"silent movies" "silent
film" "silent era"
Born April 24, 1893, in Greenwich Village, NY. Bobbie,
as he was known, was born into an Irish Catholic family and was
one of nine children. He got a job as a helper/errand boy at the
Biograph studios when he was 14 doing any sort of odd job required.
When D.W. Griffith arrived at Biograph in 1908, he took a liking
to Harron and soon began to use him in films, although he had
served as an extra in a couple of films prior to Griffith's arrival.
appeared in over 100 Biographs with all of Griffith's greatest
stars - Mary Pickford in "The Lonely Villa" (1909) and
"The New York Hat" (1912), Blanche Sweet in "The
Battle" (1911), Mabel Normand in "The Diving Girl"
(1911), Mae Marsh in "Man's Genesis" (1912) and "Sands
'O Dee" (1912), and Dorothy and Lillian Gish in "An
Unseen Enemy" (1912) and "The Musketeers of Pig Alley"
(1912). Actually, these are only a few examples because Harron
made 15 films with Lillian Gish, five with Dorothy Gish, seven
with Blanche Sweet and eight with Mary Pickford. He also was used
prominently when Griffith switched to features and moved to Reliance-Majestic.
He was in Griffith's first feature, "Judith of Bethulia"
(1914), and figured prominently in the director's greatest triumphs
- "The Birth of a Nation" (1915), "Intolerance"
(1916) and "Hearts of the World" (1918). When Griffith
turned his attention to simpler stories, Bobbie was there. He
was paired with Lillian Gish in "The Greatest Question"
(1918), "The Greatest Thing in Life" (1918), "A
Romance of Happy Valley" (1919) and "True Heart Susie"
(1919). He and Clarine Seymour were young lovers in "The
Girl Who Stayed at Home"(1919). Bobbie's popularity was such
that he was wooed away from Griffith in 1920 by Metro - with Griffith's
blessings, of course. As he was about to embark on this promising
phase of his career, he went to New York in August, 1920, for
the premiere of Griffith's "Way Down East." According
to Lillian Gish, Bobbie had bought a gun from a man who needed
money. Forgetting the gun was in his coat pocket, it fell to the
floor and discharged piercing his chest and lung. He died a few
days later on Sept. 5, 1920.
Selected films of this star available for viewing:
of Bethulia (1914)
Birth of a Nation (1915)
Hearts of the
The Girl Who Stayed at Home (1919)
Greatest Question (1919)
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