Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Charles Emmett Mack (oh and me too)

Today is my birthday. It falls so close to Thanksgiving that it often gets overlooked which suits me just well because as I get older these anniversaries get more and more depressing. So today I decided to honor someone other than myself who was born on November the 25th.

I first discovered Charles Emmett Mack when I was watching the Norma Shearer film The Devil's Circus (1926).  In researching the film for a post I have yet to write, I discovered that Charles Emmett Mack lived a tragically short life. He died in a car accident while shooting the film The First Auto (1927) (See my review of that film). I wondered what his career could have been had he lived longer. Mack had quite a dynamic onscreen presence. He had a kind countenance with a sort of playfullness in his eyes. His face seemed finely sculpted out of stone and he had the most amazing dimples that I'm sure had the ladies swooning.

There is very little to no information on this actor online. Below is what I could gather from various sources. If you have any information to add, please let me know!

Charles Emmett Mack

B. November 25, 1900 Scranton, Pennsylvania
D. March 17, 1927 Riverside, CA

~ Real Name: Charles Emmett McNerney or Charles Stewart McNerney (most sources list the first one)
~ Discovered by D.W. Griffith who put him in several of his movies.
~ Had a contract with Warner Bros. was being set-up for major stardom.
~ "Mack" seemed to be a popular name in early Hollywood. In addition to Charles Emmett Mack there was also Johnny Mack Brown, Helen Mack, Charles E. Mack, Charles Mack, Wilbur Mack, etc.
~ One source claims that his stage name was Charles Montague at first, but really that was his character's name in the film America (1924)
~ Died on the way to the set of The First Auto (1927) - It was a car accident which is ironic given the topic of the film he was shooting.
~ Buried in Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles

Dream Street (1921) as Billy Mcfadden
The Daring Years (1923) as John Browning
Driven (1923) as Tom Tolliver
The White Rose (1923) as Guest At Inn
Youth for Sale (1924) as Tom Powers
America (1924) as Charles Philip Edward Montague
The Sixth Commandment (1924) as Henry Adams
Down Upon the Suwannee River (1925) as Bill Ruble
Bad Company (1925) as Dick Reynolds
Down Upon the Swanee River (1925)
A Woman of the World (1925) as Gareth Johns
The Devil's Circus (1926) as Carlstop
The Unknown Soldier (1926) as Fred Williams
Old San Francisco (1927) as Terrence O'Shaughnessy
The Rough Riders (1927) as Bert Henley
The First Auto (1927) as Bob Armstrong


Dream Street (1921) ~ The Directors: Rare Films Of D.W. Griffith As Director Vol. 1
The White Rose (1923) ~ The Directors: Rare Films Of D.W. Griffith As Director Vol. 4
America (1924) also on ClassicFlix
A Woman of the World (1925)
The First Auto (1927) ~ Warner Archive also on ClassicFlix
Old San Fransisco (1927) ~ Warner Archive also on ClassicFlix

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Happy birthday to Charles! And feliz cumpleaños to you too!

  2. Happy birthday Raquelle. I hope you go out and paint the town jungle red!

  3. Happiest Birthday Wishes!!

    Best wishes for a happy year,

  4. Happy Birthday! And, with a loving, motherly tone, let me add: "STOP IT!" End the birthday depression now...You have far too many people in your life who are so very glad you were born!

    Since I'm still celebrating my 51-and-how-the-hell-did-I-get-here birthday, allow me to send you a present: the link for a free cover-to-cover read of my book (no strings attached, really. I know, hard to believe these days!) Just
    sign up here: no experts needed dot com

    It's simply my way of giving back.

    Keep celebrating!
    Louise Lewis, author
    "No Experts Needed: The Meaning of Life According to You!"

  5. Happy Birthday! Hope it was a great day for you.

  6. " I get older these anniversaries get more and more depressing."

    Let me add my motherly tone to Lousie's advice (or perhaps we can be your doting aunts)'re not becoming older, dear, you're just becoming...Classic.

  7. Swell post! I really must see that movie! I believe Charles Emmett Mack bears a certain resemblence to Richard Barthelmess doesn't he?

    By now I think I have congratulated you in every media i'm connected to save for this one... :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!


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