Former cartoonist who joined Vitagraph in 1916 as a writer and director of comedy shorts. Semon starred in his zany films as a goofy character in white face and over-sized pants, and at one time his popularity approached that of Chaplin, Lloyd, and Keaton. Oliver Hardy often appeared as his villainous foil, and he was usually supported by leading ladies Lucille Carlisle and Dorothy Dwan, whom he would later marry. Semon's fiscal irresponsibility lead to a rift with Vitagraph and although he continued to turn out features, they met with limited success. He tried to made a comeback in a dramatic role in Joseph Von Sternberg's "Underworld" (1927), but left film shortly thereafter and following a nervous breakdown, died in 1929 of pneumonia.