Theodore Wharton

Theodore Wharton (1875–1931) was an American film director, producer and writer. He directed 48 films in the 1910s and 1920s, including the 1915 The New Adventures of J. Rufus Wallingford featuring Oliver Hardy.

Theodore Wharton
Theodore Wharton - Jul 1919 EH.jpg
Born(1875-04-12)April 12, 1875
DiedNovember 28, 1931(1931-11-28) (aged 56)
Hollywood, California
OccupationFilm director
Years active1910–1920


Wharton was born April 12, 1875 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the younger brother of Leopold Wharton (1870–1927), who was also became a film director.[1]

In 1890, Wharton started in both the business side of the theater as well as acting in Dallas, Texas. He worked for a number of stock companies, including that of Augustin Daly until 1899, and then became a stage manager. In 1907, he visited Edison Studios and worked there until 1909. Over the next 3 years, he wrote and directed many screenplays for various studios including Essanay Studios.[2]

In 1912, the US government commissioned him to produce The Late Indian Wars, the first sevel-reel motion picture in America. It was filmed on location in the great plains, with a script by General Charles King and a large cast including other generals and "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

The Whartons Studio opened in Ithaca, New York in 1914. Stars he directed included Francis X. Bushman, Henry B. Walthall and Beverly Bayne.[2] In the 1920s Wharton moved to Santa Cruz, California, as promoted by mayor Fred Swanton.[3] He died November 28, 1931 in Hollywood.

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Keim, Norman O. (2008). Our Movie Houses: A History of Film & Cinematic Innovation in Central New York. Syracuse University Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-8156-0896-7.
  2. ^ a b "Resume of Resume of Mr. Wharton's Career". Wharton Film Studio Promotional Brochure. c. 1927. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  3. ^ Ross Eric Gibson (February 1, 1994). "Hollywood Came to Santa Cruz: Huge Redwoods Seen as Western Backdrops". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved June 9, 2010.

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