Elwood Dager Cromwell (December 23, 1887 – September 26, 1979), known as John Cromwell, was an American film actor, director and producer.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Cromwell made his New York City stage debut in Marian De Forest’s adaptation of Little Women (1912) on Broadway. It was a hit and ran for 184 performances. He then directed the play The Painted Woman (1913), which failed. Next, he acted in and co-directed with Frank Craven the hit show Too Many Cooks (1914), which ran for 223 performances.
Cromwell played Charles Lomax in the original Broadway production of George Bernard Shaw’s play Major Barbara (1915), about a woman of The Salvation Army, and he played the role as Capt. Kearney in the revival of Shaw’s Captain Brassbound’s Conversion (1916). Among others, he also had a role in The Racket (1927), which ran for 119 performances. The following year while the Broadway company was playing The Racket in Los Angeles, Cromwell was signed to a Paramount… read more
W. S. \“Woody\” Van Dyke II inaugurated his career at age three as a stage actor, in the company of his widowed actress-mother. When acting jobs were scarce, young Van Dyke worked as a miner, electrician and (allegedly) a soldier-for-hire in Mexico during the ‘teens. In 1916, he was hired as one of several assistants to director D.W. Griffith, working in this capacity on Griffith’s mammoth Intolerance. After assisting director James Young at Paramount, Van Dyke was allowed to direct his first solo film in 1917. He spent most of the 1920s laboring on quickie Westerns, earning a reputation for speed and efficiency. In 1928, he was brought into MGM’s troubled production White Shadows on the South Seas, which, under the snail’s-pace direction of Robert J. Flaherty (a brilliant documentary maker whose skills at fictional filmmaking was slight), was running way behind schedule. When White Shadows opened to critical and audience approval, Van Dyke was elevated to Hollywood’s A-list of directors… read more