Raoul Walsh

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Posted by bender 04/17/2009 @ 16:14

Tags : raoul walsh, directors, cinema, entertainment

News headlines
The King and Four Queens - DVDTimes.co.uk
Gable pops a breath mint and tries to charm some ladies out of their gold in this Raoul Walsh-directed western, out now from Optimum. Disingenuous drifter Clark Gable rides into Wagon Mound with the intention of finding thousands of dollars worth of...
Ida Lupino - Bright Lights Film Journal
The next year, Lupino was given a second Bette Davis test to pass at Warner Brothers: Raoul Walsh's They Drive by Night starts out as a movie-movie, but when Lupino enters it halfway through, the film experiences a kind of psychotic break....
Film Series and Movie Listings - New York Times
Coming attractions include a Mother's Day double feature (Sunday and Monday) of Raoul Walsh's 1949 “White Heat,” with James Cagney as a gangster devoted to his mom, and Michael Curtiz's 1938 “Angels with Dirty Faces,” starring Cagney, Humphrey Bogart...
A Hub love letter, from a 'Park Bench' - Boston Globe
"To me, some of the best movies ever made came from that cookie-cutter system, where directors like Raoul Walsh and Anthony Mann and Leo McCarey were hired on contract and didn't even write the script. I'm very interested in burrowing my way into the...
Vegas: Based on a True Story Director Amir Naderi on Gambling Away ... - New York Magazine
People like John Ford, George Stevens, Howard Hawks, Raoul Walsh. I tried to avoid close-ups, to not make it a cliché[d] melodrama. Also, I've lived in this country for 23 years. I've never gone to my home country. As a result, I think sometimes I look...
Screen Notes - WilliametteLive.com
A story told in honor of Oregon 150th statehood celebration, Raoul Walsh's 1930 film “The Big Trail,” is shown on the big screen at the Historic Elsinore Theatre May 13. Filmed on location in six states — including Oregon — the film tells the story of...
«L'Esclave libre» affranchi - Libération
Réédition en copies neuves du dernier film du réalisateur Raoul Walsh au Quartier latin. Trois chasses à l'homme rythment l'Esclave libre de 1957. Dans la première, deux Noirs fuient pieds nus en haillons minstrel une meute de dogues et deux gardiens...
Inicia Hernández Deras filmación de la película "Chicogrande" - El Sol de Durango
La primera cinta de Villa fue dirigida por Raoul Walsh y con "el primer actor" Francisco Villa. Fue cuando se firmó aquel contrato del que tanto se ha hablado en cuanto a su monto (unos hablan de 50 mil dólares, otros de 100 mil) lo cierto es que el...
Gregory Peck, conquérant - Le Monde
Raoul Walsh fut un autre de ses cinéastes fétiches. Il a été pour lui un efficace commandant d'une frégate de 38 canons en bourlingue contre les Espagnols et contre Napoléon dans Capitaine sans peur (1951), l'un des plus beaux films d'aventures...
Piratas de hoy y de siempre - Expansión.com
Sólo hay que pensar en películas como El mundo en sus manos, de Raoul Walsh. O en Errol Flynn, encarnando al Capitán Blood escrito por Sabatini y dirigido por Michael Curtiz en 1935. Otro temible capitán, menos simpático, Kidd, también tuvo su versión...

Raoul Walsh

Nation walsh.jpg

Raoul Walsh (March 11, 1887, New York City – December 31, 1980, Simi Valley, CA) was an American film director, actor, founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and the brother of silent screen actor George Walsh. As a young man he was a close friend of Virginia O'Hanlon of "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" fame.

Walsh began as a stage actor in New York City, quickly progressing into film acting. Walsh was educated at Seton Hall College and began acting in 1909. In 1914, he became an assistant to D.W. Griffith and made his first full-length feature film The Life of General Villa, followed by the critically-acclaimed Regeneration in 1915, possibly the earliest gangster film. Walsh played John Wilkes Booth in Griffith's epic The Birth of a Nation (1915) for which he was also Assistant Director. Walsh later directed The Thief of Bagdad (1924), starring Douglas Fairbanks and Anna May Wong.

In Sadie Thompson (1928) starring Gloria Swanson as a prostitute seeking a new life in Samoa, Walsh starred as Swanson's boyfriend in his first acting role since 1915; he also directed the film. Walsh was then hired to direct and star in In Old Arizona, a film about The Cisco Kid. While on location for that film Walsh suffered a car accident in which he lost his right eye. He gave up the part (but not the directing job), and never acted again. Walsh would wear an eyepatch for the rest of his life.

In the early days of sound with Fox, Walsh directed the first widescreen spectacle, The Big Trail (1930), a wagon train western shot on location across the West. It starred then unknown John Wayne, whom Walsh discovered as prop boy Marion Morrison and renamed after Revolutionary War general Mad Anthony Wayne (Walsh happened to be reading a book about General Wayne at the time). Walsh directed The Bowery (1933), featuring Wallace Beery, George Raft, Fay Wray and Pert Kelton; the movie recounts the story of Steve Brodie, the first man to supposedly jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and live to brag about it.

An undistinguished period followed with Paramount Pictures from 1935 to 1939, but Walsh's career rose to new heights soon after moving to Warner Brothers, with The Roaring Twenties (1939) featuring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart; Dark Command (1940) with John Wayne and Roy Rogers; They Drive By Night (1940) with George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, and Bogart; High Sierra (1941) with Lupino and Bogart again; They Died with Their Boots On (1941) with Errol Flynn as Custer; Manpower (1941) with Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich, and George Raft; and White Heat (1949) with Cagney. Walsh's contract at Warners expired in 1953.

He directed several films afterwards, including two with Clark Gable, The Tall Men (1955) and The King and Four Queens (1956). Walsh retired in 1964.

Walsh unofficially co-directed The Enforcer, with Humphrey Bogart and Zero Mostel, when director Bretaigne Windust fell ill at the beginning of shooting in 1951. Walsh refused to take a screen credit.

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Carmen (1915 Raoul Walsh film)

Carmen is a 1915 silent drama film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Theda Bara. The film is now considered to be lost.

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John Wayne

John Wayne in Wake of the Red Witch trailer.jpg

John Wayne (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979) was an Academy Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning American film actor, director and producer. He epitomized rugged masculinity and has become an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive voice, walk and height. He was also known for his conservative political views and his support in the 1950s for anti-communist positions.

In 1999, the American Film Institute named Wayne 13th among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time. A Harris Poll released in 2007 placed Wayne third among America's favorite film stars, the only deceased star on the list and the only one who has appeared on the poll every year.

Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa. His middle name was soon changed from Robert to Michael when his parents decided to name their next son Robert. His family was Presbyterian. His father, Clyde Leonard Morrison (1884–1937), was of Irish, Scots-Irish and English descent, and the son of American Civil War veteran Marion Mitchell Morrison (1845–1915). His mother, the former Mary Alberta Brown (1885–1970), was from Lancaster County, Nebraska.

Wayne's family moved to Palmdale, California, and then in 1911 to Glendale, California, where his father worked as a pharmacist. A local fireman at the station on his route to school in Glendale started calling him "Little Duke", because he never went anywhere without his huge Airedale Terrier dog, Duke. He preferred "Duke" to "Marion," and the name stuck for the rest of his life.

As a teen, Wayne worked in an ice cream shop for a man who shod horses for Hollywood studios. He was also active as a member of the Order of DeMolay, a youth organization associated with the Freemasons. He attended Wilson Middle School in Glendale. He played football for the 1924 champion Glendale High School team. Wayne applied to the U.S. Naval Academy, but was not accepted. He instead attended the University of Southern California (USC), majoring in pre-law. He was a member of the Trojan Knights and Sigma Chi fraternities. Wayne also played on the USC football team under legendary coach Howard Jones. An injury curtailed his athletic career; Wayne later noted he was too terrified of Jones' reaction to reveal the actual cause of his injury, which was bodysurfing at the “Wedge” at the tip of the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. He lost his athletic scholarship and, without funds, had to leave the university.

Wayne began working at the local film studios. Prolific silent western film star Tom Mix had gotten him a summer job in the prop department in exchange for football tickets. Wayne soon moved on to bit parts, establishing a longtime friendship with the director who provided most of those roles, John Ford. Early in this period, Wayne appeared with his USC teammates playing football in Brown of Harvard (1926), The Dropkick (1927), and Salute (1929) and Columbia's Maker of Men (filmed in 1930, released in 1931).

While working for Fox Film Corporation for $75 a week in bit roles, he was given on-screen credit only once, as "Duke Morrison" in Words and Music (1929). In 1930, director Raoul Walsh cast him in his first starring role in The Big Trail (1930). For his screen name, Walsh suggested "Anthony Wayne", after Revolutionary War general "Mad Anthony" Wayne. Fox Studios chief Winfield Sheehan rejected it as sounding "too Italian." Walsh then suggested "John Wayne." Sheehan agreed, and the name was set. Wayne himself was not even present for the discussion. His pay was raised to $105 a week.

The Big Trail was to be the first big-budget outdoor spectacle of the sound era, made at a staggering cost of over $2 million, utilizing hundreds of extras and wide vistas of the American southwest, still largely unpopulated at the time. To take advantage of the breathtaking scenery, it was filmed in two versions, a standard 35mm version and another in "Grandeur", a new process utilizing innovative camera and lenses and a revolutionary 70mm widescreen process. Many in the audience who saw it in Grandeur stood and cheered. Unfortunately, only a handful of theaters were equipped to show the film in its widescreen process, and the effort was largely wasted. The film was considered a huge flop.

After the failure of The Big Trail, Wayne was relegated to small roles in A-pictures, including Columbia's The Deceiver (1931), in which he played a corpse. He appeared in the serial The Three Musketeers (1933), an updated version of the Alexandre Dumas novel in which the protagonists were soldiers in the French Foreign Legion in then-contemporary North Africa. He appeared in many low-budget "Poverty Row" westerns, mostly at Monogram Pictures and serials for Mascot Pictures Corporation. By Wayne's own estimation, he appeared in about eighty of these horse operas between 1930 - 1939. Coincidentally, he also appeared in some of the Three Mesquiteers westerns, whose title was a play on the Dumas classic. He was mentored by stuntmen in riding and other western skills. He and famed stuntman Yakima Canutt developed and perfected stunts still used today.

Wayne's breakthrough role came with director John Ford's classic Stagecoach (1939). Because of Wayne's non-star status and track record in low-budget westerns throughout the 1930s, Ford had difficulty getting financing for what was to be an A-budget film. After rejection by all the top studios, Ford struck a deal with independent producer William Wellman in which Claire Trevor — a much bigger star at the time — received top billing. Stagecoach was a huge critical and financial success, and Wayne became a star. He later appeared in more than twenty of John Ford's films, including She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1956), The Wings of Eagles (1957), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962).

Wayne's first color film was Shepherd of the Hills (1941), in which he co-starred with his longtime friend Harry Carey. The following year he appeared in his only film directed by Cecil B. DeMille, the Technicolor epic Reap the Wild Wind (1942), in which he co-starred with Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard; it was one of the rare times he played a character with questionable values.

In 1949, director Robert Rossen offered the starring role of All the King's Men to Wayne. Wayne refused, believing the script to be un-American in many ways. Broderick Crawford, who eventually got the role, won the 1949 Oscar for best male actor, ironically beating out Wayne, who had been nominated for Sands of Iwo Jima.

He lost the leading role in The Gunfighter (1950) to Gregory Peck due to his refusal to work for Columbia Pictures because its chief Harry Cohn had mistreated him years before when he was a young contract player. Cohn had bought the project for Wayne, but Wayne's grudge was too deep, and Cohn sold the script to Twentieth Century Fox, which cast Peck in the role Wayne badly wanted but refused to bend for.

One of Wayne's most popular roles was in The High and the Mighty (1954), directed by William Wellman and based on a novel by Ernest K. Gann. His portrayal of a heroic copilot won widespread acclaim. Wayne also portrayed aviators in Flying Tigers (1942), Flying Leathernecks (1951), Island in the Sky (1953), The Wings of Eagles (1957), and Jet Pilot (1957).

The Searchers (1956) continues to be widely regarded as perhaps Wayne's finest and most complex performance. In 2006 Premiere Magazine ran an industry poll in which Wayne's portrayal of Ethan Edwards was rated the 87th greatest performance in film history. He named his youngest son Ethan after the character. John Wayne won a Best Actor Oscar for True Grit (1969). Wayne was also nominated as the producer of Best Picture for The Alamo (1960), one of two films he directed. The other was The Green Berets (1968), the only major film made during the Vietnam War to support the war. During the filming of Green Berets, the Degar or Montagnard people of Vietnam's Central Highlands, fierce fighters against communism, bestowed on Wayne a brass bracelet that he wore in the film and all subsequent films. His last film was The Shootist (1976), whose main character, J. B. Books, was dying of cancer - the illness to which Wayne himself succumbed 3 years later.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Wayne played the lead in 142 of his film appearances.

