Although he appeared in approximately 100 movies or TV shows, Douglas Elton Ulman--better known as Douglas Fairbanks Jr.--never really intended to take up acting as a career. However, the environment he was born into and the circumstances naturally led him to be a thespian. Noblesse oblige. The son of future silent era swashbuckling idol Douglas Fairbanks and Beth Sully--the daughter of a very wealthy cotton mogul--was born in 1909 and soon proved a gifted boy. To the end of his life he remained a multi-talented, hyperactive man, not content to appear in the 100 films mentioned above. Handsome, distinguished and extremely bright, he excelled at sports (much like his father), notably during his stay at the Military Academy in 1919 (his role in Claude Autant-Laras Lathlète incomplete illustrated these abilities). He also excelled academically, and attended the Lycéee Janson de Sailly in Paris, where he had followed his divorced mother. Very early in his life he developed a taste for the arts as well and became a painter and sculptor. Not content to limiting himself to just one field, he became involved in business, in fields as varied as mining, hotel management, owning a chain of bowling alleys and a firm that manufactured popcorn. During World War II he headed Londons Douglas Voluntary Hospital (an establishment taking care of war refugees), was President Franklin D. Roosevelts special envoy for the Special Mission to South America in 1940 before becoming a lieutenant in the Navy (he was promoted to the rank of captain in 1954) and taking part in the Allies landing in Sicily and Elba in 1943.