George Melford

George H. Melford (February 19, 1877 – April 25, 1961) was an American stage and film actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. Born in Rochester, New York, in 1877 (though older sources state 1888) as George Henry Knauff, son of German immigrant Henrietta Knauff (the name Melford was an adopted stage name). George Knauff Melford had four sisters: Mary Knauff (Mrs. Godfrey Willis Wainwright); Henrietta Knauff; Alice Irene Knauff (Mrs. Edmond Francois Bernoudy)--all of Los Angeles, CA--and Mrs. Frederick Kells/Keils of Ottawa, Canada. Melford graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He was an accomplished stage actor working in Cincinnati, Ohio, before joining the Kalem Company motion picture studio in New York City in 1909. Hired by director Sidney Olcott for character actor roles, in the fall of 1910 he was sent to work with a film crew on the West Coast. In 1911, with Robert Vignola, he co-directed Ruth Roland in his first short film, Arizona Bill based on a script he had written. From there Melford went on to direct another 30 films for Kalem Studios until 1915, when he was hired by Jesse L. Lasky to direct feature-length films for Lasky's Feature Play Company.


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