George Melford

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George H. Melford (born February 19, 1877 in Rochester , New York , † April 25, 1961 in Hollywood , California ) was an American actor and film director .


Melford graduated from McGill University in Montreal . He was already an established stage actor in Cincinnati , Ohio , before entering the film business at Kalem Studios in New York in 1909 and was hired as a character actor by Sidney Olcott . In 1911 he directed his own first film. In 1915 he moved from Kalem to Jesse L. Lasky's Feature Play Company . That same year he was one of the founders of the Motion Picture Directors Association .

In 1916, Melford shot To Have and to Hold , a film adaptation of the US bestseller of the same name by Mary Johnston from 1900, starring the dancer Mae Murray . His most famous film today is the silent film The Sheikh with Rudolph Valentino from 1921.

Melford went to Universal Studios in the mid-1920s , where he shot his first talky- about film in 1929 . From 1930 he created several Spanish-language film versions for Universal, which were filmed with other actors alongside the English ones. The most famous of these is Drácula .

The 15-part adventure film series Jungle Menace for Columbia Pictures , co-directed with Harry L. Fraser , was his last directorial work in 1937. At the age of 60 and after 130 films as a director, which made him financially independent, Melford appeared again as a character actor in supporting roles, including in The Ten Commandments (1956). In 1960, at the age of 83, he was in front of the camera for the last time. He died of heart failure the following year.

George Melford is buried in the Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles .

Filmography (selection)

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