Famous 19th Century Directors

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 1 
Charlie Chaplin
(The Greatest Comic Artist Ever & One of the Most Important Figures in Motion-Picture History)
Charlie Chaplin
9
Birthdate: April 16, 1889
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Walworth, London, England
Died: December 25, 1977

Cinema lovers around the world hold Charlie Chaplin in high esteem. One of the biggest stars of the silent film era and an icon, he left the audience in splits with his comedic performances. Even today, his performances in movies like Modern Times and The Gold Rush are considered classic. The legendary actor was also a writer, director and producer.

 2 
D. W. Griffith
(American Director Who is One of the Most Influential Figures in the History of the Motion Picture)
D. W. Griffith
4
Birthdate: January 22, 1875
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Crestwood, Kentucky, United States
Died: July 23, 1948
 3 
George Cukor
(Film Director)
George Cukor
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Died: January 24, 1983
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 4 
Douglas Fairbanks
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: December 12, 1939
 5 
F. W. Murnau
(Film director)
F. W. Murnau
2
Birthdate: December 28, 1888
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bielefeld, Germany
Died: March 11, 1931

F. W. Murnau was a German film director best remembered for directing the 1922 silent horror film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, which is widely regarded as a masterpiece of German Expressionist cinema. He also made Hollywood films like Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, which is often counted among the best movies ever made by critics and film directors.

 6 
Preston Sturges
(Playwright, Director)
Preston Sturges
2
Birthdate: August 29, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 6, 1959
 7 
Georges Méliès
(One of the First Filmmakers to Use Storyboards & Fictional Narratives in Movies)
Georges Méliès
3
Birthdate: December 8, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 21, 1938

Initially a professional illusionist and later a film director, Georges Méliès became interested in motion pictures after watching the first real film made by Lumière brothers. Realizing the potential of film-making as an art, he soon started experimenting, making technical and narrative developments. Among the 400 films he made were Christ Walking on Water, A Trip to the Moon etc

 8 
Konstantin Stanislavski
(Co-founder of ‘Moscow Art Theatre’ and Developer of Stanislavski's System of Acting)
Konstantin Stanislavski
3
Birthdate: January 17, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: August 7, 1938
 9 
Harry Carey
2
Birthdate: January 16, 1878
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
Died: September 21, 1947
 10 
John Gilbert
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Logan, Utah, United States
Died: January 9, 1936
 11 
William Desmond Taylor
(Director and Actor Known for His Films: ‘The Diamond from the Sky’, ‘A Woman Scorned’ and ‘Ben Blair’)
William Desmond Taylor
2
Birthdate: April 26, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Carlow, Ireland
Died: February 1, 1922
Actor-director William Desmond Taylor, a popular figure from the silent era of Hollywood, made headlines when he was found murdered in his LA bungalow. The case, which initiated a media frenzy, remains unsolved to date due to lack of evidence, in spite of a deathbed confession from actor Patricia Palmer.
 12 
Mabel Normand
(Actress)
Mabel Normand
2
Birthdate: November 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Brighton, Staten Island,
Died: February 23, 1930
 13 
Dadasaheb Phalke
(Father of Indian Cinema)
Dadasaheb Phalke
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tryambakeshwar, Bombay Presidency
Died: February 16, 1944
 14 
Victor Fleming
(Film Director)
Victor Fleming
2
Birthdate: February 23, 1889
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: La Cañada Flintridge, California, United States
Died: January 6, 1949
 15 
Max Fleischer
(Animator)
Max Fleischer
2
Birthdate: July 19, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
Died: September 25, 1972
 16 
James Whale
(Director, Actor)
James Whale
2
Birthdate: July 22, 1889
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Worcestershire, England
Died: May 29, 1957
 17 
Busby Berkeley
(Film director)
Busby Berkeley
2
Birthdate: November 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: March 14, 1976
 18 
Thomas H. Ince
(Film Producer)
Thomas H. Ince
2
Birthdate: November 16, 1880
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Died: November 19, 1924
 19 
King Vidor
(Film Director and Producer)
King Vidor
2
Birthdate: February 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Galveston, Texas, U.S.
Died: November 1, 1982
 20 
Oskar Fischinger
2
Birthdate: June 22, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: elnhausen, Germany
Died: January 31, 1967

German-American abstract animator, filmmaker, and painter Oskar Fischinger is most-noted for creating abstract musical animation decades before development of computer graphics. Among the 50 short films he made, the short animated film Motion Painting No. 1 is listed on the United States National Film Registry. He also created special effects for the German sci-fi silent film Woman in the Moon.

 21 
Lotte Reiniger
(Director)
Lotte Reiniger
2
Birthdate: June 2, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin-Charlottenburg, German Empire
Died: June 19, 1981

Lotte Reiniger was a German film director best remembered for making animated films. A pioneer of silhouette animation, Reiniger is credited with directing The Adventures of Prince Achmed, which is the oldest surviving feature-length animated film. Lotte Reiniger is also credited with devising the first form of a multiplane camera. 

