William C. DeMille

Willam C. deMille (July 25, 1878 – March 5, 1955) was an American screenwriter and film director from the silent movie era through the early 1930s. He was also a noted playwright prior to moving into film. Once he was established in film he specialized in adapting Broadway plays into silent films. DeMille was born in Washington, North Carolina, to Henry Churchill deMille (1853–1893), an Episcopal lay minister and playwright from North Carolina, and Matilda Beatrice Samuel (1853–1923), who was born to a Sephardic Jewish family in England but converted to her husband's faith. He was the elder brother of the versatile Cecil B. DeMille, who altered the punctuation of his last name when he went to Hollywood, claiming that it fit better on marquees. (William continued to be known as "deMille," while his daughter Agnes chose "de Mille.") William received a bachelor's degree from Columbia University followed by graduate studies at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, at schools in Germany, and a second stint at Columbia studying under Brander Matthews. In 1903, he married Anna Angela George, the daughter of notable economist Henry George.


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