Raoul Walsh, date unknown.
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Raoul Walsh
Forecourt Ceremony held on Friday, November 14, 1930
Born: March 11, 1887, in New York City, New York
Age at the time of the ceremony: 43
Died: December 31, 1980, in Simi Valley, California, age 93
Raoul Walsh was the first film director to have his imprints taken for the Chinese Theatre Forecourt, and this says a good deal about his stature among film personalities. An actor originally, Walsh had a long career as a director, which generated some signifigant films. His ceremony was the the first to be connected to a film playing at the Chinese, in this case, Walsh's film The Big Trail, which had its world premiere at the theatre on October 2, 1930.

Born to an Irish mother and English father, Walsh grew up in comfotable circumstances in New York City, where the Walsh family was friendly with the Barrymore family, which must have influenced young Raoul toward the stage. After graduating from Seaton Hall, Walsh hit the ground running, co-directing a documentary of the then-current Mexican Revolution, The Life of Villa for Biograph in 1912.

By 1914, working for the Mutual Film Corp., and working with D. W. Griffith, Walsh returned to Mexico to shoot a documentary with recreated scenes they called The Life of General Villa (released in May, 1914). Poncho Villa played himself, but Walsh played him as a younger man! Becoming close to Griffith, Walsh was an assistant director and played the role of John Wilkes Booth in The Birth of a Nation (released in March 1915).

Walsh continued to act until enlisting in the Army during World War I. Following the war, Walsh jumped right back in, eventually directing Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad (released in March, 1924).
Caption TK
Many similar hard-charging films came after that: What Price Glory (released in November, 1926), was so successful, it spawned several sequels; he directed and acted in the first film of the Sadie Thompson story with Gloria Swanson (released in January, 1928).

Walsh lost the use of his right eye when a jackrabbit stattered his windshield while scouting locations for In Old Arizona (released in January, in 1928). He wore an eyepatch from then on.

More hits for Fox followed: The Cock Eyed World (which played the Chinese in September, 1929), The Big Trail, filmed in 70mm (and played the Chinese in October, 1930), and was playing at the theatre when the footprinting ceremony was held), and For Me and My Gal in (released in December, 1932).

Walsh was loaned out a good deal, making The Bowery with Wallace Beery (released in October, 1933) for 20th Century, Going Hollywood with Marion Davies (released in December, 1933) at M-G-M, Every Night at Eight with George Raft (released in August, 1935) for Paramount, Klondike Annie with Mae West (released in February, 1936), at Paramount, You're in the Army Now with Wallace Ford (released in April, 1937), made for Gaumount British in 1937, the comedy Artists and Models with Jack Benny (released in August, 1937), for Paramount; Walsh even got to write some of the songs for the musical St. Louis Blues with Dorothy Lamour (released in February, 1939), for Paramount.

But it wasn't until Walsh signed a contract to direct films for Warner Bros. that what could be considered his best films could come about. The studio wanted them fast and tough, and Walsh delivered with films like The Roaring Twenties (released in October, 1939), They Drive By Night (released in August, 1940), High Sierra (released in January, 1941), the wildly inaccurate account of George Armstrong Custer's death in They Died with Their Boots On (released in January, 1941), Gentleman Jim (released in November, 1942, Objective, Burma! (released in February, 1945), and what many people feel is Walsh's best film, White Heat in (released in September, 1949).

With television as competition, Walsh stepped up his game, directing Captain Horatio Hornblower (released in April, 1951), A Lion is in the Streets (released in September, 1953), Battle Cry (released in February, 1955), The Naked and the Dead in (released in August, 1958), and Esther and the King (which played the Chinese in November, 1960).

Ever active after his last film in 1964, Walsh lived to the age of 93, at his ranch in Simi Valley, California.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Raoul Walsh Forecourt ceremony, Friday, November 14, 1930. To help with the proceedings, the Fox studio brought out a wagon used in and cast members from The Big Trail along with (left to right) Harry E. Jones, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Dr. John C. Parrish, president of the California Historical Society, Joseph Meller, president of the California Pioneer Association, actors Louise Carver, Tully Marshall, Helen Parrish, Marguerite Churchil, and Raoul Walsh. On the right, is 87-year-old Thomas C. Hull, California Pioneer. On the extreme right is cement artist Jean Klossner's valise.
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