Possessed of a magnificently "actorish" name, Spottiswood Aitken was a veteran of some 25 years' stage experience when he came to work at New York's Biograph film studios in 1910. Aitken soon became a favorite of Biograph's star director, D.W. Griffith. When Griffith turned independent to produce his landmark film The Birth of a Nation (1915), he retained Aitken's services, casting the venerable actor as the proud Southern patriarch Dr. Cameron. In Griffith's 1916 spectacular Intolerance, Aitken was seen in "The French Story" as the father of heroine Brown Eyes (Miriam Cooper). Spottiswood Aitken remained in films until ill health precipitated his retirement in 1927.