Batjac, the production company co-founded by Wayne, was named after the fictional shipping company Batjak in Wake of the Red Witch (1948), a film based on the novel by Garland Roark. (A spelling error by Wayne's secretary was allowed to stand, accounting for the variation.) Batjac (and its predecessor, Wayne-Fellows Productions) was the arm through which Wayne produced many films for himself and other stars. Its best-known non-Wayne production was the highly acclaimed Seven Men From Now (1956) which started the classic collaboration between director Budd Boetticher and star Randolph Scott.

Wayne had been a chain-smoker of cigarettes since young adulthood. In 1964, Wayne was diagnosed with lung cancer, and underwent successful surgery to remove his entire left lung and four ribs. Despite efforts by his business associates to prevent him from going public with his illness (for fear it would cost him work), Wayne announced he had cancer and called on the public to get preventive examinations. Five years later, Wayne was declared cancer-free. Despite the fact that Wayne's diminished lung capacity left him incapable of prolonged exertion and frequently in need of supplemental oxygen, within a few years of his operation he chewed tobacco and began smoking cigars.

Wayne used his iconic status to support conservative causes, including rallying support for the Vietnam War by producing, co-directing, and starring in the critically panned The Green Berets (1968). In 1978 however, he enraged conservatives by supporting liberal causes such as the Panama Canal Treaty and the innocence of Patty Hearst.

Due to his enormous popularity, and his status as the most famous Republican star in Hollywood, wealthy Texas Republican Party backers asked Wayne to run for national office in 1968, as had his friend and fellow actor, Senator George Murphy. He declined, joking that he did not believe the public would seriously consider an actor in the White House. However, he did support his friend Ronald Reagan's runs for Governor of California in 1966 and 1970. He was also asked to be the running mate for Democratic Alabama Governor George Wallace in 1968. Wayne vehemently rejected the offer. Wayne actively campaigned for Richard Nixon, and addressed the Republican National Convention on its opening day in August 1968. Wayne also was a member of the conservative and anti-communist John Birch Society.

Wayne's strong anti-communist politics led to a particularly unnerving situation. Information from Soviet archives, reported in 2003, indicates that Joseph Stalin ordered Wayne's assassination, but died before the killing could be accomplished. His successor, Nikita Khrushchev, reportedly told Wayne during a 1958 visit to the United States that he had personally rescinded the order.

America's entry into World War II resulted in a deluge of support for the war effort from all sectors of society, and Hollywood was no exception. Established stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (USN, Silver Star), Henry Fonda (USN, Bronze Star), and Clark Gable (USAAF, Distinguished Flying Cross) as well as emerging actors such as Eddie Albert (USCG, Bronze Star) and Tyrone Power (USMC) rushed to sign up for military service. Most notably, James Stewart (USAAC, USAAF, Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Croix de Guerre) had already enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, surmounting great obstacles in order to do so.

As the majority of male leads left Hollywood to serve overseas, John Wayne saw his just-blossoming stardom at risk. Despite enormous pressure from his inner circle of friends, he put off enlisting. Wayne was exempted from service due to his age (34 at the time of Pearl Harbor) and family status, classified as 3-A (family deferment). Wayne's secretary recalled making inquiries of military officials on behalf of his interest in enlisting, "but he never really followed up on them." He repeatedly wrote to John Ford, asking to be placed in Ford's military unit, but continually postponed it until "after he finished one more film." Republic Studios was emphatically resistant to losing Wayne, especially after the loss of Gene Autry to the Army.

Correspondence between Wayne and Herbert J. Yates (the head of Republic) indicates that Yates threatened Wayne with a lawsuit if he walked away from his contract, though the likelihood of a studio suing its biggest star for going to war was minute. Whether or not the threat was real, Wayne did not test it. Selective Service Records indicate he did not attempt to prevent his reclassification as 1-A (draft eligible), but apparently Republic Pictures intervened directly, requesting his further deferment. In May, 1944, Wayne was reclassified as 1-A (draft eligible), but the studio obtained another 2-A deferment (for "support of national health, safety, or interest"). He remained 2-A until the war's end. Thus, John Wayne did not illegally "dodge" the draft, but he never took direct positive action toward enlistment.

Wayne was in the South Pacific theater of the war for three months in 1943–44, touring U.S. bases and hospitals as well as doing some "undercover" work for OSS commander William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan, who thought Wayne's celebrity might be good cover for an assessment of the causes for poor relations between General Douglas MacArthur and Donovan's OSS Pacific network. Wayne filed a report and Donovan gave him a plaque and commendation for serving with the OSS, but Wayne dismissed it as meaningless.

I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them if that's what you're asking. Our so called stealing of this country was just a question of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.... I'm quite sure that the concept of a Government-run reservation... seems to be what the socialists are working for now — to have everyone cared for from cradle to grave.... But you can't whine and bellyache 'cause somebody else got a break and you didn't, like those Indians are. We'll all be on a reservation soon if the socialists keep subsidizing groups like them with our tax money.

I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.... The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically.... I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or ten generations ago these people were slaves. Now I'm not condoning slavery. It's just a fact of life, like the kid who gets infantile paralysis and can't play football like the rest of us.

By going to school. I don't know why people insist that blacks have been forbidden to go to school. They were allowed in public schools wherever I've been. I think any black man who can compete with a white can get a better break than a white man. I wish they'd tell me where in the world they have it better than right here in America.

Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be. I was proud when President Nixon ordered the mining of Haiphong Harbor, which we should have done long ago, because I think we're helping a brave little country defend herself against Communist invasion. That's what I tried to show in The Green Berets and I took plenty of abuse from the critics.

Wayne was married three times and divorced twice. His wives, all of them Hispanic women, were Josephine Alicia Saenz, Esperanza Baur, and Pilar Pallete. He had four children with Josephine and three with Pilar, including the producer Michael Wayne and actor Patrick Wayne. Wayne is also the great-uncle of boxing heavyweight Tommy Morrison. Wayne's son Ethan was billed as John Ethan Wayne in a few films and played one of the leads in the 1990s update of the Adam-12 television series.

His stormiest divorce was from Esperanza Bauer, a former Mexican actress. She convinced herself that Wayne and co-star Gail Russell were having an affair. The night the film Angel and the Badman (1947) wrapped, there was the usual party for cast and crew, and Wayne came home very late. Esperanza was in a drunken rage by the time he arrived, and she attempted to shoot him as he walked through the front door.

Wayne had several high-profile affairs, including one with Marlene Dietrich that lasted for three years. In the years prior to his death, Wayne was romantically involved with his former secretary Pat Stacy (1941–1995). She wrote a biography of her life with him, DUKE: A Love Story (1983).

During the early 1960s John Wayne traveled extensively to Panama. During this time, the actor reportedly purchased the island of Taborcillo off the main coast of Panama. It was sold by his estate at his death and changed hands many times before being opened as a tourist attraction.

