To many of his contemporaries, F. Richard Jones was silent film comedy. Beginning as a gag writer and director at the Mack Sennett Studios, Jones became Sennett's fair-haired boy when he directed the blockbusting Mabel Normand feature Mickey (1918). He was promoted to chief of production at Sennett, then performed the same function when he moved to the rival Hal Roach studios in the mid-1920s. Among Jones' biggest admirers was Stan Laurel, who insisted that everything he ever learned about comedy filmmaking was taught to him by the indefatigable Jones. Leaving Roach in 1927, Jones proved to be as adept at action/adventure as he was at laughmaking when he helmed the Douglas Fairbanks epic The Gaucho (1927). Jones' talking picture directorial debut, the astonishingly fluid and fast-moving Bulldog Drummond (1929), seemed to bode well for his future in Hollywood. Alas, F. Richard Jones died before reaching his 40th birthday; according to Stan Laurel, Jones literally worked himself to death.