A major presence in early American films, Edwin August (born Edwin August Philip von der Butz) was one of the first stage stars to embrace motion pictures. Having appeared opposite nearly all the leading Broadway stars of his era -- including Mrs. Leslie Carter, Otis Skinner, and Digby Bell -- August entered the film industry as an actor/writer/director with the pioneering Edison company around 1908. Directing or starring in literally hundreds of early films for nearly every company operating at the time -- including a lengthy stay at the famed Biograph-- August at one point even operated his own producing entity, Edwin August Feature Films. Playing leading roles as late as 1918, the veteran star turned to supporting roles in the 1920s, then spent the next couple of decades as a Hollywood extra. Besides his screen work, August also penned quite a few novels under the pseudonym of Montague Lawrence.