Wallace Reid (1891-1923)

Wallace Reid, Silent Movie StarWallace Reid, Silent Movie Star

Wallace (“Wally”) Reid was one of the first male heart throbs of the silver screen. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 15th, 1891, into a loving, theatrical family, and he began performing on the stage as a child with his parents as they toured the country. Wally attended Freehold Military School and Princeton University, excelling in English and sports. He managed a football team and was editor of the school newspaper. He began his film career in 1910. Wally’s real love was writing, followed by directing behind the camera, but because of his striking good looks and athletic abilities he was often placed in front of the camera. For more than a decade he appeared in dozens of films for several studios, quickly becoming a matinee idol along the way; some of his films include the first “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1913), the first “The Deerslayer” (1913), the role of Don Jose in “Carmen” (1915), and the role of Prince Karl in the first screen version of The Student Prince in “Old Heidelberg” (1915), D.W. Griffith’s classics “The Birth of a Nation” (1915), and his “Intolerance” (1917), “Hawthorne of the USA” (1919), “Peter Ibbetson” (1921), and “The Affairs Of Anatol” (1921), in which he played a good man trying to save bad women from their own self-destruction. Some of Wally’s most popular films were action movies, about racing cars in particular. Films such as “The Roaring Road” (1919), and “Double Speed” (1920) attracted both thrill seeking men and women to the cinema.

In 1913 Wallace Reid married actress Dorothy Davenport; though she was only seventeen, she was already a veteran of stage and screen. Their marriage was a happy union, and they had a son born in 1917 named Wallace Reid Jr., and they adopted a little girl named Betty in 1922.

While making “The Valley of the Giants” in Oregon in 1919, Wally was involved in a train accident and badly injured. The hospital gave him morphine to help him deal with severe pain. After being released from the hospital his pain continued, so the studio began to supply him with more and more morphine, so they could continue using their “valuable film property.” Reid became addicted and depressed, and his alcohol use sprung out of control. The combination of the alcohol and morphine was too much, even for a young, physically strong man in his thirties. He tried entering sanitariums (similar to the detox centers of today) to break his addictions, but his condition continued to deteriorate. His last film was made in 1922. On January 18th, 1923, Wallace Reid died in his wife Dorothy’s arms. She never remarried, claiming she could never find anyone else who could compare to Wally. For the rest of Dorothy’s life she campaigned for the increased awareness of drug addiction, and the terrible toll it causes on families and society.

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Vintage Bio from “Who’s Who On The Screen” (1920): “Wallace Reid was born in St. Louis, Mo., and was educated in New York. He started his career as a writer. He is the son of Hal Reid and started his screen career with Vitagraph, from which company he went to Universal and was later in D.W. Griffiths Birth Of A Nation. As a Famous Players Star he has played in Youre Fired,, The Love Burglar,, Valley Of The Giants, Hawthorne Of The U.S.A., Double Speed and Excuse My Dust. Mr. Reid is six feet one inch high and weighs a hundred and seventy pounds. He has light brown hair and blue eyes, and is a splendid athlete, showing especially well in the water. He is married and has a son.”

Read a Poem Written By Wallace Reid To His Beloved Mother

Wallace Reid Photo Gallery

Photo One

Wallace Reid’s Silent Films

Rent Free (1922) …. Buell Arnister Jr
Thirty Days (1922) …. John Floyd
Clarence (1922) …. Clarence Smith
Ghost Breaker, The (1922) …. Walter Jarvis, a Ghost Breaker
Nice People (1922) …. Captain Billy Wade
Dictator, The (1922) …. Brooke Travers
Across the Continent (1922) …. Jimmy Dent
World’s Champion, The (1922) …. William Burroughs
Don’t Tell Everything (1921) …. Cullen Dale

Wallace Reid and Elsie Ferguson in Peter Ibbetson (1921)

Wallace Reid and Elsie Ferguson in “Peter Ibbetson” (1921)

Forever (1921) …. Peter Ibbetson
… aka Peter Ibbetson (1921)

Gloria Swanson and Wallace Reid in The Affairs Of Anatol

Gloria Swanson and Wallace Reid in “The Affairs of Anatol” (1921)

Affairs of Anatol, The (1921) …. Anatol De Witt ‘Tony’ Spencer
… aka Prodigal Knight, A (1921) (UK)
Hell Diggers, The (1921) …. Teddy Darman
Too Much Speed (1921) …. ‘Dusty’ Rhoades
Love Special, The (1921) …. Jim Glover
Charm School, The (1921) …. Austin Bevans
Always Audacious (1920) …. Perry Dayton/’Slim’ Attucks
What’s Your Hurry? (1920) …. Dusty Rhoades
Sick Abed (1920) …. Reginald Jay
Dancin’ Fool, The (1920) …. Sylvester Tibble
Excuse My Dust (1920) …. ‘Toodles’ Walton
Double Speed (1920) …. ‘Speed’ Carr
Hawthorne of the U.S.A. (1919) …. Anthony Hamilton Hawthorne
… aka Hawthorne, the Adventurer (1919)
Lottery Man, The (1919) …. Jack Wright
Valley of the Giants, The (1919) …. Bryce Cardigan
… aka In the Valley of the Giants (1919)
Love Burglar, The (1919) …. David Strong
You’re Fired (1919) …. Billy Deering

