Mercury Aviation Co. signed by Cecil B. DeMille - American Film Maker Giant - Autographed Stock CertificateInv# AG2536 Stock
Stock for 1 share, #2, Arizona, 1919, signed as president Cecil B. DeMille, extremely important.
Cecil Blount DeMille (August 12, 1881 – January 21, 1959) was an American film director and film producer in both silent and sound films.
DeMille began his career as a stage actor in 1900. He later moved on to writing and directing stage productions. He directed his first film, The Squaw Man, released in 1914 and would go on to direct dozens of silent films before transitioning to sound films in 1929.
DeMille was renowned for the flamboyance and showmanship of his movies. Among his best-known films are Cleopatra (1934); Samson and Delilah (1949); The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture; and The Ten Commandments (1956), which was his last and most successful film. In addition to his Academy Award win, he was also awarded an Academy Honorary Award for his film contributions, the Palme d'Or, a DGA Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. He was also the first recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, which is named in his honor.
He was married to Constance Adams DeMille in 1902 with whom he had four children.
DeMille was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, while his parents were vacationing there, and grew up in Washington, N.C. They lived in Wayne, N.J. in a house built by Henry DeMille. The family spent much time in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, operating a private school in that town and attending Christ Episcopal Church there. Cecil B. DeMille had said that it was while attending that church where he got the idea for The Ten Commandments. He attended Pennsylvania Military College in Chester, Pennsylvania from the age of 15. Both he (Class of 1900) and his brother William (Class of 1901) also attended and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, which they attended on scholarship. The Academy later honored DeMille with an Alumni Achievement Award.
DeMille began his career as an actor on the Broadway stage in the theatrical company of Charles Frohman in 1900. He co-starred with some of the men and women whom he would later direct in films (i.e. Charlotte Walker, Mary Pickford, and Pedro de Cordoba, among others). DeMille also served as producer and/or director for many plays. He found success in the spring of 1913 producing Reckless Age by Lee Wilson.
DeMille had a reputation for tyrannical behavior on the set, and he despised actors who were unwilling to take physical risks. Such was the case with Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah, when Mature refused to wrestle the lion, though the lion was tame and toothless. (DeMille remarked that Mature was "100% yellow"). Paulette Goddard's refusal to risk personal injury in a scene involving fire in Unconquered cost her DeMille's favor and probably a role in The Greatest Show on Earth. DeMille was, however, adept at directing "thousands of extras", and many of his pictures included spectacular set pieces, such as the parting of the Red Sea in both versions of The Ten Commandments, the toppling of the pagan temple in Samson and Delilah, train wrecks in The Road to Yesterday, Union Pacific and The Greatest Show on Earth, and the destruction of a zeppelin in Madame Satan.
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