Wayne was Freemason, a Master Mason in Marion McDaniel Lodge #56 F&AM, in Tucson. He became a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and later joined the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple in Anaheim as a member of the York Rite.

John Wayne`s height has been perennially described as at least 6`4" (193cm), but claims abound that he was shorter. However, Wayne's high school athletic records indicate he was 6'3" at age 17, and his University of Southern California athletic records state that by age 18, he had grown to 6'4".

A relatively large number of the cast and crew of Wayne's 1956 film The Conqueror developed various forms of cancer. The film was shot in Southwestern Utah, east of and generally downwind from where the U.S. Government had tested nuclear weapons in Southeastern Nevada, and many contend that radioactive fallout from these tests contaminated the film location and poisoned the film crew working there. Despite the suggestion that Wayne’s 1964 lung cancer and his 1979 stomach cancer resulted from this nuclear contamination, he himself believed his lung cancer to have been a result of his six-pack-a-day cigarette habit. The effect of nuclear fallout on The Conqueror's cast and crew, and particularly on Wayne, is the subject of James Morrow's science-fiction short story Martyrs of the Upshot Knothole.

John Wayne's enduring status as an iconic American was formally recognized by the United States Congress on May 26, 1979 when he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Hollywood figures and American leaders from across the political spectrum, including Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Mike Frankovich, Katharine Hepburn, General and Mrs. Omar Bradley, Gregory Peck, Robert Stack, James Arness, and Kirk Douglas, testified to Congress of the merit and deservedness of this award, most notably Robert Aldrich, then president of the Directors Guild of America, who stated, "It is important for you to know that I am a registered Democrat and, to my knowledge, share none of the political views espoused by Duke. However, whether he is ill disposed or healthy, John Wayne is far beyond the normal political sharp shooting in this community. Because of his courage, his dignity, his integrity, and because of his talents as an actor, his strength as a leader, his warmth as a human being throughout his illustrious career, he is entitled to a unique spot in our hearts and minds. In this industry, we often judge people, sometimes unfairly, by asking whether they have paid their dues. John Wayne has paid his dues over and over, and I'm proud to consider him a friend, and am very much in favor of my Government recognizing in some important fashion the contribution that Mr. Wayne has made." Maureen O'Hara, Wayne's close friend, initiated the petition for the medal and requested the words that would be placed onto the medal: "It is my great honor to be here. I beg you to strike a medal for Duke, to order the President to strike it. And I feel that the medal should say just one thing, 'John Wayne, American.'" The medal crafted by the United States Mint has on one side John Wayne riding on horseback, and the other side has a portrait of Wayne with the words, "John Wayne, American." This Congressional Gold Medal was presented to the family of John Wayne in a ceremony held on March 6, 1980 at the United States Capitol. This medal is now at the John Wayne Museum in Winterset, Iowa. Copies were made and sold in large numbers to the public.

On June 9, 1980, Wayne was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter (at whose inaugural ball Wayne had appeared "as a member of the loyal opposition", as Wayne described it in his speech to the gathering). Thus Wayne received the two highest civilian decorations awarded by the United States government.

Wayne rose beyond the typical recognition for a famous actor to that of an enduring icon who symbolized and communicated American values and ideals. By the middle of his career, Wayne had developed a larger-than-life image, and as his career progressed, he selected roles that would not compromise his off-screen image. By the time of his last film The Shootist (1976), Wayne refused to allow his character to shoot a man in the back as was originally scripted.

Wayne's rise to being the quintessential movie war hero began to take shape four years after World War II when Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) was released. His footprints at Grauman's Chinese theater in Hollywood were laid in cement that contained sand from Iwo Jima. His status grew so large and legendary that when Japanese Emperor Hirohito visited the United States in 1975, he asked to meet John Wayne, the symbolic representation of his country's former enemy.

On December 5, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver inducted Wayne into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.

Several celebrations took place on May 26, 2007, the centenary of John Wayne's birth.

In his birthplace of Winterset, Iowa, the John Wayne Birthday Centennial Celebration was held on May 25-27, 2007. The celebration included chuck-wagon suppers, concerts by Michael Martin Murphey and Riders in the Sky, a Wild West Revue in the style of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, symposia with John Wayne co-stars, cavalry and trick horse demonstrations as well as many of John Wayne's films. This event also included the ground-breaking for the John Wayne Museum and Learning Center at his birthplace house.

In 2006, friends of Wayne's and his former Arizona business partner, Louis Johnson, inaugurated the "Louie and the Duke Classics" events benefiting the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society. The weekend long event each fall in Casa Grande, Arizona includes a golf tournament, an auction of John Wayne memorabilia and a team roping competition".

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They Died with Their Boots On

They Died with Their Boots On is a 1941 western film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. Despite being rife with historical inaccuracies, the film was one of the top-grossing films of the year, being the last of eight Flynn-de Havilland collaborations.

The film follows the life of George Armstrong Custer (Errol Flynn) from attending West Point, wooing of Elizabeth Bacon (Olivia de Havilland) who becomes his loving wife, the American Civil War, and the Battle of Little Big Horn. In the film, the battle is blamed on unscrupulous corporations and politicians craving the land of Crazy Horse (Anthony Quinn) and his people.

Custer is portrayed as a fun-loving, dashing figure who chooses honor and glory over money and corruption. Though his "Last Stand" is probably treated as more significant and dramatic than it may have actually been, Custer (Flynn) follows through on his promise to teach his men "to endure and die with their boots on." In the movie's version of Custer's story, a few corrupt white politicians goad the Western tribes into war, threatening the survival of all white settlers in the West. Custer and his men give their lives at Little Bighorn to delay the Indians and prevent this slaughter. A letter left behind by Custer absolves the Indians of all responsibility.

Only 16 of the extras were Sioux Indians. The rest of the Native American army were Fillipino extras. Knowing the scene would be dangerous, Anthony Quinn ordered a hearse on the day of shooting as a joke. Two extras did die during the filming of the sequence. One untrained rider died in a fall from his horse, reportedly while drunk.

The score was composed by Max Steiner. He adapted George Armstrong Custer's favorite song, "Garryowen", into the score. Custer first heard the song from Irish soldiers. In the film, he hears it from an English soldier instead. This connection is apocryphal.

In March 2008 a band formed using They Died with Their Boots On as the name .

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White Heat

James Cagney as "Cody Jarrett"

White Heat is a 1949 crime film starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Edmond O'Brien and featuring Margaret Wycherly, and Steve Cochran. Directed by Raoul Walsh from the Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts screenplay based on a story by Virginia Kellogg, it is considered one of the classic gangster films.

