James Henderson FINLAYSON was born in Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland on 27 Aug 1887. He was the third child of Alexander FINLAYSON and Isabella HENDERSON.
In the year 1901, he worked as a Tinsmith in Larbert, Stirlingshire, Scotland.
When James was 16 years old, his mother Isabella HENDERSON died on 03 Nov 1903.
When James was 22 years old, his father Alexander FINLAYSON died on 11 Dec 1909.
When James was 24 years old, he emigrated to the USA with his brother Robert in 1911. They sailed from Glasgow to New York on the SS California. James' occupation was given as Actor and Robert as Engineer. They were described as visiting their uncle, David FINLAYSON of 1487 Bedford Avenue, New York. [David was in fact their cousin, although much older.]
In 1917, James was living at the Hotel St. George on 115 E 3rd St in Los Angeles, California, USA. His profession was given as Theatrical, his height as 5ft 7in, his build as Slender, his eyes as Blue, his hair as Brown, and distinguishing features as Lost Two Toes On The Left Foot. His employer is given as Elco Company in Holywood. (Presumably this refers to L-KO Kompany. Rettie-2 08:36, 27 July 2015 (EDT))
On 9 Jun 1919, James married nineteen-year-old Emily Cora GILBERT in Los Angeles, California, USA. (His age is given as 30, when he was actually nearly 32).
On 8 Oct 1919, James signed a film contract with the Mack Sennett Comedies Corporation. He signed further contract extension options on 21 Feb 1920 and 24 Aug 1920, and a vacation agreement was signed on 23 Feb 1921.
In the U.S. Census for the year 1920, he is listed as an Actor living in Los Angeles, California, USA. His wife Emily and sister Agnes FINLAYSON are also in the household.
On 11 Dec 1920, James submitted a Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen. At that time he was living with Emily at 1544 N. Western Ave, Los Angeles.
On 2 Feb 1924, he filed a Petition for Naturalisation. His address was given as 5717 1/2 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles. Witnesses were Ben Turpin and Charles Parrott (aka Charley Chase). The application was denied on 2 Jan 1925 due to 'want of prosecution'.
On 16 Aug 1924, age 36, he arrived at Ellis Island, New York on the ship Paris from Le Havre in France. His marital status was Single, his occupation was Actor, and his last permanent address was Hotel Rochambeau in Paris, France. His final destination was his home at 1515 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California and he had previously resided in the U.S. from 1911 to 1924.
On 29 Aug 1925, he sailed from Southampton, England to New York, USA on the SS Orca. His occupation was given as Actor and his nearest relative as Mr. R. FINLAYSON (Brother) of 1702 La Baig Ave, Los Angeles, California. His marital status is given as Single. (Assumption is that James and Emily were divorced sometime between 1920 and 1925. Rettie-2 09:04, 31 March 2015 (EDT))
In the U.S. Census for the year 1930, he is listed as an Actor living in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is living alone.
On 13 Nov 1939, James submitted a second Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen. At that time he was unmarried, living at 6141 Franklin Ave, Hollywood, California and his occupation was Actor-Director. His last foreign residence was given as London, England and he had arrived at New York, N.Y. from Southampton, England on the ship Paris on 17 Apr 1935.
In 1942, he lived at 1966 North Beachwood Drive, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA. His employer was given as Hal Roach, Culver City, California.
On 15 Sep 1942, he filed a second Petition for Naturalisation. His address was given as 1966 North Beachwood Drive, Hollywood, California, his occupation was Actor and his marital status was divorced. Witnesses were Robert E. BEVANS, hotel clerk, and Robert F. McGOWAN, director. The application was granted on 20 Nov 1942.
On 9 Oct 1953, James Henderson FINLAYSON died in Los Angeles, California, USA, age 66. Among those present at his funeral were producer Mack Sennett and actors Hank Mann, Billy Bevan, Snub Pollard, Tom Kennedy and Andy Clyde.
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