Biography

Although he appeared in approximately 100 movies or television shows, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. never really intended to take up acting as a career. However, the environment he was born into and the circumstances naturally led him to be a thespian.

The son of future silent era swashbuckling idol Douglas Fairbanks (born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman) and Beth Sully - the daughter of a very wealthy cotton mogul - was born in 1909 and soon proved a gifted boy. To the end of his life he remained a multi-talented, hyperactive man, not content to appear in the 100 films mentioned above. Handsome, distinguished and extremely bright, he excelled at sports (much like his father), notably during his stay at the Military Academy in 1919 (his role in Claude Autant-Lara's "L'athlète incomplete" illustrated these abilities). He also excelled academically, and attended the Lycéee Janson de Sailly in Paris, where he had followed his divorced mother. Very early in his life he developed a taste for the arts as well and became a painter and sculptor.

Not content to limiting himself to just one field, he became involved in business, in fields as varied as mining, hotel management, owning a chain of bowling alleys and a firm that manufactured popcorn. During World War II he headed London's Douglas Voluntary Hospital (an establishment taking care of war refugees), was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's special envoy for the Special Mission to South America in 1940 before becoming a lieutenant in the Navy (he was promoted to the rank of captain in 1954) and taking part in the Allies' landing in Sicily and Elba in 1943. A fervent Anglophile, Fairbanks was knighted in 1949 and often entertained Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in his London mansion, "The Boltons".

His film career began at the age of 13 when he was signed by Paramount Pictures. He debuted in Stephen Steps Out (1923), but the film flopped and his career stagnated despite a critically acclaimed role in Stella Dallas (1925). Things really picked up when he married Lucille Le Sueur, a young starlet who was soon to become better known as Joan Crawford. The young couple became the toast of the town and good parts and success followed, such as Fairbanks' role as the hapless partner of Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931), a favorably reviewed turn as the villain in The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), or more debonair characters in slapstick comedies or adventure yarns.

The 1930s were a fruitful period for Fairbanks, his most memorable role probably being that of the British soldier in Gunga Din (1939); although it was somewhat of a "swasbuckling" role, Fairbanks made a point of never imitating his father.

After World War II, his star waned and, despite a moving part in Ghost Story (1981), he did not appear in a major movie. Now a legend himself, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. left this world with the satisfaction of having lived up to the Fairbanks name at the end of a life nobody could call "wasted". He died on 7 May 2000 in New York City, New York, the result of a heart attack.

Although he appeared in approximately 100 movies or television shows, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. never really intended to take up acting as a career. However, the environment he was born into and the circumstances naturally led him to be a thespian.

The son of future silent era swashbuckling idol Douglas Fairbanks (born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman) and Beth Sully - the daughter of a very wealthy cotton mogul - was born in 1909 and soon proved a gifted boy. To the end of his life he remained a multi-talented, hyperactive man, not content to appear in the 100 films mentioned above. Handsome, distinguished and extremely bright, he excelled at sports (much like his father), notably during his stay at the Military Academy in 1919 (his role in Claude Autant-Lara's "L'athlète incomplete" illustrated these abilities). He also excelled academically, and attended the Lycéee Janson de Sailly in Paris, where he had followed his divorced mother. Very early in his life he developed a taste for the arts as well and became a painter and sculptor.

Not content to limiting himself to just one field, he became involved in business, in fields as varied as mining, hotel management, owning a chain of bowling alleys and a firm that manufactured popcorn. During World War II he headed London's Douglas Voluntary Hospital (an establishment taking care of war refugees), was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's special envoy for the Special Mission to South America in 1940 before becoming a lieutenant in the Navy (he was promoted to the rank of captain in 1954) and taking part in the Allies' landing in Sicily and Elba in 1943. A fervent Anglophile, Fairbanks was knighted in 1949 and often entertained Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in his London mansion, "The Boltons".

His film career began at the age of 13 when he was signed by Paramount Pictures. He debuted in Stephen Steps Out (1923), but the film flopped and his career stagnated despite a critically acclaimed role in Stella Dallas (1925). Things really picked up when he married Lucille Le Sueur, a young starlet who was soon to become better known as Joan Crawford. The young couple became the toast of the town and good parts and success followed, such as Fairbanks' role as the hapless partner of Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931), a favorably reviewed turn as the villain in The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), or more debonair characters in slapstick comedies or adventure yarns.

The 1930s were a fruitful period for Fairbanks, his most memorable role probably being that of the British soldier in Gunga Din (1939); although it was somewhat of a "swasbuckling" role, Fairbanks made a point of never imitating his father.

After World War II, his star waned and, despite a moving part in Ghost Story (1981), he did not appear in a major movie. Now a legend himself, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. left this world with the satisfaction of having lived up to the Fairbanks name at the end of a life nobody could call "wasted". He died on 7 May 2000 in New York City, New York, the result of a heart attack.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 112

Birthday 1909-12-09

Day of Death 2000-05-07

Place of Birth New York City, New York, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Douglas Elton Ulman Fairbanks Jr.
  • Douglas Elton Fairbanks Jr.
  • Douglas Fairbanks Jnr.
  • Doug Fairbanks