Wallace Reid in The Roaring Road

Wallace Reid in “The Roaring Road” (1919)

Roaring Road, The (1919) …. ‘Toodles’ Walden
Alias Mike Moran (1919) …. Larry Young
Dub, The (1919) …. John Craig (The ‘Dub’)
Too Many Millions (1918) …. Walsingham Van Doren
Man From Funeral Range, The (1918) …. Harry Webb

Wallace Reid with serial star Ann Little in “The Source” (1918)

Source, The (1918) …. Van Twiller Yard
Less Than Kin (1918) …. Hobart Lee/Lewis Vickers
Firefly of France, The (1918) …. Devereux Bayne
Believe Me, Xantippe (1918) …. George MacFarland
House of Silence, The (1918) …. Marcel Levington
Things We Love, The (1918) …. Rodney Sheridan
Rimrock Jones (1918) …. Rimrock Jones
Devil-Stone, The (1917) …. Guy Sterling
Nan of Music Mountain (1917) …. Henry de Spain
Woman God Forgot, The (1917) …. Alvarado
Hostage, The (1917) …. Lieutenant Kemper
Squaw Man’s Son, The (1917) …. Lord Effington, aka Hal
Big Timber (1917) …. Jack Fife
Brand of Death, The (1917)
World Apart, The (1917) …. Bob Fulton
Penalty of Silence, The (1917)
Prison Without Walls, The (1917) …. Huntington Babbs
Buried Alive (1917)
Golden Fetter, The (1917) …. James Roger Ralston
Joan the Woman (1917) …. Eric Trent
Wrong Heart, The (1916)
Yellow Pawn, The (1916) …. James Weldon
Intolerance (1916) …. Boy killed in the fighting
House with the Golden Windows, The (1916) …. Tom Wells
… aka House of the Golden Windows, The (1916)
Selfish Woman, The (1916) …. Tom Morley
… aka Taming of Helen, The (1916)
Maria Rosa (1916) …. Andreas
Love Mask, The (1916) …. Dan Derring
… aka Under the Mask (1916)
To Have and to Hold (1916) …. Captain Ralph Percy
Craven, The (1915) …. George
Sheriff for an Hour (1915)
Station Content (1915) …. Jim Manning
Three Brothers, The (1915)
Golden Chance, The (1915) …. Roger Manning
Old Heidelberg (1915) …. Karl Heinrich
Carmen (1915/I) …. Don Jose
Chorus Lady, The (1915) …. Danny Mallory
Yankee From the West, A (1915) …. Billy Milford aka Hell-in-the Mud
Enoch Arden (1915) …. Walter Fenn
… aka As Fate Ordained (1915)
… aka Fatal Marriage, The (1915)
Lost House, The (1915) …. Ford
Birth of a Nation, The (1915) …. Jeff (blacksmith)
… aka Birth of the Nation; Or The Clansman, The (1915) (second copyright title)
… aka Clansman, The (1915) (USA: Los Angeles première title)
… aka In the Clutches of the Ku Klux Klan (1916) (USA: shorter version)
Another Chance (1914)
Arms and the Gringo (1914)
… aka Rifle Smugglers, The (1914)
Baby’s Ride (1914) …. Father
City Beautiful, The (1914)
Down by the Sounding Sea (1914) …. John Ward
Down the Road to Creditville (1914)
For Those Unborn (1914)
Her Awakening (1914/I)
Little Country Mouse, The (1914)
Moonshine Molly (1914) …. Lawson Keene
Mother’s Influence, A (1914)
… aka His Mother’s Last Word (1914)
Niggard, The (1914)
Second Mrs. Roebuck, The (1914) …. Samuel Roebuck
Sierra Jim’s Reformation (1914) …. Tim
Exposure, The (1914) …. Reporter
At Dawn (1914)
Over the Ledge (1914) …. Bob
… aka On the Ledge (1914)
Odalisque, The (1914) …. Curtiss
For Her Father’s Sins (1914)
Avenging Conscience; Thou Shalt Not Kill, The (1914) (uncredited) …. Doctor
… aka Telltale Heart, The (1914) (USA: first title)
… aka Thou Shalt Not Kill (1914)
Den of Thieves, The (1914) …. David
‘Cross the Mexican Line (1914) …. Lt. Wallace
Wife on a Wager, A (1914) …. Wally Bristow
… aka Wife for a Wager, A (1914)
Love’s Western Flight (1914) …. Wally
… aka Children of Fate (1914)
Passing of the Beast (1914) …. Woodsman
Man Within, The (1914)
Siren, The (1914)
Quack, The (1914) …. Wallace Rosslyn
Daughter of a Crook, The (1914)
Fruit of Evil, The (1914)
… aka Sins of the Fathers, The (1914)
Skeleton, The (1914) …. Young Husband
Test, The (1914/I)
Gypsy Romance, A (1914) …. King of the Gypsies
Cupid Incognito (1914)
Women and Roses (1914)
