W S Van Dyke

Director, Vaudevillian, Assistant director
Van Dyke began his career as an assistant director, notably under D. W. Griffith on "Intolerance" (1916). He took over the direction of "White Shadows of the South Seas" from Robert Flaherty in 1928 and, by the 1930s ... Read more »
Born: 03/20/1890 in San Diego, California, USA

Filmography

Director (9)

Marie Antoinette 1937 (Movie)

(Director)

The Good Earth 1936 (Movie)

(additional scenes) (Director)

After the Thin Man 1935 (Movie)

(Director)

Devil Is a Sissy 1935 (Movie)

(Director)

San Francisco 1935 (Movie)

(Director)

Naughty Marietta 1934 (Movie)

(Director)

Hide-Out 1933 (Movie)

(Director)

The Thin Man 1933 (Movie)

(Director)

The Prizefighter and the Lady 1932 (Movie)

(Director)
Producer (1)

The Prizefighter and the Lady 1932 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

Van Dyke began his career as an assistant director, notably under D. W. Griffith on "Intolerance" (1916). He took over the direction of "White Shadows of the South Seas" from Robert Flaherty in 1928 and, by the 1930s, had developed into one of MGM's most reliable directors. Van Dyke was a capable craftsman whose nonchalant approach to filming earned him the nickname 'One-Shot Woody'; it also brought him success at the box-office, particularly with the "Thin Man" series, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. His deft touch is evident in films such as "Trader Horn" (1930), "Manhattan Melodrama" (1934), "Sweethearts" and "Marie Antoinette" (both 1938).

Relationships

W S Van Dyke

Father
superior court judge died nine days before son's birth

Zina Ashford

Wife
married c. 1907 divorced in 1920

Ruth Mannix

Wife
married in 1935 niece of MGM vice president Eddie Mannix

Laura Winston

Mother
returned to theater upon husband's death

EDUCATION

graduated from a business school in Seattle, WA

Milestones

1942

Last film, "Dragon Seed" (completed by Jack Conway and Harold S Bucquet)

1934

Helmed the classic detective comedy-drama "The Thin Man"

1926

Signed by Thalberg for MGM

1917

First film as director, "Her Good Name"

1916

Employed by D.W. Griffith as actor and assistant director on "Intolerance"

1915

Wrote numerous screenplays for directors Lawrence Windom and Arthur Berthelet

1915

With wife, toured with various theater companies until a Pantages tour took them to Los Angeles; became involved with film

1915

First film job, as assistant director to Charles Brabin on "The Raven"

1907

Joined mother's company, Laura Winston Players

1902

Made stage debut in "Damon and Pythias" at age three

Spent childhood touring and acting with mother; became involved in production when mother formed own company

Moved to Seattle to live with grandmother at age 14; worked way through business school as grocery clerk, janitor, waiter, salesman, railroad attendant and express wagon driver

Worked as miner, electrician, sailor, vaudevillian, mercenary in Mexico; gold prospector in Alaska; and lumberjack in Washington State, where he met his wife

Served in Marines

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