Cody Jarrett (James Cagney) is the ruthless, deranged leader of a criminal gang. Although married to Verna (Virginia Mayo), Jarrett is overly attached to his equally crooked and determined mother, 'Ma' Jarrett (Margaret Wycherly), his only real confidante. When he has one of his splitting headaches, she consoles him, sits him on her lap and gives him a whiskey with the toast, "Top of the world." It is revealed that Jarrett's father died in an insane asylum.

Jarrett and his gang rob a train, resulting in the deaths of four members of the train crew and one of Jarrett's accomplices, Zuckie (Ford Rainey). With the help of informants, the police soon close in and Jarrett shoots and injures US Treasury investigator Philip Evans (John Archer). Jarrett then confesses to a lesser crime, which was committed by an associate at the same time as the train robbery, thus providing Jarrett with an alibi. He is sentenced to one to three years.

Evans is not fooled. He plants undercover agent Hank Fallon (Edmond O'Brien) in Jarrett's cell; Fallon goes by the name Vic Pardo. His main task is to find the "Trader", a fence who launders stolen money for Jarrett.

On the outside, 'Big Ed' Somers (Steve Cochran), Jarrett's ambitious right-hand man, has designs on both Jarrett's gang and his treacherous wife Verna. Somers pays a convict, Roy Parker (Paul Guilfoyle), to kill Jarrett. In the prison workplace, Parker arranges to drop a heavy piece of machinery on Jarrett, but Pardo pushes him out of the way and saves his life. When Ma visits, she insists she will take care of Big Ed herself, despite Jarrett's attempts to dissuade her. He begins to worry and decides to break out. Before he can, Jarrett learns that Ma is dead and goes berserk in the mess hall.

Jarrett takes hostages and escapes, along with Pardo, their cellmates and Parker, who is locked in the trunk of the getaway car. Later, when Parker complains "It's stuffy, I need some air", Jarrett replies "Oh, stuffy, huh? I'll give ya a little air" and "creates" some air holes by emptying his gun into the trunk.

After hearing of Jarrett's escape, Big Ed nervously waits for him to show up. When Verna tries to slip away, she is caught by her husband, but convinces him that Big Ed murdered Ma (though it was really Verna who shot her in the back). Jarrett kills Big Ed.

While the gang prepares its next heist, a stranger shows up at their isolated country hideout, asking to use the phone. The rest of the gang expect the stranger to be murdered: "Looks like Big Ed's gonna have company." Upon questioning the man, Pardo warns Jarrett that he is not the fisherman he claims to be. To Pardo's surprise, he is introduced by a trusting Jarrett to the Trader (Fred Clark), the fence he was to track down.

Jarrett intends to steal the payroll at a chemical plant in Long Beach, California, using a large gas truck as a Trojan Horse to get in. Pardo (a.k.a. Fallon) manages to get a message to Evans, and an ambush is set up. The gang gets into the plant, but the driver, Bo Creel (Ian MacDonald), recognizes Pardo as Fallon.

The police surround the building and Evans calls on Jarrett to surrender. On finding out about Pardo's deception however, Jarrett decides to fight it out. When the police fire tear gas into the building, Fallon manages to escape.

Jarrett's henchmen are shot by the police or by Jarrett himself when they try to give themselves up. Jarrett then flees to the top of a gigantic gas storage tank. When Fallon shoots Jarrett several times with a rifle, Jarrett starts firing into the tank and shouts, "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" just before it goes up in a massive explosion.

Another inspiration may have been Arthur Barker, a gangster of the 1930s, and a son of Ma Barker.

The train robbery which opens the film appears to have been closely based on the robbery of Southern Pacific's "Gold Special" by the D'Autremont brothers in 1923.

The film is rated 100% fresh by Rotten Tomatoes. It was also part of Time magazine's all-time top 100 list.

In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. White Heat was acknowledged as the fourth best in the gangster film genre. Also, the quote; "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" was number 18 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest movie quotes.

The movie was nominated for a Best Writing, Motion Picture Story at the Oscars and was nominated for Best Motion Picture at the Edgar Allan Poe Awards.

In 2003, White Heat was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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George Raft

George Raft in Invisible Stripes trailer.jpg

George Raft (September 26, 1895 – November 24, 1980) was an American film actor identified with portrayals of gangsters in crime melodramas of the 1930s and 1940s.

Raft was born George Ranft in Hell's Kitchen, New York City to German immigrant Conrad Ranft and his wife Eva Glockner. A boyhood friend of gangster Owney Madden, he admittedly narrowly avoided a life of crime.

As a young man he showed aptitude in dancing, and this, with his elegant fashion sense, let him work as a dancer in New York City nightclubs. He became part of the stage act of Texas Guinan and his success led him to Broadway where he again worked as a dancer. He worked in London as a chorus boy in the early 1920s.

In 1929, Raft moved to Hollywood and took small roles. His success came in Scarface (1932), and Raft's convincing portrayal led to speculation that Raft was a gangster. Due to his life-long friendship with Owney Madden, Raft was a friend or acquaintance of several other crime figures, including Bugsy Siegel and Siegel's old friend Meyer Lansky. When Gary Cooper's romantic escapades put him on one gangster's hit list, Raft reportedly interceded and persuaded the mobster to spare Cooper.

He was one of the three most popular gangster actors of the 1930s, with James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson. Raft and Cagney worked in Each Dawn I Die (1939) as convicts in prison. He advocated for the casting of his friend Mae West in a supporting role in his first film as leading man, Night After Night (1932), which launched her movie career. Raft appeared the following year in Raoul Walsh's period piece The Bowery as, "Steve Brodie, the first man to jump off Brooklyn Bridge and survive, with Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Fay Wray and Pert Kelton.

Some of his other films include If I Had A Million (1932), in which he played a forger hiding from police, suddenly given a million dollars with no place to cash the check, Bolero (1934; a rare role as a dancer rather than a gangster), Dashiell Hammett's The Glass Key (1935) (remade in 1942 with Alan Ladd in Raft's role), Souls at Sea (1937) with Gary Cooper, two with Humphrey Bogart: Invisible Stripes (1939) and They Drive by Night (1940), each with Bogart in supporting roles, and Manpower (1941) with Edward G. Robinson and Marlene Dietrich (the memorable posters said, "Robinson - He's mad about Dietrich. Dietrich - She's mad about Raft. Raft - He's mad about the whole thing"). Although Raft received third billing in Manpower, he played the lead.

