Coming to the U.S. at the age of 34, New Zealand-born Rupert Julian started his career as a stage and screen actor touring Australia and New Zealand. Having made his name (and a cool million for Universal) as a dead ringer for Kaiser Wilhelm II in the 1918 film The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin (1918), he turned director.
His output was mostly routine until he was assigned to complete Merry-Go-Round (1923) when director Erich von Stroheim was fired from it. His best known picture was Lon Chaney’s The Phantom of the Opera (1925) (though he in turn was fired and replaced before filming was completed), but he soon fell into a professional decline, and after directing only two films after the advent of sound, his career fizzled out. —Octuor de France