From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia John Farrell MacDonald (June 6, 1875 – August 2, 1952) was an American character actor and director. He played supporting roles and occasional leads.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia John Farrell MacDonald (June 6, 1875 – August 2, 1952) was an American character actor and director. He played supporting roles and occasional leads. He appeared in over 325 films over a 41-year career from 1911 to 1951, and directed forty-four silent films from 1912 to 1917. MacDonald was the principal director of L. Frank Baums Oz Film Manufacturing Company, and he can frequently be seen in the films of Frank Capra, Preston Sturges and, especially, John Ford. Early in his career, MacDonald was a singer in minstrel shows, and he toured the United States extensively for two years with stage productions. He made his first silent film in 1911, a dramatic short entitled The Scarlett Letter made by Carl Laemmles Independent Moving Pictures Company (IMP), the forerunner of Universal Pictures,. He continued to act in numerous films each year from that time on, and by 1912 he was directing them as well. The first film he directed was The Worth of a Man, another dramatic short, again for IMP, and he was to direct 43 more films until his last in 1917, Over the Fence, which he co-directed with Harold Lloyd. MacDonald had crossed paths with Lloyd several years earlier, when Lloyd was an extra and MacDonald had given him much-needed work – and he did the same with Hal Roach, both of whom appearing in small roles in The Patchwork Girl of Oz, which MacDonald directed in 1914. When Roach set up his own studio, with Lloyd as his principal attraction, he hired MacDonald to direct. By 1918, MacDonald, who was to become one of the most beloved character men in Hollywood, had given up directing and was acting full-time, predominantly in Westerns and Irish comedies.