Ashton Dearholt

Active - 1916 - 1938  |   Born - Apr 4, 1894   |   Died - Apr 27, 1942   |   Genres - Drama, Western, Adventure, Crime, Action

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A veteran of Universal melodramas of the mid-1910s, American actor/director/producer Ashton Dearholt later worked mainly outside the studio system. Having learned how to cut corners and save a dollar on a 1923-1924 series of Westerns starring Edmund Cobb, Dearholt would remain a presence in low-budget movie making through the 1930s. Occasionally accepting acting roles as Richard Holt, Dearholt became rather more famous for his long association with author and occasional film producer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of Tarzan. The Burroughs-Dearholt relationship certainly had its ups and downs, however. Filming the serial The New Adventures of Tarzan (released 1935) on location in Guatemala, Dearholt fell in love with the leading lady, a local girl he himself had named Ula Holt. When Dearholt returned to Hollywood with Miss Holt in tow, Mrs. Dearholt, silent screen actress Florence Gilbert, was granted a divorce and quickly married longtime family friend Edgar Rice Burroughs! None of this offscreen melodrama seems to have seriously damaged the Burroughs-Dearholt partnership, which also spawned The Drag Net (1936) and Tarzan and the Green Goddess (1937), a re-edited feature version of the old Tarzan series.