1940-41 proved Raft's career apex. He went into professional decline over the next decade, in part due to turning down some of the best roles in history, notably High Sierra (he didn't want to die at the end) and The Maltese Falcon (he didn't want to remake the 1931 version of The Maltese Falcon with a rookie director); both roles transformed Humphrey Bogart from supporting player to a major force in Hollywood in 1941. Raft was also reported to have turned down Bogart's role in Casablanca (1942), although according to Warner Bros. memos, this story is apocryphal.

Approached by director Billy Wilder, he refused the lead role in Double Indemnity (1944), which led to the casting of Fred MacMurray. His lack of judgment (he was more or less illiterate, which made judging scripts problematic), combined with the public's growing distaste for his apparent gangster lifestyle, ended his career as a leading man in mainstream movies.

He satirized his gangster image with a well-received performance in Some Like it Hot (1959), but this did not lead to a comeback, and he spent the remainder of the decade making films in Europe. He played a small role as a casino owner in Ocean's Eleven (1960) opposite the Rat Pack. His final film appearances were in Sextette (1978), reunited with pal Mae West in a cameo (West: "Why George Raft, I haven't seen you in 20 years. What have you been doing?" Raft: "Oh, about 20 years!"), and The Man with Bogart's Face (1980).

Ray Danton played Raft in The George Raft Story (1961).

In the 1991 biographical movie Bugsy, the character of George Raft was played by Joe Mantegna.

Raft has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for contributions to Motion Pictures, at 6150 Hollywood Boulevard, and for Television at 1500 Vine St.

Raft married Grayce Mulrooney, several years his senior, in 1923, long before his stardom. The pair separated soon thereafter, but Grayce, a devout Catholic, refused to grant Raft a divorce, and he remained married to and supported her until her death in 1970. A romantic figure in Hollywood, Raft had love affairs with Betty Grable and Mae West. He stated publicly that he wanted to marry Norma Shearer, with whom he had a long romance, but his wife's refusal to allow a divorce eventually caused Shearer to end the affair.

Raft died from leukemia, aged 85, in Los Angeles, California on November 24, 1980. Raft was interred in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.

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Dark Command

Dark Command is a 1940 western film loosely based on Quantrill's Raiders in the American Civil War. Directed by Raoul Walsh from the novel by W.R. Burnett, the film features Claire Trevor, John Wayne and Walter Pidgeon. Dark Command is the only film in which western icons John Wayne and Roy Rogers appear together, and was the first film Wayne and Raoul Walsh made together since Wayne's first leading role in the widescreen western The Big Trail a decade before.

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Art Direction by John Victor Mackay.

Mary McCloud (Claire Trevor) marries a seemingly peaceful Kansas schoolteacher William Cantrell (Walter Pidgeon), before finding out that he harbors a dark secret. He is actually an outlaw leader who attacks both sides in the Civil War for his own profit. After capturing a wagon loaded with Confederate uniforms, he decides to pass himself off as a Confederate officer. Her naive, idealistic brother Fletcher (Roy Rogers) joins what he believes is a Rebel guerrilla force. Meanwhile, Cantrell's stern, but loved mother (Marjorie Main) refuses to accept any of her son's ill-gotten loot.

A former suitor of Mary's, Union supporter Bob Seton (John Wayne), is captured by Cantrell and scheduled for execution. After being rescued by a disillusioned Fletcher McCloud, Seton and Mary Cantrell race to the town of Lawrence (site of an actual infamous Quantrill-led massacre) to warn the residents of an impending attack by Cantrell's gang.

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Miriam Cooper

Miriam Cooper (November 7, 1891 - April 12, 1976) was a silent film actress who is best known for her work in early film including "Birth of a Nation" and "Intolerance" for D.W. Griffith and "The Honor System" and "Evangeline" for her husband Raoul Walsh. After retiring from acting in 1923 she was rediscovered by the film community in the 1960s and toured colleges lecturing about silent films.

Miriam Cooper was born to Julian Cooper and Margaret Stewart in Baltimore, Maryland on November 7, 1891. Her mother was from a devout Catholic family who had a long history in Baltimore. Her grandfather Cooper had helped discover Navassa Island and made his wealth from selling guano. Her father was attending Loyola University when he met her mother. Her parents had 5 children in 5 years (one died in infancy) including her sister Lenore and her brothers Nelson and Gordon. Cooper had a troubled relationship with her mother who she loved, but felt was cold to her. Once during her childhood her mother told her she hated her for looking like her father. Her mother remarried in 1914.

Her father left the family when she was young and lived in Europe. Her grandmother Cooper supported the family until her death willing her fortune to Cooper's father. To that point the family had lived comfortably in Washington Heights. Cooper's father kept the money leaving the family destitute. They moved to Little Italy which Cooper despised.

During this time Cooper found solace by playing in an abandon Dutch cemetery. She would lie on the graves and daydream. To make her sister behave she also became a storyteller by repeating Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" saying it was named for her. Cooper cited these experiences as greatly influencing her acting later on as well as her Christian faith.

Never intending to be an actress, Cooper originally had trained to be a painter. She attended St. Walpurga's School with the help of the nuns who arranged her tuition. From there she attended an art school named Cooper Union with help from the parish. At the suggestion of a friend of her mother's Cooper posed for Charles Dana Gibson at the age of 21. It was the first painting Gibson had done in oils.

Soon after on a friend's suggestion Cooper went to Biograph Studios just to see what they were doing there. Cooper had only seen one flicker behind her mother's back and hadn't been impressed with it. Able to walk right up to the set the two girls watched the film, "A Blot on Scutcheon" being made. One of the assistants named Christy Cabanne approached them and asked if they would like to be extras. They were given the option between 'page boy' or 'scullery maid' and Cooper not wanting to wear slacks eventually chose 'scullery maid'. Her friend backed out leaving Cooper who stayed for the pay which was $5 a day. Ford Sterling's wife Teddy Sampson tried to sabotage her make up, but Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand spotted her and helped her out making her look presentable. After shooting Cooper was asked to stay in costume as D.W. Griffith wanted a screen test of her.

Cooper never heard back from Biograph and interested in making more money she approached Edison Studios and Vitagraph but was turned away. In 1912 Kalem Company hired her and used her as an extra. As her roles grew she was invited to join their stock performance company which was heading for Florida to film. Offered $35 a week plus expenses Cooper was initially hesitant to confess her career to her family but changed her mind when she returned home to find hand me downs from a very large recently deceased Aunt. Deciding she could no longer live this way Cooper announced her plans much to her mother's despair.

Filming took place in Jacksonville, Florida with Anna Q. Nilsson and Guy Coombs as the leads. Being the 50th anniversary since the Civil War the company made several Civil War themed shorts. For these films Cooper learned to play drums and ride horseback. Already able to swim these skills were utilized in several of her shorts.

