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CAST: (feature film)
Rowanart ( 2007-05-27 )
Source: Nov '16 Motion Picture News, Jul '27 Motion Picture Classic & Picture Play, newspaper archives
John W. "Jack" McDermott was born in Green River, Wyoming on 9 September 1892. He was educated in Green River and Ogden, Utah before appearing on Broadway in Ziegfeld's "A Winsome Widow" in 1912. He moved to Los Angeles in 1913 and began appearing as a bit player in early films, mostly for Kalem and Universal. His career was interrupted by a stint in the Royal Flying Corps during WWI. Jack returned to direct comedy shorts, this time for Christie, before Marshal Neilan gave him his first opportunity to direct feature films. As the 1920s progressed Jack abandoned directing for his first love, writing, and scored his biggest successes with a string of Bebe Daniels vehicles. During the mid-1920s Jack constructed what was called "the strangest house in Hollywood" from movie sets and props. His "castle" perched on a steep slope in the Hollywood Hills incorporated, among many other artifacts, minarets from "The Thief of Bagdad" and the captain's cabin from "The Black Pirate". The piecemeal creation was honeycombed with secret passages and tunnels, and hosted many lavish, Prohibition-flouting parties. Among the celebrtities most often linked to Jack were Douglas Fairbanks, Harold Lloyd, and John Barrymore. Like many of his contemporaries Jack had difficulty transitioning to talkies, and this contributed to his early death in 1946. His castle was largely destroyed by fire the following year, and the remnants were bulldozed in 1962.
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