Douglas Fairbanks sr was the original Hollywood swashbuckler in Mark of Zorro, thief of Baghadad and Robin Hood but his feats did not stop there, he was the founder of United Artists, that Michael Cimino ran into the ground with a stupendous budget overload with Heaven’s Gate, married Mary Pickford, America’s Sweetheart and considered the “King of Hollywood” until he retired and Clark Gable inherited it but it was Australian Errol Flynn that brought the pirate to talkies. It’s uncanny how much Flynn looks like Fairbanks, jr.

Fairbanks, not his real name, was born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman on May 23, 1883 in Denver Colorado to a couple of immigrant Jews from Baden, Germany. His name Fairbanks, was from his mother’s first husband, after Ullman abandoned the family of ten in a huff. Like his mother, his first wife was the widow of a rich industrialist. They had a son, Douglas jr.– Fairbanks one and only — and then hearing of the silents going west decided to follow. Once there he fell in with the great D.W. Griffith and met Mary Pickford who was also married, so they had an affair, like mother like son. The chart is a slight rectification from Jones’s Leo 2. I went with Leo 11, “Character is destiny” because he was a person who carried the key to fortune within — warm-hearted, big dreamer and great smile. He was as he claimed himself, made for Hollywood, and it was made for him.

Everyone got divorced and Fairbanks and Pickford married, on March 28, 1920. They built PickFair in Hollywood the first mega mansion shortly after. In 1921, he, Pickford, Chaplin, and DW Griffith, again, , helped to organize the Motion Picture Fund to assist those in the industry who could not work, or were unable to meet their bills because back then few made buckyoo bucks. For fifteen years the happiness lasted and then both fell off the wagon and Fairbanks married Sylvia, Lady Ashley in 1933 and died in 1938 of a heart attack, saying almost in perfect form, “I’ve never felt better.” I betcha he did.

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