04 January 2010

Jack Mulhall (1887-1979)

it's been sd he was one of J. C. Leyendecker's models for the Arrow Collar Man.

I met him once. it was 2 years before he died. I was at an event at the former Warner Brothers studio with a pair of his onetime leading ladies May McAvoy & Lois Wilson. May was especially thrilld to see him & gave him a big hug.

Mulhall made his film debut for D. W. Griffith in 1910. after a trio of Griffith pictures he did two for James Kirkwood (father of the novelist/playwright) before becoming a popular leading man of the silent era. he workd for Cecil B. DeMille   Frank Borzage   King Vidor. he did the first dual role in talkies & despite his charm startd sliding in the credits. today he's probably best rememberd for supporting roles in Flash Gordon & Buck Rogers features. but there's something admirable abt any movie career that lasts a half century.

last nite I saw Mulhall in a forgotten Poverty Row feature from 1932 calld "Love Bound." minor stuff. but he was the star. his fall to bit parts must've been difficult. but like so many silent era stars he did it with dignity.

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