James Searle Dawley an American film director, producer, screenwriter, stage actor, and playwright was born on 13 May 1877 in Del Norte, Colorado. He was the son of James Dawley and Angela Searle
While film direction and screenwriting comprised the bulk of James' career, he began working theater, performing on stage for more than a decade and managing every aspect of stagecraft. James wrote at least 18 plays as well for repertory companies and for several Broadway productions.
From 1907 to the mid-1920s, James worked for Edison, Rex Motion Picture Company, Famous Players, Fox, and other studios, during which time he directed more than 300 short films and 56 features, featuring such now-legendary stars as Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Pearl White, Marguerite Clark, Harold Lloyd, and John Barrymore. He also wrote scenarios for many of his productions, including one for his 1910 horror film Frankenstein, the earliest known screen adaptation of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel.
On June 14, 1918, James married Grace Owens Givens, in Denver Colorado. The couple remained together over 30 years, until James' death.
|J Searle Dawley||M||32||Single||Head||Colorado|
|Hubert S Dawley||M||36||Married||Son||Illinois|
James' died March 30, 1949, of undisclosed causes, at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills in Los Angeles, California. He was 79 years old. A memorial service was held for him three days later in Los Angeles, followed by the inurnment of his ashes in the columbarium at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory. Silent film star and producer Mary Pickford and director Walter Lang, who early in his career was an assistant to Dawley, were among those who spoke at the service.  He was buried in the Chapel Of The Pines Crematory, in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA Find A Grave: Memorial #199199765.
After his death, Grace Dawley donated a selection of her his personal papers, scrapbooks, and several of his Edison production scripts to the Margaret Herrick Library at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California.
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Searle is 18 degrees from Robert Beheathland, 18 degrees from Bartholomew Gosnold, 13 degrees from Thomas Graves, 16 degrees from Anne Laydon, 19 degrees from Alice Longe, 15 degrees from Samuel Mathews, 18 degrees from Christopher Newport, 16 degrees from John Smith, 14 degrees from Nathaniel Tatum, 14 degrees from Temperance West, 15 degrees from Francis Wyatt and 19 degrees from Valerie Penner on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.
Categories: Chapel Of The Pines Crematory, Los Angeles, California | Playwrights | Stage Actors | England, Film Directors and Producers | Screenwriters | Hollywood, California | Denver, Colorado | Notables