The younger brother of film comedian Charley Chase, director/writer James Parrott got his own start at Chase's home turf, the Hal Roach Studios, in 1921. While there is still some debate on the subject, many film historians concur that the "Paul Parrott" one-reel comedies filmed at Roach in the early '20s starred James Parrott rather than brother Charley (as had long been assumed). In the late '20s, James followed Charley's lead by becoming a director, specializing in the two-reel misadventures of Laurel and Hardy. Parrott's best-known L&H vehicles include Perfect Day (1929), Brats (1930), The Music Box (1932), and the feature-length Pardon Us (1931). He also worked on the Boy Friends short subjects series at Roach, and was briefly a staff director at Columbia Pictures' two-reel unit. An unbilled contributor to several comedy screenplays, Parrott earned screen credit for his co-writing chores on the Laurel and Hardy features Way Out West (1937), Swiss Miss (1938), and Block-Heads (1938). James Parrott died at the age of 42; the official cause of death was heart failure, but Roach Studio insiders were of the opinion that Parrott committed suicide.