Larry Semon

Lawrence "Larry" Semon (July 6, 1889 – October 8, 1928) was an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter during the silent film era. In his day, Semon was considered a major movie comedian, but he is now remembered mainly for working with both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy before they started working together. He is also sometimes noted for directing (as well as appearing in) the 1925 silent film Wizard of Oz, which had a slight influence on the better-known 1939 talkie The Wizard of Oz released by MGM. The compliment was repaid in the 2005 three-disc DVD version of the 1939 film, on which the 1925 version appears along with other silent "Oz" movies. Born in West Point, Mississippi, Semon was the son of a vaudeville magician, Zera the Great, while his mother worked as his assistant. Along with his older sister, Semon joined his parents' act until his father's death. After completing his education in Savannah, Georgia, Semon moved to New York City, where he worked for The New York Sun and later The New York Morning Telegraph as a cartoonist and graphic artist.

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