William James Craft

Active - 1920 - 1931  |   Born - Jan 1, 1890   |   Died - Jul 30, 1931   |   Genres - Comedy, Romance, Western, Adventure, Action

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A former cameraman, American director William J. Craft became a mainstay of the Universal action units, where he helmed scores of two-reel Westerns and such serial fare as With Stanley in Africa (1922) and Beast of Paradise (1923). In a roundabout way, Craft later passed on all he knew to his young assistant William Wyler, whom he reportedly often left in charge while catching a nap or two behind some scenery. Turning from B-Westerns to comedy in the late '20s, Craft directed several of the then-popular Cohens and Kelly farces. He died from injuries sustained when his car ran off a cliff in Pacific Palisades, CA.