Raoul Walsh

1887 - 1980

Raoul Walsh's 52-year directorial career made him a Hollywood legend. Walsh was also an actor: He appeared in the first version of W. Somerset Maugham's "Rain" renamed Sadie Thompson (1928) opposite Gloria Swanson in the title role. He would have played the Cisco Kid in his own film In Old Arizona (1928) if an errant jackrabbit hadn't cost him his right eye by leaping through the windshield of his automobile. Warner Baxter filled the role and won an Oscar. Before John Ford and Nicholas Ray, it was Raoul Walsh who made the eye-patch almost as synonymous with a Hollywood director as Cecil B. DeMille's jodhpurs.He interned with the best, serving as assistant director and editor on D.W. Griffith's racist masterpiece, The Clansman, better known as The Birth of a Nation (1915), a blockbuster that may have been the highest-grossing film of all time if accurate box office records had been kept before the sound era. He pulled triple duty on that picture, playing John Wilkes Booth, the man who a

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