James Cruze

Director, Actor, Producer
Born to Danish immigrants, he became first an actor and then, as a result of breaking his leg, a director. During the 1920s Cruze proved one of Hollywood's more varied and prolific filmmakers (and in 1927 the highest ... Read more »
Born: 03/27/1884 in Five Points, Utah, USA

Filmography

Director (23)

A Man's Man 1928 (Movie)

(Director)

Leap Year 1920 (Movie)

(Director)

David Harum (Movie)

(Director)

Helldorado (Movie)

(Director)

Hollywood (Movie)

(Director)

I Cover the Waterfront (Movie)

(Director)

If I Had a Million (Movie)

(Director)

Merton of the Movies (Movie)

(Director)

Mr. Skitch (Movie)

(Director)

Old Ironsides (Movie)

(Director)

One Glorious Day (Movie)

(Director)

Ruggles of Red Gap (Movie)

(Director)

Sutter's Gold (Movie)

(Director)

Terror Island (Movie)

(Director)

The Charm School (Movie)

(Director)

The City Gone Wild (Movie)

(Director)

The Covered Wagon (Movie)

(Director)

The Duke Steps Out (Movie)

(Director)

The Enemy Sex (Movie)

(Director)

The Great Gabbo (Movie)

(Director)

The Wrong Road (Movie)

(Director)

Valley of the Giants (Movie)

(Director)

Washington Merry-Go-Round (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (10)

Merton of the Movies (Movie)

(Producer)

Old Ironsides (Movie)

(Producer)

Ruggles of Red Gap (Movie)

(Producer)

The City Gone Wild (Movie)

(Producer)

The Covered Wagon (Movie)

(Producer)

The Duke Steps Out (Movie)

(Producer)

The Enemy Sex (Movie)

(Producer)

The Great Gabbo (Movie)

(Producer)

The Night Flyer (Movie)

(Producer)

Washington Merry-Go-Round (Movie)

(Executive Producer)
Actor (2)

Believe Me, Xantippe (Movie)

(Actor)

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Movie)

(Actor)

Biography

Born to Danish immigrants, he became first an actor and then, as a result of breaking his leg, a director. During the 1920s Cruze proved one of Hollywood's more varied and prolific filmmakers (and in 1927 the highest paid, earning $7,000 a week) with movies such as the lavishly produced historical epics "The Covered Wagon" (1923) and "Old Ironsides" (1926), which were noted for their almost documentary-like pictorial images but were weak on character. He also scored with the inventive, somewhat surreal "One Glorious Day" (1922) and with "Beggar on Horseback" (1925), while several of Cruze's early talkies, including the modestly budgeted but maturely handled "I Cover the Waterfront" (1933) feature some of his best work. Married to silent screen star Betty Compson from 1924 to 1930.

Relationships

Mrs W E Quillinan

Sister
survived him

Father
Danish immigrant Mormon

Mother
Danish immigrant

Julie Bosen

Daughter
born on October 24, 1913 mother, Marguerite Snow appeared in Thanhouser films as a baby

Betty Compson Actor

Wife

Betty Compson

Wife
married on October 14, 1924 divorced in 1930 born in March 1897 died on April 18, 1974

May Cruze

Sister
appeared in films in the 1910s survived him

Alberta McCoy

Wife
married on June 30, 1941 when she was 43 years old survived him died on July 7, 1960

Marguerite Snow

Wife
married in 1913 divorced in 1924 allegedly the first marriage ever recorded by a motion picture camera

EDUCATION

Colonel F. Cooke Caldwell Dramatic School

Milestones

1938

Retired after heart attack

1928

First film as producer only, "Wife Savers" (dir. Ralph Cedar)

1927

Directed first film for own production company (James Cruze Inc.), "On to Reno"

1918

Film directing debut, "Too Many Millions"

1914

Directed "From Wash to Washington" for Thanhouser

1911

Joined the Thanhouser Company; appeared in "The Pied Piper of Hamlin" and "She"

1910

Film debut in "The Usurper" for Lubin

1906

Became member of the Belasco company and made Broadway debut

1903

Organized own theater troupe

1900

Worked as fisherman in Alaska to pay for drama school

1900

Ran away from home to San Francisco at age 15

Directed several Fatty Arbuckle comedies that were unreleased or pulled from distribution due to Arbuckle's manslaughter scandal

Worked in vaudeville and repertory in New York

Began acting career appearing in medicine shows, road shows and stock including as barker in Billy Banks Travelling Stock Company

Bonus Trivia

.

At his third marriage, the best man was cinematographer Hal Mohr and the matron of honor was Mohr's wife, actress Evelyn Venable.

.

Cruze told contemporary reporters various stories about his childhood, including making claims that he had anywhere from 11 to 18 to 23 siblings.

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