Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11

Film director and actor Raoul Walsh was born on March 11, 1887, in New York. He started out as a stage actor but bridged into film work as an assistant to director D.W. Griffith. In the early days of sound at Fox Films, he was about to direct the first widescreen spectacle, “The Big Trail” (1930), an epic wagon train Western, when he saw an actor named Duke Morrison moving studio furniture, working as a prop boy between bit parts. Walsh cast him in his first starring role, suggesting the screen name "Anthony Wayne," which was rejected in favor of "John Wayne." The young actor, who was paid $105 a week, played no part in the decision. Walsh directed many major Hollywood’s films, including: “The Roaring Twenties” (1939), “Dark Command” (1940), “High Sierra” (1941), “They Died with Their Boots On” (1941), “White Heat” (1949), “Battle Cry” (1955), “Band of Angels” (1957) and “The Naked and the Dead” (1958).

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