When Warde Released Doug Fairbanks

Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks

It is popularity supposed that first Triangle and then Artcraft released the well-known “Doug’s” animated likeness, but he says that Frederick Warde “released” him. The fact that Warde is not a releasing nor producing concern, but a distinguished stage actor and screen player whose films are released thru Pathé, serves to muddle the situation.

And yet “Doug” says it is true.

“Before I learnt very much,” he confesses, “about the science, art and ethics of mining, I saw Frederick Warde in his repertoire of classic stage-plays and decided that, as a mere capitalist, I should be wasting time. The call of the higher drama lured me all the way to Richmond, Va., where I made my first appearance with Mr. Warde in the rôle of François, in ‘Richelieu’.

“In this character and in that of Florio, in ‘The Duke’s Jester,’ which followed, I failed to make any perceptible dent in the classic drama, but I probably wore the most astoninshing costumes ever beheld on the native stage, being fitted out by a well-meaning but misguided wardrobe mistress in odds and ends of ancient, modern and medieval garb.

“So effectually did my costume succeed in breaking up the actors and actresses who happened to be on the stage whenever I made my entrance that Mr. Warde ‘released’ me without visible signs of pain on his part.”

“If ‘Doug’ admits it, it must be true,” says Frederick Warde. “But it was so many years before either Mr. Fairbanks or myself ever dreamt of picture work that I fail to recall just how bad an actor he was, and nowadays nobody would believe me if I did.”
(Motion Picture Magazine, October 1917)