of Nazareth (1912) which proved a big money-spinner for Kalem. However, a dispute over Olcott's salary led to his name being removed from the credits and he consequently resigned.

Not out of work for long, he signed with Famous Players Lasky (which later became Paramount) in 1915. Until his retirement in 1927, Olcott directed some of the studio's biggest stars, from Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson to Norma Talmadge and Rudolph Valentino.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Valentine Grant (1915 - 12 March 1949) ( her death)

Trivia (1)

Died at the home of Robert G. Vignola.

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