 22 
Dorothy Gish
(Actress)
Dorothy Gish
2
Birthdate: March 11, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: June 4, 1968
 23 
Adolph Zukor
(Film producer)
Adolph Zukor
2
Birthdate: January 7, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ricse
Died: June 10, 1976
 24 
Ben Hecht
(Screenwriter)
Ben Hecht
2
Birthdate: February 28, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.
Died: April 18, 1964
 25 
Douglas Sirk
(Film director)
Douglas Sirk
2
Birthdate: April 26, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: January 14, 1987
 26 
Walter Lantz
(Cartoonist)
Walter Lantz
2
Birthdate: April 27, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: March 22, 1994
 27 
Donald Crisp
2
Birthdate: July 27, 1882
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bow, London, England
Died: May 25, 1974
 28 
Josef von Sternberg
(Film Director)
Josef von Sternberg
2
Birthdate: May 29, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 22, 1969
 29 
Cosima Wagner
(Composer)
Cosima Wagner
2
Birthdate: December 24, 1837
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bellagio, Italy
Died: April 1, 1930
 30 
Eva Le Gallienne
2
Birthdate: January 11, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 3, 1991
 31 
William S. Hart
2
Birthdate: December 6, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Newburgh, New York, United States
Died: June 23, 1946
 32 
Alice Guy-Blaché
(Film director)
Alice Guy-Blaché
2
Birthdate: July 1, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Mandé, France
Died: March 24, 1968
 33 
Francis X. Bushman
2
Birthdate: January 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Died: August 23, 1966
 34 
Thea von Harbou
(Screenwriter)
Thea von Harbou
2
Birthdate: December 27, 1888
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tauperlitz, Döhlau, Germany
Died: July 1, 1954
 35 
Vsevolod Meyerhold
(Russian and Soviet Theatre Director, Actor and Theatrical Producer)
Vsevolod Meyerhold
2
Birthdate: February 9, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Penza, Russia
Died: February 2, 1940

Initially part of the Moscow Art Theatre, Russian director-actor Vsevolod Meyerhold is remembered for pioneering avant-garde theories of symbolism in theater. He also paved the path for biomechanics in Russian theater and created masterpieces such as The Magnificent Cuckold. He was executed, and his wife was murdered, during the Great Purge.

 36 
Henry Hathaway
(Film Director)
Henry Hathaway
2
Birthdate: March 13, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
Died: February 11, 1985
 37 
Thomas Dixon Jr.
(Politician)
Thomas Dixon Jr.
2
Birthdate: January 11, 1864
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shelby, North Carolina, United States
Died: April 3, 1946
 38 
Leo McCarey
(Film Director)
Leo McCarey
2
Birthdate: October 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died: July 5, 1969
 39 
Robert Flaherty
(Filmmaker)
Robert Flaherty
2
Birthdate: February 16, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Iron Mountain, Michigan
Died: July 23, 1951
 40 
Sam Wood
(Director)
Sam Wood
1
Birthdate: July 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 22, 1949
 41 
Edward Gordon Craig
(Actor, Director, Illustrator, Scenographer, Painter)
Edward Gordon Craig
1
Birthdate: January 16, 1872
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stevenage
Died: July 29, 1966

An illegitimate child of architect Edward Godwin and actor Ellen Terry, Edward Gordon Craig later grew up to be one of the pillars of modernist English theater. While he began his career acting at the Lyceum Theatre, he later switched to set designing. The Art of the Theatre remains his best-known written work.

 42 
Lois Weber
(Actress)
Lois Weber
1
Birthdate: June 13, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: November 13, 1939
 43 
Abel Gance
(Former film director, writer best known for three major silent films: J'accuse, La Roue, and Napoléon)
Abel Gance
1
Birthdate: October 25, 1889
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 10, 1981
 44 
Victor Sjöström
(Film Director)
Victor Sjöström
1
Birthdate: September 20, 1879
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Årjäng, Sweden
Died: January 3, 1960
 45 
Frank Borzage
(Film Director, Actor)
Frank Borzage
1
Birthdate: April 23, 1894
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Died: June 19, 1962
 46 
Louis Jouvet
1
Birthdate: December 24, 1887
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Crozon, France
Died: August 16, 1951
 47 
Robert Wiene
(Film director, Screenwriter)
Robert Wiene
1
Birthdate: April 27, 1873
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: July 17, 1938
 48 
Frances Marion
(Screenwriter)
Frances Marion
1
Birthdate: November 18, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: May 12, 1973
 49 
Max Linder
(French Comedian and the World's First Movie Star)
Max Linder
1
Birthdate: December 16, 1883
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cavernes, Saint-Loubès, Gironde, French Third Republic
Died: November 1, 1925

French comedian, filmmaker, and screenwriter of the silent-film era, Gabriel Leuvielle, better known as Max Linder, is remembered as the world’s first movie star. He is known to have influenced Charlie Chaplin. He also created his iconic character Max, beginning with The Skater's Debut, and played it in several comedies later.

 50 
David Belasco
(Theatrical Producer)
David Belasco
1
Birthdate: July 25, 1853
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: May 14, 1931