Acting TV ShowsMovies

La Belle Epoque (1890-1914)
2009 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year
2008 Mary Pickford: The Muse of the Movies as Himself (Archive Footage)
2002 Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star as Himself
2001 Goldwyn: The Man and His Movies as Himself (archive footage)
1998 Star Power: The Creation Of United Artists as Himself
1995 The Battle Over Citizen Kane as Himself
1987 Hollywood Uncensored as Himself
1986 Strong Medicine as Eli Camperdown
1985 George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey
1983 Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage as Himself (archive footage)
1981 Ghost Story as Edward Charles Wanderley
1980 From Raquel with Love as Himself
1980 The Hostage Tower as Malcolm Philpott
1980 Hollywood (13 episodes)
1978 The Art of Film: Vintage Hitchcock as Narrator
1977 The Love Boat (1 episode) as Elliott Banning (2 episodes) as Elliott Norman
1972 The Crooked Hearts as Rex Willoughby
1971 The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1 episode)
1968 Red and Blue as Millionaire
1968 The Dick Cavett Show (2 episodes) as Himself - Guest
1968 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (3 episodes)
1967 Red, White, and Zero
1967 The Funniest Man in the World as Narrator
1966 ABC Stage 67 (1 episode)
1963 Hollywood Without Make-Up
1961 Dr. Kildare (1 episode)
1960 Route 66 (1 episode)
1956 The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (2 episodes)
1956 The Steve Allen Show (1 episode)
1955 This Is Your Life (1 episode)
1954 The Awakening as Himself - Host
1953 The Genie as The Genie
1953 Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Presents (1 episode)
1951 Mister Drake's Duck as Donald 'Don' Drake
1950 State Secret as Dr. John Marlowe
1950 The Costume Designer
1950 Your Show of Shows (1 episode)
1950 What's My Line? (2 episodes) as Himself - Mystery Guest
1949 The Fighting O'Flynn as The O'Flynn
1948 That Lady in Ermine as Colonel Ladislas Karolyi Teglas / The Duke
1948 The Ed Sullivan Show (4 episodes)
1947 The Exile as Charles II
1947 Sinbad the Sailor as Sinbad
1941 The Corsican Brothers as Lucien Franchi / Mario Franchi
1940 Angels Over Broadway as Bill O'Brien
1940 Cavalcade of the Academy Awards as Himself
1940 Safari as Jim Logan
1940 Green Hell as Keith Brandon
1939 Rulers of the Sea as David 'Davie' Gillespie
1939 The Sun Never Sets as John Randolph
1939 Gunga Din as Ballantine
1938 Hollywood Goes to Town
1938 The Young in Heart as Richard Carleton
1938 Having Wonderful Time as Chick Kirkland
1938 The Rage of Paris as Jim Trevor
1938 Joy of Living as Daniel 'Dan' Brewster
1937 The Prisoner of Zenda as Rupert of Hentzau
1937 When Thief Meets Thief as Ricky Morgan
1936 Accused as Tony Seymour
1936 The Amateur Gentleman as John Beverley aka Barnabas Barty
1935 Man of the Moment as Tony Woodward
1935 Mimi as Rodolphe
1934 Success At Any Price as Joe Martin
1934 The Rise of Catherine the Great as Grand Duke Peter
1933 Captured! as Lieutenant Fred Digby
1933 Morning Glory as Joseph Sheridan
1933 The Narrow Corner as Fred Blake
1933 The Life of Jimmy Dolan as Jimmy
1933 Parachute Jumper as Bill Keller
1932 Scarlet Dawn as Baron Nikita 'Nikki' Krasnoff
1932 Love Is a Racket as James 'Jimmy' Russell
1932 It's Tough to Be Famous as Scott 'Scotty' McClenahan
1932 Union Depot as Charles 'Chick' Miller
1931 How I Play Golf, by Bobby Jones No. 10: 'Trouble Shots'
1931 I Like Your Nerve as Larry O'Brien
1931 Chances as Jack Ingleside
1931 The Stolen Jools as Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
1931 Little Caesar as Joe Massara
1930 One Night at Susie's as Dick Rollins
1930 Outward Bound as Henry
1930 The Way of All Men as Billy Bear
1930 Little Accident as Norman Overbeck
1930 An Intimate Dinner in Celebration of Warner Bros. Silver Jubilee as Himself
1930 The Dawn Patrol as Douglas 'Doug' Scot
1930 Loose Ankles as Gil
1930 Party Girl as Jay Rountree
1929 Show of Shows as Ambrose in 'Bicycle Built for Two' Number
1929 The Careless Age as Wyn
1929 Our Modern Maidens as Gil Jordan
1929 Fast Life as Douglas Stratton
1929 The Forward Pass
1928 A Woman of Affairs as Jeffry Merrick
1928 The Barker as Chris Miller
1928 The Power of the Press as Clem Rogers
1928 The Toilers as Steve
1928 Dead Man's Curve as Vernon Keith
1927 Women Love Diamonds as Jerry Croker-Kelley
1927 Man Bait as Jeff Sanford
1926 Broken Hearts of Hollywood
1926 The American Venus as Triton
1925 Stella Dallas as Richard Grosvenor
1925 Wild Horse Mesa as Chess Weymer
1925 The Air Mail as Sandy
1916 American Aristocracy

Production

1958 Chase a Crooked Shadow Producer
1956 The Silken Affair Executive Producer
1955 Police Dog Producer
1953 The Genie Producer
1951 Mister Drake's Duck Producer
1950 Night and the City Casting
1949 The Fighting O'Flynn Producer
1947 The Exile Producer
1940 Angels Over Broadway Associate Producer
1937 When Thief Meets Thief Producer
1936 Accused Producer
1936 The Amateur Gentleman Producer

Crew

2007 Anna May Wong - Frosted Yellow Willows: Her Life, Times and Legend In Memory Of
1999 Mary Pickford: A Life on Film Thanks
1998 Star Power: The Creation Of United Artists Thanks
1975 Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? Thanks
1932 Scarlet Dawn Additional Dialogue

Writing

1949 The Fighting O'Flynn Writer
1947 The Exile Writer

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