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Cecil B. DeMille

Cecil B. DeMille

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The Cecil B. DeMille Collection... Five Spectacular Epics In One Stunning CollectionLegendary filmmaker Cecil B.... more info $59.98was $59.98 Buy Now

Cleopatra: 75th Anniversary Edition... Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra, one of the most spectacular motion pictures ever... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now

Reap The Wild Wind DVD Cecil B. DeMille directs an all-star cast in this turbulent, swashbuckling tale,... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Unconquered DVD Discover the lavish spectacle, sizzling romance and intense drama of Cecil B.... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Squaw Man DVD This silent version of "The Squaw Man" (1918) was one of three by Hollywood... more info $6.98was $6.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Cecil Blount De Mille, Cecil B. De Mille Died: January 21, 1959
Born: August 12, 1881 Cause of Death: heart ailment
Birth Place: Ashfield, Massachusetts, USA Profession: director, screenwriter, producer, playwright, radio announcer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Having emerged as a potent force during the birth of Hollywood, director Cecil B. DeMille was a crucial figure in the early development of the classic Hollywood narrative filmmaking style. Although less critically revered than D.W. Griffith, DeMille actually played a more important role in shaping the structure of the Hollywood system with films like "The Squaw Man" (1914), "Brewster's Millions" (1914) and "The Cheat" (1915). The commercial success of "The Cheat" allowed DeMille to expand his creative scope to include the popular comedy "Don't Change Your Husband" (1919) and his first attempt at "The Ten Commandments" (1923). After leaving the silent era behind for the brave new world of talkies, DeMille embarked on a highly-profitable partnership with Paramount Pictures that enabled him to make his most memorable films. Among the best was "Cleopatra" (1934), which harkened the penchant for grandeur and large-scale epics that became synonymous with his name. Following a string of lesser works like his first Technicolor venture, "Northwest Mounted Police" (1940), "Reap the Wild Wind" (1942), starring John Wayne, and the flag-waving drama "The Story of Dr. Wassell" (1944), DeMille made three of what...

Having emerged as a potent force during the birth of Hollywood, director Cecil B. DeMille was a crucial figure in the early development of the classic Hollywood narrative filmmaking style. Although less critically revered than D.W. Griffith, DeMille actually played a more important role in shaping the structure of the Hollywood system with films like "The Squaw Man" (1914), "Brewster's Millions" (1914) and "The Cheat" (1915). The commercial success of "The Cheat" allowed DeMille to expand his creative scope to include the popular comedy "Don't Change Your Husband" (1919) and his first attempt at "The Ten Commandments" (1923). After leaving the silent era behind for the brave new world of talkies, DeMille embarked on a highly-profitable partnership with Paramount Pictures that enabled him to make his most memorable films. Among the best was "Cleopatra" (1934), which harkened the penchant for grandeur and large-scale epics that became synonymous with his name. Following a string of lesser works like his first Technicolor venture, "Northwest Mounted Police" (1940), "Reap the Wild Wind" (1942), starring John Wayne, and the flag-waving drama "The Story of Dr. Wassell" (1944), DeMille made three of what many considered to be his finest films: "Samson and Delilah" (1949), "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952) and his remake of "The Ten Commandments" (1956). It was the latter film, with its cast of thousands and groundbreaking visual effects, that cemented DeMille's legacy as a true innovator who helped pioneer modern day epic filmmaking.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  The Ten Commandments (1956) Director
2.
3.
  Samson and Delilah (1950) Director
4.
5.
  Unconquered (1947) Director
6.
7.
  Reap the Wild Wind (1942) Director
8.
9.
10.
  Union Pacific (1939) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 The Ten Commandments (1956) Narrator
3.
 The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) Narrator
4.
 Son of Paleface (1952) Still photographer
5.
 Sunset Blvd. (1950) Himself
6.
 Samson and Delilah (1950) Narrator of foreword
7.
 Variety Girl (1947)
8.
 Star Spangled Rhythm (1943) Himself
9.
 Estrellados (1930)
10.
 Free and Easy (1930)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1900:
Broadway acting debut in "Hearts Are Trumps"
:
Member of the Standard Opera Company as director-actor
1907:
Acted for David Belasco
1910:
Made general manager of mother's DeMille Play Company
1913:
Formed motion picture firm Lasky Feature Play Company with Jesse L. Lasky, Samuel Goldfish (later Goldwyn) and Arthur Friend
1914:
First film as co-producer and co-director (with Oscar C. Apfel) "The Squaw Man" (first US feature film)
1916:
Helped devise a mechanical color tinting process for his "Joan the Woman"
1919:
Formed California's first commercial airline, Mercury Aviation Company
1921:
Formed Cecil B. DeMille Productions
1925:
Left Paramount (previously Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company)
1925:
Formed Cinema Corporation of America
1925:
First film as independent producer, "The Road to Yesterday"
:
Cinema Corporation of America merged with Pathe
1928:
With MGM
1931:
Helped form the Screen Directors Guild
1937:
Hired by Lever Brothers as sponsor of "Lux Radio Theater"
1938:
Offered Republican senator nomination (California)
1945:
Left "Lux Radio Theater"
:
Formed DeMille Foundation for Political Freedom in late 1940s
1953:
Helmed the Oscar-winning Best Picture "The Greatest Show on Earth"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Pennsylvania Military College: - 1896
American Academy of Dramatic Arts: New York , New York - 1898

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Constance Adams. Actor. Married in 1902; father was judge; died on July 17, 1960 at age 87.
companion:
Jeanie Macpherson. Screenwriter, author.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Henry Churchill de Mille. Schoolteacher, theatrical producer, playwright. Of Dutch descent; died 1893 of typhus.
mother:
Beatrice Samuel. Actor, author's representative, playwright. English-Jewish.
brother:
William C de Mille. Playwright, producer. Older; died on March 8, 1955 at age 76; father of dancer-choreoagrapher Agnes de Mille.
sister:
Agnes de Mille. Died as infant.
daughter:
Cecilia DeMille Presley. Born in 1908.
son:
John DeMille. Adopted.
daughter:
Katherine DeMille. Adopted; married to actor Anthony Quinn from 1937 to 1965.
son:
Richard de Mille. Adopted; natural son of DeMille's brother William and actress Lorna Moon; born c. 1922.
niece:
Agnes de Mille. Dancer, choreographer.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Autobiography" Prentice-Hall

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