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Theodore Roberts
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    (October 8, 1861-December 14, 1928)
    Born in San Francisco, California
    Popular stage and silent screen star
    Made his stage debut in 1880, in 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' and 'The Squaw Man'
    Performed in Broadway productions of 'Gismonda' (1894), and 'The Bird of Paradise' (1912)
    Began his film career in the early 1900s, regularly working with Cecil B. DeMille
    Acted in 'Male and Female,' 'The Squaw Man,' 'A Little Princess,' 'The Affairs of Anatol,' 'Miss Lulu Bett,' 'The Storm,' 'Anton the Terrible,' 'The Man From Home,' 'The Ghost Breaker,' 'The Governor's Lady,' 'The Captive,' 'The Case of Becky,' 'Pudd'nhead Wilson,' and 'The Trail of Lonesome Pine'
    Portrayed Pierre Cauchon in 'Joan the Woman,' opposite Geraldine Farrar (1916)
    Best known for his portrayal of 'Moses, the Lawgiver,' in the original silent version of De Mille's 'The Ten Commandments' (1923)
    Educated at the California Military Academy at Oakland
    He tended to do promotional photos smoking a stogie-cigar.
    He died just as talking pictures were beginning to obtain mainstream acceptance in Hollywood.
    He was typecast as authoritative, scowling patriarch-figures, usually curmudgeons.
    Those who knew him attested to his being 'in-character' off-the-set as well (translation: he was an ornery old skinfint in real-life too).
    He was never that impressed with Hollywood as it was, once calling it 'a retiring place for broken-down actors.'
    Although this is a pretty uniform case for most everything about the original, his 'Moses' portrayal ESPECIALLY is overshadowed by Charlton Heston's acclaimed 1956 version.
    He was deeply estranged from members of his immediate family, writing them out of his will entirely and bequeathing his entire $30,000 estate to an obscure nephew.
    Google searches of his name tend to turn up images of the notorious serial killer Ted 'Theodore Robert' Bundy (although images of the the 26th President of the US sometimes get snuck in there, occasionally).
    He was born the year the Civil War broke out, the son of a sea captain.
    He had been a local high school teacher, and later taught elocution lessons out of his home to aspiring thespians.
    He was the husband of noted stage actress Florence Smythe, who died three years before him.
    His reputation was such that he was often referred to as the 'Grand Duke of Hollywood.'
    He was a favorite even by the standards of Cecil B. De Mille (known for recycling actors in his films). They made twenty three movies together in total.
    His decades of experience on the stage probably would have ensured him an easy transition from silent films to talking pictures.
    Over the course of his stage career, he played opposite James O'Neill Flora Robson, Laurette Taylor, and Leslie Carter (some of whom were said to have complained that he 'overshadowed' them with his presence).
    For all the stories of his being a sorehead, he was beloved enough for his Westlake Park funeral to garner over 2,000 attendees.
    To compare his 'Moses' to Heston's is a bit unfair, as a great deal more time is spent in the remake fleshing out the character and his story (obviously, at almost seventy, he could never have done the 'exiled Prince Moses' scenes).
    Nonetheless, his passion in the role led film critic Chris Scott Edwards to describe his depiction as 'wild-eyed, ferocious and unkempt.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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