Spider and Her Web, The (1914)
Mountaineer, The (1914)
Way of a Woman, The (1914) …. Pierre
Heart of the Hills (1914) …. Woodsman
Voice of the Viola, The (1914) …. Wallace
Regeneration (1914) …. The Artist
Breed o’ the Mountains (1914) …. Joe
Flash in the Dark, A (1914) …. A Miner
Greater Devotion, The (1914) …. ‘Devotion’
Fires of Conscience (1914) …. Prospector
Wheel of Life, The (1914) …. Prospector
Countess Betty’s Mine, The (1914) …. Wallace
Intruder, The (1914) …. Woodsman
Whoso Diggeth a Pit (1914) …. Wally
Dead Man’s Shoes (1913)
Foreign Spy, A (1913)
Hearts and Horses (1913) …. Bill Walters
Her Innocent Marriage (1913) …. Bob Evans
Hopi Legend, A (1913) …. Waheta
… aka Pueblo Romance, A (1913)
Love and the Law (1913) …. Sheriff John
Menace, The (1913) …. Captain Bruce Douglas
Modern Snare (1913) …. Sheriff
Picture of Dorian Gray, The (1913) …. Dorian Gray
Pride of Lonesome (1913) …. Ed Daton
Tattooed Arm, The (1913) …. Ben Hart
Via Cabaret (1913) …. Harry Reeder
Ways of Fate, The (1913) …. Jim Conway
When Luck Changes (1913) …. Cal
Youth and Jealousy (1913) …. Bill Higgins
Lightning Bolt, The (1913) …. Reid
Cracksman Santa Claus, A (1913) …. Gentleman Crook
Retribution (1913) …. Reid
Cross Purposes (1913) …. Wally
Fires of Fate, The (1913) …. Wally
Cracksman’s Reformation, The (1913) …. Gentleman Crook
Heart of a Cracksman, The (1913) …. Gentleman Crook
Wall of Money, The (1913) …. Monopolist’s son
Gratitude of Wanda, The (1913) …. Wally
Mystery of Yellow Aster Mine, The (1913) …. Reid
Spark of Manhood, The (1913)
Harvest of Flame, The (1913) …. Inspector
Animal, The (1913) …. Reid
Man’s Duty (1913) …. Bill, the Selfish One
Mental Suicide (1913) …. A contractor
Picket Guard, The (1913) …. Sentry
Powder Flash of Death, The (1913) …. Union soldier
Woman and War (1913) …. Girl
In Love and War (1913) …. Journalist
… aka Call to Arms, The (1913)
Spirit of the Flag, The (1913) …. Doctor
Deerslayer, The (1913) …. Chingachgook
Kiss, The (1913) …. Ralph Walters
When Jim Returned (1913) …. Jim
Near to Earth (1913)
When the Light Fades (1913)
Rose of Old Mexico, A (1913) …. Paquita’s Father
Pirate Gold (1913)
Their Masterpiece (1913)
Seepore Rebellion, The (1912)
All for a Girl (1912) (unconfirmed)
Indian Outcast, An (1912) …. Wally, a Cowboy
Tribal Law, The (1912) …. Apache brave
Cowboy Guardians, The (1912)
Daughter of the Redskins, A (1912) …. Captain Stark, U.S.A.
Hunted Down (1912) …. John Dayton
Early Days in the West (1912) …. Dan, a Young Pioneer
Every Inch a Man (1912) …. Robert, the Son
His Only Son (1912)
Indian Raiders (1912)
Unseen Enemy, An (1912) (uncredited) …. The Brother’s Friend
Secret Service Man, The (1912)
Making Good (1912)
At Cripple Creek (1912) …. Joe Mayfield
Man’s Duty, A (1912) …. Union soldier
Before the White Man Came (1912/I) …. Waheta
Gamblers, The (1912)
Kaintuck (1912)
His Mother’s Son (1912) (unconfirmed)
Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight (1912)
Diamond Cut Diamond (1912) …. Clerk
Hieroglyphic, The (1912)
Victoria Cross, The (1912) …. Lt. Cholmodeley
… aka Charge of the Light Brigade, The (1912) (USA)
Brothers (1912)
At Scrogginses’ Corner (1912)
Illumination, The (1912)
Seventh Son, The (1912)
Telephone Girl, The (1912) …. Jack Watson
Indian Romeo and Juliet (1912) …. Oniatore
Jean Intervenes (1912) …. Billy Hallock
Chumps (1912) …. George, the Denouement
… aka Chumps: A Funny Story for Overgrownups (1912) (USA)
Red Cross Martyr; or, On the Firing Lines of Tripoli, A (1912)
… aka Red Cross Martyr, A (1912) (USA: short title)
War (1911)
Reporter, The (1911/I) …. Cohn, Jones’ Assistant
Leading Lady, The (1911)
Phoenix, The (1910) …. Young Reporter

To learn more about Wallace Reid visit his profile on The Internet Movie Database

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