Thomas H. Ince

Thomas Harper Ince (November 6, 1882 – November 19, 1924) was an American silent film actor, director, screenwriter and producer of more than 100 films and pioneering studio mogul. Known as the "Father of the Western", he invented many mechanisms of professional movie production, introducing early Hollywood to the "assembly line" system of film making. He wrote the screenplay for The Italian (1915), and directed Civilization (1916), both films selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry. He was a partner with D.W. Griffith and Mack Sennett in the Triangle Motion Picture Company, and built his own studios in Culver City, which later became the legendary home of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Ince is also known for his death aboard the yacht of William Randolph Hearst; officially he died of heart trouble, but Hollywood rumor of the time suggested he had been shot by Hearst in a dispute over actress Marion Davies. Born in Newport, Rhode Island, Ince was born into a family of stage actors. He was the son of John E. Ince, a comedian who later became a theatrical agent, and his wife, Emma B., an actress.


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