As time passed Cooper's roles grew in size and she received favorable reviews. Feeling her roles were as big as Nilsson's (who was making $65 a week) and much more dangerous, she requested a raise. They fired her that weekend and she returned to New York where she returned to art school.

After returning to New York, Cooper decided once again to try D.W. Griffith. She went to the Biograph offices every day for a week but no one took notice of her. While leaving school one day she ran back into Christy Cabanne who had helped her on her first day as an extra. He was excited to have found her as Griffith had been looking for her but since she did not have a telephone number they had been unable to find her. Her first day back at Biograph Griffith called her into his office 5 times and sent her away each time. The final time he asked her to rehearse a scene with Bobby Harron telling her Bobby was playing her sweetheart, a confederate soldier off to war. Pleased with what he'd seen Griffith told her they would leave for California, where he would make a picture about the Civil War. She would make $35 a week.

Cooper began work on several pictures for Reliance Majestic that were made while Griffith supervised and began preparations for "Birth of a Nation". She stated she didn't remember being in several films as she was never told what that what she acted in ended up in which picture. During this time she acted in one of Griffith's first attempts at a feature, "Home Sweet Home" though she also didn't remember anything about that film.

After working several months for the company Cooper's star was rising and she was given a star dressing room with Mae Marsh. She couldn't recall the start of "Birth of a Nation" other than Griffith announced he was making his civil war picture and they still did not use scripts. Cooper was given one of the leading roles as the eldest Southern daughter Margaret Cameron. As was standard at the time Cooper did her own makeup and hair.

Cooper lived the role and found her only real difficult scene came acting opposite Henry B. Walthall who she found cold and difficult. After having troubles in rehearsal with the scene she also had trouble while filming. To get her to act upset in the scene Griffith took her aside and told her that her mother had passed away. Despite the trick Cooper was never angry with him for it. Cooper's sister Lenore visited her while filming and ended up as an extra playing Lillian Gish's maid in blackface. While having trouble funding the film Griffith offered Cooper a chance to invest in it, however Cooper had no money and said so. Had she invested Cooper would have made thousands back.

Cooper was too ill to see the picture when it premiered in Los Angeles. She finally was able to see it in April 1915 back in New York. On the advice of Norma Talmadge she asked to get her family in for free which the theatre obliged. Despite acknowledging the pictures racist tones Cooper never denounced it. She attended several revival screenings of it in her later years and stated that she was very glad her legacy would be that of a young girl on screen in the film.

Cooper was then given the role of 'The Friendless One' in "Intolerance". Cooper noted she played 'a fallen woman' not a 'prostitute' as some sources claimed. During the filming of the scene where 'The Friendless One' is conflicted with inner torment a photographer from "The New York Times" took pictures while Cooper acted. Stills were usually taken after scenes had been filmed. This was the first time they were taken during the actual filming. While Griffith finished "Intolerance" Cooper worked on a handful of shorts under other director's for Reliance Majestic. These were her final shorts.

In late 1915 Cooper began traveling between New York and California to spend more time with Raoul Walsh. The couple secretly married in February 1916 before Cooper returned back to California.

Cooper noted Griffith seemed to treat her different than other actresses by continually giving her bigger parts (Griffith was known for casting an actress as a lead one day and a bit role the next to keep egos in check). After returning to California Griffith called Cooper into his office giving her a leather bound copy of "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" telling her it was his next picture and he wanted her to play lead. Cooper was already tired of being separated from Walsh and after consulting with Mary Alden decided she didn't understand what the book was about and didn't want to make a picture out of it. Cooper quietly returned to New York and wired Griffith that she was leaving the company. Griffith wired back his congratulations, it was the last time they ever spoke.

After leaving Griffith, Cooper received offers from Jesse Lasky and Cecil B. DeMille. However Cooper intended to retire and be a housewife and mother.. When Walsh was offered a chance to direct a film titled, "The Honor System" in Yuma, Arizona he pleaded with Cooper to take a role in it. Cooper agreed for fear he would cheat on her and not wanting to be separated for a long period of time. Cooper made $1,000 a week for her role as Edith. Years later while being interviewed by Kevin Brownlow Cooper found Walsh's shooting script for the film on the back of an envelope. "The Honor System" opened in 1917 to good reviews (one calling it "Bigger than The Birth of a Nation") and good box office. 2 years later it was played for the Prince of Whales when he visited New York.

Walsh continued to ask Cooper's advice when dealing with the business moguls, usually asking her to speak with them as she had with Griffith before. After filming another film Walsh once again asked Cooper to 'temporarily return' to pictures until he was established. Cooper signed with FOX Studios and made $1,200 a week. Her contract allowed Walsh to get top billing instead of her (it was traditionally either the director or the star).

In 1917 Cooper and Walsh began work on a film based on the Blanca de Saulles trial. Cooper bore such a resemblance to De Saulles that FOX wanted to leave her name off the credits to insinuate De Saulles played herself. Cooper refused. The film was also notable for featuring Peggy Hopkins Joyce as a courtesan though she didn’t realize it until the film premiered. The film was controversial and received what amounted to an X rating for its time as no children were allowed. The film is now lost.

After work on "The Prussian Cur" Cooper adopted her first son and tried settling back into a private life, shunning publicity. However in 1919 as Walsh began to look for new script ideas Cooper suggested the story "Evangeline", which Walsh asked her to lead in. Cooper refused until the studio sent a blonde to play the part. Walsh was annoyed and asked her once again, which she relented to. Cooper didn’t like the picture as she thought it was too innocent though it performed well at the box office and was one of her better known films. William Fox thought it was the best picture of her career. It is now lost.

With the success of Evangeline another film "Should a Husband Forgive?" was rushed into theatres. Walsh was excited with the success and wired Cooper that he would make her a big star, though she still wished to retire. Walsh signed with the Mayflower Corporation in 1920. Cooper joined him for the sake of her marriage, fearing more bouts of jealousy if she didn't. Their first film was "The Deep Purple".

Their next film was "The Oath" which Cooper took control of from casting to costumes. She said she loved everything about the film. However it received the worst reviews of her career and was one of Walsh's only silents to lose money. Cooper was deeply hurt by the failure. Their next film "Serenade" was fully under Walsh's control and was their most profitable. However Cooper hated acting opposite Walsh's brother George who she felt was stiff. Walsh agreed and they were never paired together again.

The duo's final film together was "Kindred of the Dust". Cooper felt it was mediocre but it did decent business. During filming she accidentally gazed into a stage light permanently damaging her eyes. Well into old age she suffered from this accident. "Kindred of the Dust" was the last film the couple did together, the last independent film for Walsh, and is one of Cooper's few surviving films.

