Creighton Hale

Active - 1914 - 1959  |   Born - May 14, 1882   |   Died - Aug 9, 1965   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Mystery, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Silent-film leading man Creighton Hale was brought to America from his native Ireland via a theatrical touring company. While starring in Charles Frohman's Broadway production of Indian Summer, Hale was spotted by a representative of the Pathe film company and invited to appear before the cameras. His first film was the Pearl White serial The Exploits of Elaine, after which he rose to stardom in a series of adventure films and romantic dramas. Director D.W. Griffith used Hale as comedy relief in his films Way Down East (1920) and Orphans of the Storm (1922)--possibly Hale's least effective screen appearances, in that neither he nor Griffith were comedy experts. Despite his comparative failure in these films, Hale remained a popular leading man throughout the 1920s. When talking pictures arrived, Hale's star plummeted; though he had a pleasant, well-modulated voice, he was rapidly approaching fifty, and looked it. Most of Hale's talkie roles were unbilled bits, or guest cameos in films that spotlighted other silent movie veterans (e.g. Hollywood Boulevard and The Perils of Pauline). During the 1940s, Hale showed up in such Warner Bros. productions as Larceny Inc (1941), The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1943); this was due to the largess of studio head Jack Warner, who kept such faded silent favorites as Hale, Monte Blue and Leo White on permanent call. Creighton Hale's final appearance was in Warners' Beyond the Forest (1949).

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