Famous 19th Century Directors

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Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century Directors

 1 
Charlie Chaplin
(Actor, Comedian)

Charlie Chaplin
7
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)

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 
Henrik Ibsen
(Playwright)

Henrik Ibsen
3
Birthdate: March 20, 1828
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Skien Municipality, Norway
Died: May 23, 1906

Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian theatre director and playwright. One of the most influential and popular playwrights of his generation, Ibsen is credited with co-founding modernism in theatre, for which he is often called the father of realism. After William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen is the world's most often performed dramatist. His works have influenced other playwrights like George Bernard Shaw.

 5 

Douglas Fairbanks
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: December 12, 1939

 6 
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.

 7 
Preston Sturges
(Playwright, Director)

Preston Sturges
2
Birthdate: August 29, 1898
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 6, 1959
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 8 
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

Konstantin Stanislavski
3
Birthdate: January 17, 1863
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: August 7, 1938

 10 

Harry Carey
2
Birthdate: January 16, 1878
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
Died: September 21, 1947

 11 

John Gilbert
2
Birthdate: July 10, 1897
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Logan, Utah, United States
Died: January 9, 1936

 12 

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.

 13 
Mabel Normand
(Actress)

Mabel Normand
2
Birthdate: November 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Brighton, Staten Island,
Died: February 23, 1930

 14 
James Whale
(Director, Actor)

James Whale
2
Birthdate: July 22, 1889
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Worcestershire, England
Died: May 29, 1957

 15 
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

 16 
Dadasaheb Phalke
(Father of Indian Cinema)

Dadasaheb Phalke
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tryambakeshwar, Bombay Presidency
Died: February 16, 1944

 17 
Max Fleischer
(Animator)

Max Fleischer
2
Birthdate: July 19, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
Died: September 25, 1972

 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 
Busby Berkeley
(Film director)

Busby Berkeley
2
Birthdate: November 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: March 14, 1976

 20 
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

 21 

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.

 22 
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. 

 23 
Adolph Zukor
(Film producer)

Adolph Zukor
2
Birthdate: January 7, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ricse
Died: June 10, 1976

 24 
Dorothy Gish
(Actress)

Dorothy Gish
2
Birthdate: March 11, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: June 4, 1968

 25 

Mack Sennett
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1880
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Richmond, Canada
Died: November 5, 1960

Mack Sennett was a film actor, director, and producer. He specialized in comedy and was known as the 'King of Comedy'. Born in Canada in 1880, he moved to USA as a young man and entered the fledgling film industry as an actor. He found considerable success and went on to open Keystone Studios in Edendale. 

 26 
Sir Alexander Korda
(Film Director)

Sir Alexander Korda
2
Birthdate: September 16, 1893
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Túrkeve, Hungary
Died: January 23, 1956

Hungarian-British filmmaker Sir Alexander Korda initially worked as a journalist and launched film magazines such as Pesti Mozi. He later moved to Hollywood and then to England, where he launched his production company. Known for producing classics such as The Thief of Baghdad, he was the first filmmaker to be knighted.

 27 
Ben Hecht
(Screenwriter)

Ben Hecht
2
Birthdate: February 28, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.
Died: April 18, 1964

 28 
Douglas Sirk
(Film director)

Douglas Sirk
2
Birthdate: April 26, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: January 14, 1987

 29 
Kenji Mizoguchi
(Director)

Kenji Mizoguchi
2
Birthdate: May 16, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hongo, Tokyo, Japan
Died: August 24, 1956

Kenji Mizoguchi was a Japanese film director and screenwriter best known for his romantic fantasy drama film Ugetsu. He earned much acclaim for his style of filmography and stage design. He developed what became his signature "one-scene-one-shot" approach to cinema and is counted amongst the most acclaimed filmmakers in Japanese and world cinema history. 

 30 
Tod Browning
(Director)

Tod Browning
2
Birthdate: July 12, 1880
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: October 6, 1962

Tod Browning was an American actor, director, screenwriter, and vaudeville performer. Browning is best remembered for directing films like Dracula and Freaks. He had an illustrious career that spanned from 1913 to 1939. Although he was famous during his lifetime, Browning's work received greater critical appreciation after his death. He is sometimes referred to as the Edgar Allan Poe of cinema.

 31 
Walter Lantz
(Cartoonist)

Walter Lantz
2
Birthdate: April 27, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: March 22, 1994

 32 
Josef von Sternberg
(Film Director)

Josef von Sternberg
2
Birthdate: May 29, 1894
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 22, 1969

 33 

Donald Crisp
2
Birthdate: July 27, 1882
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bow, London, England
Died: May 25, 1974

 34 
Cosima Wagner
(Composer)

Cosima Wagner
2
Birthdate: December 24, 1837
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bellagio, Italy
Died: April 1, 1930

 35 

Eva Le Gallienne
2
Birthdate: January 11, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 3, 1991

 36 
Alice Guy-Blaché
(Film director)

Alice Guy-Blaché
2
Birthdate: July 1, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint-Mandé, France
Died: March 24, 1968

 37 

William S. Hart
2
Birthdate: December 6, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Newburgh, New York, United States
Died: June 23, 1946

 38 

Francis X. Bushman
2
Birthdate: January 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Died: August 23, 1966

 39 
Thea von Harbou
(Screenwriter)

Thea von Harbou
2
Birthdate: December 27, 1888
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tauperlitz, Döhlau, Germany
Died: July 1, 1954

 40 
Vsevolod Meyerhold
(Theatre Director)

Vsevolod Meyerhold
2
Birthdate: February 9, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Penza, Russia
Died: February 2, 1940

 41 
Max Reinhardt
(Theatre Director)

Max Reinhardt
2
Birthdate: September 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baden bei Wien, Austria
Died: October 31, 1943

Max Reinhardt was an Austrian-born director and producer. The son of a Jewish merchant, he took acting lessons and embarked on a brilliant theatrical career. Before long, he came to be regarded as one of the most prominent directors of German-language theater. However, he had to flee Austria during the Nazi invasion and eventually settled in USA. 

 42 
Leo McCarey
(Film Director)

Leo McCarey
2
Birthdate: October 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died: July 5, 1969

 43 
Robert Flaherty
(Filmmaker)

Robert Flaherty
2
Birthdate: February 16, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Iron Mountain, Michigan
Died: July 23, 1951

 44 
Henry Hathaway
(Film Director)

Henry Hathaway
2
Birthdate: March 13, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
Died: February 11, 1985

 45 
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

 46 
Sam Wood
(Director)

Sam Wood
1
Birthdate: July 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 22, 1949

 47 
Edwin S. Porter
(Film Producer)

Edwin S. Porter
1
Birthdate: April 21, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Connellsville, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 30, 1941

Director Edwin S. Porter, best known for films such as The Life of An American Fireman and The Great Train Robbery, revolutionized filmmaking with his pioneering technique of cross-cutting in editing. He had previously been a tailor and had served the US Navy, before being hired by the Edison Company.

 48 
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.

 49 
Lois Weber
(Actress)

Lois Weber
1
Birthdate: June 13, 1879
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: November 13, 1939

 50 
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