As troubles in her marriage and finances began to appear Cooper found she resented the role of 'The Director's Wife'. On the advice of a friend she took to the stage for the first and only time, to disastrous reviews. Cooper decided she didn't like stage acting and began considering film offers again.

A little film company called 'D.M Film Corporation' offered her a role in a pictured title "Is Money Everything?". It only offered $650 a week and would film in Detroit, MI. However Cooper took it to help her financial situation. Cooper found it a horrible picture and found herself overwhelmed by her personal troubles.

After reconciling with Walsh, Cooper decided to keep at films. Her first back with Hollywood was for B. P. Schulberg titled, "The Girl Who Came Back" in 1923. She was once again making $1,000 a week. The picture did well and was hailed as a comeback. Schulberg asked her to make 2 more pictures for him which she agreed. She also made 2 films for other companies. Her final one was a picture titled, "The Broken Wing" which also had her old friend Walter Long in a role.

After divorcing Walsh in 1926, Cooper never made another picture. She returned to New York and joined high society playing bridge and shopping most days. During World War 2 Cooper volunteered for Red Cross handing out doughnuts and writing letters for wounded soldiers. She attended Columbia University in the 1940s to study writing. She bought a farm Chestertown, Maryland hoping to be inspired. She wrote a novel and two plays, all of which were unpublished. The plays were based on two of her films and she sent them to FOX, but both were rejected. In the 1950s she moved to Virginia where she started a women's writing club. She continued playing golf, working for charity, and playing bridge.

In 1969 a man from the Library of Congress called her, surprise to find she was still alive. Soon after she began receiving calls from universities and film historians. She was invited to several colleges and screenings of her old films. In 1973 she wrote an autobiography, "Dark Lady of the Silents".

In 1970 after attending "The D.W. Griffith Film Festival" she had a heart attack which began a series of heart troubles which limited her in her final years.

Cooper died at Cedars Nursing Home on April 12, 1976. She had been there since suffering a stroke earlier the same year. Her death left Lillian Gish as the sole surviving cast member of "Birth of a Nation". She is buried in the New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland under the name "Miriam Cooper Walsh" which she continued using long after her divorce from Walsh. Her papers were donated to the Library of Congress.

Cooper is primarily known today for her performances in "Birth of a Nation" and "Intolerance". Very few of her films are known to survive. Only 3 of her 40 shorts still exist, while only 5 of her 21 features still exist. Her only non Griffith features to survive are "Kindred of the Dust" and "Is Money Everything?". Neither have been released on DVD though there is a fan campaign hoping to do so via TCM.

Cooper got along well with D.W. Griffith saying he had been a perfect gentleman. However when they first arrived in California Cooper mistook his mannerisms as insulting (he had failed to return a hello to her one day). She complained to Mae Marsh who trying to win Griffith's favor told Griffith. The next day on set Griffith called Cooper "The Queen of Sheba". They worked out the misunderstanding but she recalled that much to her annoyance the nickname stuck for years afterwards. She claimed to have never been romantic with Griffith like Lillian Gish or Mae Marsh. However she did mention in her autobiography that he tried to kiss her once after offering her a ride home. After the release of "Birth of a Nation" Cooper's train stopped in Chicago where Griffith was staying. He sent her a telegram asking her to see him in his hotel room but Cooper was unable to reach him. According to her this stopped his romantic intentions with her. Though aware of Griffith's struggles later in life she hadn't seen him since leaving for New York in 1916; though she did visit his grave during her visit to Kentucky for "The D.W. Griffith Film Festival".

Cooper got along well with most of Griffith's company including Dorothy Gish, Mary Alden, and Mae Marsh. She also was friends with Norma Talmadge, Mabel Normand, and Pola Negri. Though not close she was fond of Lillian Gish. Cooper didn't get along with Teddy Sampson and she greatly disliked Theda Bara who she felt was trying to steal Raoul Walsh away from her during the making of "Carmen" and "The Serpent". In later years Cooper was good friends with Carole Lombard who she helped get some of her first roles. Cooper and Walsh were good friends with Charlie Chaplin in 1924. Chaplin was going through some troubling times and she found him gloomy and needy. She enjoyed him more once his personal life was back in order and he was much more cheery.

Cooper met Raoul Walsh in 1914 when she joined Griffith's California Company. After Mae Marsh turned Walsh down for an Easter Mass date Walsh and Cooper began dating in 1915. Walsh had been Griffith's assistant director and asked Cooper if she would speak to Griffith about making him a director. On her advice Griffith made him a director a few weeks later. After directing one picture for Griffith, Walsh was signed to Fox Studios which filmed in New York while Cooper still had to film in California. The couple married in February 1916 and Cooper left the Griffith company to join Walsh in New York. Cooper intended to quit pictures to be a housewife and mother.. However Walsh's gambling and cheating were big problems for her. One of the first nights she suspected him of cheating she swallowed a bottle of carbolic acid and had to have her stomach pumped. However Walsh continued to cheat during the marriage. As their successes grew more trouble arose from debts and Cooper's resentment from being known as the Director's wife, something she was surprised at as she had thought she never wanted the spotlight.

After "Kindred of the Dust" Walsh admitted he didn’t think he loved her anymore. The marriage dragged on as both sides accused the other of cheating. Though the reconciled by 1925 Cooper was certain he was again cheating, this time with Ethel Barrymore who she confronted. Afterwards she threatened to divorce him. Walsh pleaded for forgiveness but Cooper found he was cheating with a young society girl who he was engaged to. The final moment came when Walsh began an affair with Cooper's friend Lorraine Miller. Cooper was furious and began divorce proceedings threatening to put infidelity as her reason. However in the days of morality clauses this could have caused Walsh his contract and William Fox talked her out of it. Instead she put 'irreconcilable differences'. The divorce was big news in Hollywood, with Gloria Swanson throwing Walsh a party, while Norman Kerry and Erich von Stroheim threw Cooper one. Not too long after Walsh married Miller.

Cooper desperately wanted children but was unable to conceive. Though she never learned the reason she suspected it had to do with her kidney illness. She and Walsh adopted 2 boys: Jackie and Bobbie. After the divorce both boys lived with her until their teenage years. Jackie got in trouble with the law several times and Bobbie idolized him. At the advice of her preacher, Cooper sent Jackie to live with Walsh. On a visit Bobbie idolized it so much he asked to live there as well. Cooper and Walsh had been suing each other during the 1930s and Walsh later had the boys sue her as well. Cooper never heard from either of her sons again and was unsure if they were still alive as of the 1970s.

Her nieces are sisters Olympic swimmer and gold medal winner Donna de Varona and television actress Joanna Kerns.

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Source : Wikipedia