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Wallace Reid

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Also Known As: William Wallace Reid Died: January 18, 1923
Born: April 15, 1892 Cause of Death: pneumonia due to narcotics withdrawal
Birth Place: St Louis, Missouri, USA Profession: actor, screenwriter, director, stuntman, musician/bandleader, cameraman, journalist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Handsome, clean-cut star of the late 1910s who frequently directed, and sometimes wrote, his own vehicles. Son of a well-known actor and playwright, Reid got his start acting as a child. After prep school and some time spent editing a racecar magazine, he entered films in earnest in 1910. The handsome, dark-haired Reid worked as an actor, cameraman, stuntman and screenwriter for such companies as Vitagraph, Reliance, Universal and American for the next few years. He married actress Dorothy Davenport in 1913.Reid became a star in 1915--after making more than 100 films--when he was signed by Lasky-Paramount to co-star with Geraldine Farrar in Cecil B. DeMille's "Carmen". He made more than 50 films for that company over the next seven years, becoming the nation's boy-next-door matinee idol. Many of Reid's films utilized his ability as a racecar driver and were especially popular with young boys. He made another four films with Farrar, a series with Ann Little, and also co-starred with such actresses as Mae Murray, Gloria Swanson and Bebe Daniels.After being treated with morphine following a 1919 train accident, Reid became addicted to the drug and died in a rehab clinic at age 31. The manner of his...

Handsome, clean-cut star of the late 1910s who frequently directed, and sometimes wrote, his own vehicles. Son of a well-known actor and playwright, Reid got his start acting as a child. After prep school and some time spent editing a racecar magazine, he entered films in earnest in 1910. The handsome, dark-haired Reid worked as an actor, cameraman, stuntman and screenwriter for such companies as Vitagraph, Reliance, Universal and American for the next few years. He married actress Dorothy Davenport in 1913.

Reid became a star in 1915--after making more than 100 films--when he was signed by Lasky-Paramount to co-star with Geraldine Farrar in Cecil B. DeMille's "Carmen". He made more than 50 films for that company over the next seven years, becoming the nation's boy-next-door matinee idol. Many of Reid's films utilized his ability as a racecar driver and were especially popular with young boys. He made another four films with Farrar, a series with Ann Little, and also co-starred with such actresses as Mae Murray, Gloria Swanson and Bebe Daniels.

After being treated with morphine following a 1919 train accident, Reid became addicted to the drug and died in a rehab clinic at age 31. The manner of his death made sensational news at the time and, combined with the scandals surrounding the death of director William Desmond Taylor and the Fatty Arbuckle manslaughter trial, led to demands for censure of the Hollywood community and censorship of its product by conservative civic groups nationwide. Reid's widow, often billing herself proudly as 'Mrs. Wallace Reid' in order to restore her late husband's unfairly damaged reputation, went on to produce several anti-drug films, including the hard-hitting "Human Wreckage" (1923).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

3.
4.
7.
8.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Thirty Days (1923) John Floyd
2.
 Clarence (1922) Clarence Smith
3.
 Nice People (1922) Billy Wade
4.
 Thirty Days (1922)
5.
 Night Life in Hollywood (1922) Themselves and family
6.
 Forever (1922) Peter Ibbetson
7.
 The Dictator (1922) Brooke Travers, who is better versed in flappers than in fruit
8.
 The World's Champion (1922) William Burroughs
9.
 Across the Continent (1922) Jimmy Dent
10.
 Rent Free (1922) Buell Arnister, Jr.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1895:
Acting debut with parents in "The Phoenix"
1910:
Film debut in "The Phoenix"
1915:
Signs contract with Lasky-Paramount
1919:
Seriously injured while filming "The Valley of the Giants"
1922:
Last film, "Thirty Days"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Perkiomen Academy: Pennsburg , Pennsylvania -

Notes

"I have never ceased to marvel how the camera caught that loveable quality in the man and reflected it on the screen. Handsome, accomplished, successful, there wasn't an ounce of personal conceit in him, and the amount of work he could and did perform would be inconceiveable to most men." --Photoplay editor James Quirk quoted in Films in Review, April 1966.

"I blame no one ... What happened to Wally had happened to many a soldier released from hospitals after World War I, and had happened to patients--released from hospitalization, cured perhaps of their ailments and injuries, but made into hopeless addicts through the then abysmal ignorance of the medical profession ... It was worse, in a way, with Wally, because he had always been the picture of health, and he was confident that he knew enough about medicine to believe that addiction wouldn't happen to him." --Dorothy Davenport Reid quoted in Films in Review, April 1966.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Dorothy Davenport. Screenwriter. Born on March 13, 1895 in Boston Massachusetts; married on October 13, 1913; died on October 12, 1977 in Woodland Hills, California.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Hal Reid. Screenwriter, director, actor. Born on April 14, 1862 in Cedarville, Ohio; died in NYC on May 22, 1920.
mother:
Bertha Belle Reid. Actor.
son:
Wallace Reid Jr. Born in 1917 in L.A.; died on February 26, 1990 in Santa Monica, California.
daughter:
Betty Ann Reid. Born c. 1919.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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