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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry Kolker
Kolker, c. 1910
Joseph Henry Kolker

(1874-12-13)December 13, 1874
DiedJuly 15, 1947(1947-07-15) (aged 72)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Film director
Years active1914–1947
Spouse(s)Margaret Bruenn (1926–1947; her death)
Lillian Carroll (?-1926)(suicide 1935)[1]

Joseph Henry Kolker (November 13, 1874[2] [some sources 1870] – July 15, 1947) was an American stage and film actor and director.

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Early years

Kolker was born in Berlin, Germany.[3] He came to America at age five and was educated by Franciscan Monks[4] at Quincy, Illinois.[5]


Kolker, like fellow actors Richard Bennett and Robert Warwick, had a substantial stage career before entering silent films.[6] He began acting professionally in stock theater in 1895.[5] On stage he appeared opposite actresses such as Edith Wynne Matthison, Bertha Kalich and Ruth Chatterton.

Kolker began acting in films in 1915.[5] He is best remembered for his movie roles, including one in the ground-breaking Pre-Code film Baby Face (1933) as an elderly CEO. Another well-remembered part is as Mr. Seton, father of Katharine Hepburn and Lew Ayres in the 1938 film Holiday directed by George Cukor.

Kolker entered films as an actor in 1915 and eventually tried his hand at directing. Kolker's best-known directorial effort is Disraeli (1921), starring George Arliss which is now a lost film with only one reel remaining.[7] Prints however are said to exist in Europe and Russia.[citation needed]

Personal life

Kolker was married to Lillian Carroll; they divorced in 1926. Soon after the divorce, he married Margaret Bruen.[8]

Kolker died on July 15, 1947, aged 72.

Selected filmography

As actor

As director

Kolker directed 18 feature films, most of them lost.

As writer

  • The Man with the Iron Heart (1915, short)
  • The Third Generation (1920)


  1. ^ "EX-WIFE OF FILM ACTOR IS FOUND DEAD ON BEACH (January 16, 1935)". December 6, 2023.
  2. ^ Who's Who in Music and Drama: An Encyclopedia of Biography of Notable Men and Women in Music and the Drama, c.1913, page 186; edited by Harry Prescott Hanaford, Dixie Lines
  3. ^ Who's Who in Music and Drama p.186 c.1914 by Dixie Hines and Harry Prescott Hanaford
  4. ^ ...see Who's Who in Music and Drama by Hines and Hanaford
  5. ^ a b c "Henry Kolker, star of stage and screen". The New York Times. Associated Press. July 18, 1947. p. 17. ProQuest 107883991. Retrieved September 30, 2020 – via ProQuest.
  6. ^ "Henry Kolker - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie".
  7. ^ "Silent Era : Progressive Silent Film List".
  8. ^ "A Forgotten Flirtation -- And Now the Veteran Actor Must Pay $40,000 Alimony". The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah, Salt Lake City. King Features Syndicate, Inc. October 20, 1935. p. 7. Retrieved December 11, 2018 – via Open access icon

External links

This page was last edited on 16 May 2024, at 15:02
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