Alfred J. Goulding

Alfred John "Alf" Goulding (January 26, 1885 – April 25, 1972) was an Australian-born vaudevillian, who became an American film director and screenwriter. He directed more than 180 films between 1917 and 1959 and is credited with having Harold Lloyd wear his trademark glasses.[1]

Alfred John Goulding
Alfred John Goulding circa 1905.jpg
Goulding circa 1905
Born(1885-01-26)January 26, 1885
Melbourne, Australia
DiedApril 25, 1972(1972-04-25) (aged 87)
OccupationFilm director
Years active1917–1959
Gladys Watson
(m. 1911; died 1920)

Hazel Marcella O'Brien
(m. 1920; div. 1925)

Audrey F. Faught
(m. 1925; div. 1933)

Dorothea Lillian Siglow
(m. 1934; div. 1941)

Suzanne Raphael
(m. 1941; div. 1952)

Betty Saunders
(m. 1952)
  • Alfred John Goulding Jr. (1917–1991) Aldra M. Rose Goulding (1926–?)
  • Frank McGinnis Goulding (1928–1979)
  • Gary Clay Leroy Goulding (1929–2002)
Parent(s)Francis Thomas Goulding
Margaret Davies Walsh

Silent film Park your car (1920) by Goulding for Rolin Films. Running time: 08:57. A one-act farce about two neighbours who purchase a car that they can use to go on drives with their wives.


He was born on January 26, 1885, in Melbourne, Australia to Francis Thomas Goulding (1860–1940) and Margaret Davies Walsh.[2] He was the youngest brother of the opera singer Elsa Goulding.[3]

As children, he and his brother and sister performed with Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company,[4] a popular Australian juvenile opera company that travelled Australasia, the Orient and North America extensively. By 1900 he was regularly singled out in reviews as one of the Company’s most entertaining performers: "Master Alf. Goulding came in for a lion's share of applause, and he certainly won it fairly in his comic pieces."[5][6] By 1907, Goulding was stage managing for the company.[7] He arrived with the Pollard troupe in the US in 1908.[8] According to Brent Walker, Goulding then travelled to Britain where he worked on stage with Stan Laurel, for several years, after which he returned to the US. By 1911 he was performing on stage in North America and directing his own stage shows, sometimes in collaboration with former Pollard performers Daphne Pollard and Harry "Snub" Pollard.[9][10]

In 1912, he broke into movies, acting and then after 1916, directing two reel comedies for Fox. He then joined Hal Roach, directing many Harold Lloyd shorts.[11] Throughout the 1920s and early 1930s his work output was significant, and he directed the likes of Harry Langdon, Norma Shearer and Fatty Arbuckle, in addition to films starring former Pollard players Daphne Pollard and Snub Pollard[12] Between 1935 and 1938 he worked in Britain again. In 1939 he re-entered the United States illegally and was jailed as an alien.[13]

Goulding wrote and directed a wartime film made in Australia in 1942, A Yank in Australia, which was not a success. His final film was Laffing Time which he directed in 1959. He had by this time, over 180 directorial credits to his name.

He died in Hollywood, California from pneumonia on April 5, 1972.[1]


  1. He married Gladys Watson (1891–1920) on October 28, 1911, in Seattle, Washington.[14] She died on April 19, 1920 in Hollywood, California.
  2. On June 17, 1920 in Glendale, California, he married Hazel Marcella O'Brien (1892–1935) and they divorced around 1925.[15]
  3. His third marriage was on December 8, 1925, when he married Audrey H. Faught (1910–1972) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[16] She was 25 years younger than him. They divorced in 1933; she claimed that he beat her and drank excessively. She was awarded custody of their three children.[17][18]
  4. He married actress Diana Seaby (1914–1963) (born Dorothea Lillian Siglow) in Mexico in 1934. They married again in San Bernardino, California on July 30, 1934, to ensure that the marriage was legal in the United States.[19][20] She was 29 years younger than him. They divorced in 1941 in Dade County, Florida.[21]
  5. He appears to have married Suzanne Raphael in 1941 and they divorced by 1952.[22]
  6. He married his last wife, Rita J. Lunniss (1927–1980) in 1952 in Middlesex, England. She later changed her name to Betty Goulding.[23]

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ a b "Veteran Film Maker Alfred Goulding Dies". Pasadena Star-News. April 6, 1972.
  2. ^ The Social Security Death Index uses "January 26, 1885". There is an "Alfred John Goulding" born in Richmond, Victoria, Australia in 1885 to "Francis Thomas Goulding" and "Margaret Walsh" in the Australian Birth Index. The name of his parents are also listed on his 1920 California marriage certificate. The Internet Movie Database uses "January 26, 1884". The Virtual International Authority File uses "1896". His tombstone uses "1887". The California Death Index uses "January 26, 1896". He himself used "January 26, 1886" when he registered for the World War I draft.
  3. ^ He was no relation to Edmund Goulding.
  4. ^ "Frank John Goulding reminiscences from .jpg". The Age. November 4, 1933.
  5. ^ Kalgoorlie Miner (WA : 1895 - 1950) Fri 20 Jul 1900 Page 8 "POLLARD'S LILLIPUTIAN OPERA COMPANY" Accessed December 14, 2016
  6. ^ Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931) Sat 27 Sep 1902 Page 2 “STAGELAND”. Accessed December 14, 2016
  7. ^ The Brisbane Courier (Qld: 1864 - 1933) Fri 5 Jul 1907 "Entertainments" Accessed December 14, 2016
  8. ^ San Francisco Call, Volume 103, Number 139, 17 April 1908 Accessed December 14, 2016
  9. ^ San Francisco Call, Volume 110, Number 81, 20 August 1911 Accessed December 14, 2016
  10. ^ Los Angeles Herald, Number 139, 13 April 1914 "Girl behind the Counter is full of life"
  11. ^ Brent E. Walker (2010) Mack Sennett's Fun Factory: A History and Filmography of His Studio and His Keystone and Mack Sennett Comedies, with Biographies of Players and Personnel. McFarland and Co, ISBN 978-0-7864-3610-1
  12. ^ Brent E. Walker (2010)
  13. ^ "Alfred J. Goulding Held By Government". Los Angeles Times. October 21, 1939. Brent Walker explains this was because of an expired visa
  14. ^ "Alfred John Goulding and Gladys Watson marriage certificate from 1911". October 28, 1911. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  15. ^ "Alfred John Goulding and Hazel Marcella O'Brien certificate from 1920". June 17, 1920. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "Alfred John Goulding and Audrey Fraught marriage certificate from 1925". December 8, 1925. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  17. ^ "Wins Freedom". Nevada State Journal. 1933. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  18. ^ "Sued For Divorce". Los Angeles Times. March 16, 1933.
  19. ^ "Alfred J. Goulding Married". Los Angeles Times. July 28, 1934.
  20. ^ "Marriage of Diana Seaby and Alfred John Goulding". July 29, 1934. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  21. ^ Dorothea Siglow and Alfred John Goulding in the Florida Divorce Index, 1927-2001
  22. ^ "Alfred J. Goulding". IMDb. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  23. ^ Marriage of Rita J. Lunniss and Alfred J. Goulding in Middlesex, England in the England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index.

External linksEdit