Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas (1909-2000)
Fairbanks was a American actor and highly decorated naval officer during WWII. The son of actor Douglas Fairbanks.
SP – Signed Photograph: 4″x6″ black and white matte finish head shot Good Luck, Douglas Fairbanks, 1995.
Fairbank’s father was one of cinema’s first icons, noted for such swashbuckling adventure films as The Mark of Zorro, Robin Hood and The Thief of Bagdad. Largely on the basis of his father’s name, Fairbanks, Jr. was given a contract with Paramount Pictures at age 14. After making some undistinguished films, he took to the stage where he impressed his father, stepmother Mary Pickford, and Charlie Chaplin, who encouraged him to continue with acting.
Fairbanks began his career during the silent film era. Initially he played supporting roles in a range of films featuring many of the leading female players of the day. In the last years of the silent period, he was upped to star billing. With Outward Bound, the Dawn Patrol, Little Caesar, The Prisoner of Zenda and Gunga Din, Fairbank’s movies began to have more commercial success.
His first notable relationship was with Joan Crawford during the filming of Our Modern Maidens. They were married in 1929. Fairbanks was only 19, Crawford four years older. They traveled to England on a delayed honeymoon, where Fairbanks was entertained by Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Beatrice Lillie, and Prince George, Duke of Kent. He became active in both society and politics, but Crawford was more more interested in her career and had an affair with Clark Gable. The couple divorced in 1933.
Despite their divorce, Fairbanks was quick to defend Crawford when her adopted daughter Christina published Mommie Dearest. He firmly stated The Joan Crawford that I have heard about in ‘Mommie Dearest’ is not the Joan Crawford I knew back then.
Fairbanks went on to marry two more times.