Warner Leroy Baxter (March 29, 1889 – May 7, 1951)[note 1] was an American film actor from the 1910s to the 1940s. Baxter became known for his role as the Cisco Kid in the 1928 film In Old Arizona, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 2nd Academy Awards. He frequently played womanizing, charismatic Latin bandit types in Westerns, and played the Cisco Kid or a similar character throughout the 1930s, but had a range of other roles throughout his career.
Warner Baxter publicity photo
|Born||March 29, 1889|
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||May 7, 1951 (aged 62)|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale|
|Spouse(s)||Viola Caldwell (1911–13)|
Winifred Bryson (1918–51) (his death)
Baxter began his movie career in silent films with his most notable roles being in The Great Gatsby (1926) and The Awful Truth (1925). Baxter's most notable talkies are In Old Arizona (1929), 42nd Street (1932), Slave Ship (1937) with Wallace Beery, Kidnapped (1938) with Freddie Bartholomew, and the 1931 ensemble short film, The Stolen Jools. In the 1940s, he was well known for his recurring role as Dr. Robert Ordway in the Crime Doctor series of 10 films.
Baxter and his mother went to live with her brother in Columbus. They later moved to New York City, where he became active in dramatics, both participating in school productions and attending plays. In 1898, the two moved to San Francisco, where he graduated from Polytechnic High School. When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck, Baxter and his mother lived in Golden Gate Park for eight days and then went to live with friends in Alameda for three months. In 1908, they returned to Columbus. After selling farm implements for a living, Baxter worked for four months as the partner of Dorothy Shoemaker in an act on the Keith Vaudeville Circuit.
Baxter began his film career as an extra in 1914 in a stock company. He had his first starring role in Sheltered Daughters (1921), and starred in 48 features during the 1920s. His most notable silent roles were in The Great Gatsby (1926), Aloma of the South Seas (1926) as an island love interest opposite dancer Gilda Gray, and an alcoholic doctor in West of Zanzibar (1928) with Lon Chaney.
Baxter's most notable starring role was as the Cisco Kid in In Old Arizona (1929), the first all-talking Western, for which he won the second Academy Award for Best Actor. He also starred in 42nd Street (1933), Grand Canary (1934), Broadway Bill (1934), and Kidnapped (1938).
By 1936, Baxter was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, but by 1943, he had slipped to B movie roles, and he starred in a series of Crime Doctor films for Columbia Pictures. Baxter had roles in more than 100 films between 1914 and 1950.
When not acting, Baxter was an inventor who co-created a searchlight for revolvers in 1935, which allowed a shooter to more clearly see a target at night. He also developed a radio device that allowed emergency crews to change traffic signals from two blocks away, providing them with safe passage through intersections. He financed the device's installation at a Beverly Hills intersection in 1940.
Baxter suffered from arthritis for several years, and in 1951, he underwent a lobotomy as a last resort to ease the chronic pain. On May 7, 1951, he died of pneumonia at age 62 and was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.
|1914||Her Own Money||Lew Alden||uncredited|
|1921||First Love||Donald Halliday||Incomplete; Museum of Modern Art (New York)|
|Cheated Hearts||Tom Gordon|
|The Love Charm||Thomas Morgan|
|Sheltered Daughters||Pep Mullins|
|1922||If I Were Queen||Vladimir|
|A Girl's Desire||Jones/Lord Dysart|
|The Ninety and Nine||Tom Silverton/Phil Bradbury|
|The Girl in His Room||Kirk Waring|
|Her Own Money||Lew Alden|
|1923||St. Elmo||Murray Hammond||Lost|
|Blow Your Own Horn||Jack Dunbar|
|In Search of a Thrill||Adrian Torrens|
|Those Who Dance||Bob Kane||Extant; Library of Congress (per Tave/IMDb review)|
|1924||Christine of the Hungry Heart||Stuart Knight||Extant; Library of Congress (per Tave/IMDb review)|
|The Female||Col. Valentia|
|His Forgotten Wife||Donald Allen/John Rolfe||Extant; Library of Congress|
|The Garden of Weeds||Douglas Crawford|
|1925||The Best People||Henry Morgan||Lost|
|A Son of His Father||Big Boy Morgan|
|Rugged Water||Calvin Horner||Lost|
|Welcome Home||Fred Prouty||Extant|
|The Awful Truth||Norman Satterlee||print preserved at UCLA Film and Television (per IMDb)|
|The Air Mail||Russ Kane||Incomplete|
|The Golden Bed||Bunny O'Neill||Extant|
|1926||Aloma of the South Seas||Nuitane||Lost|
|The Runaway||Wade Murrell||Lost|
|The Great Gatsby||Jay Gatsby||Lost|
|Miss Brewster's Millions||Thomas B. Hancock Jr||Lost|
|1927||The Coward||Clinton Philbrook|
|Drums of the Desert||John Curry||Lost|
|The Telephone Girl||Matthew Standish|
|Craig's Wife||Walter Craig||Lost|
|1928||Danger Street||Rolly Sigsby|
|Three Sinners||James Harris||Lost|
|The Tragedy of Youth||Frank Gordon||Lost|
|West of Zanzibar||Doc||directed by Tod Browning; Extant|
|A Woman's Way||Tony||Lost|
|In Old Arizona||The Cisco Kid||Academy Award for Best Actor - Extant|
|1929||Romance of the Rio Grande||Pablo Wharton Cameron|
|Behind That Curtain||Col. John Beetham||Extant|
|The Far Call||?||Lost|
|Thru Different Eyes||Jack Winfield||Extant (special silent version only, incomplete)|
|Linda||Dr. Paul Randall||Extant|
|Such Men Are Dangerous||Ludwig Kranz||Extant; Library of Congress|
|The Arizona Kid||The Cisco Kid||Extant; Library of Congress|
|The Squaw Man||James 'Jim' Wingate, aka Jim Carston||Extant|
|1931||Their Mad Moment||Esteban Cristera|
|Doctors' Wives||Dr. Judson Penning|
|The Stolen Jools||The Cisco Kid|
|Daddy Long Legs||Jervis Pendleton|
|The Cisco Kid||The Cisco Kid|
|1932||Six Hours to Live||Capt. Paul Onslow|
|Man About Town||Stephen Morrow|
|Amateur Daddy||Jim Gladden|
|1933||Dangerously Yours||Andrew Burke|
|42nd Street||Julian Marsh|
|I Loved You Wednesday||Philip Fletcher|
|Paddy the Next Best Thing||Lawrence Blake|
|Penthouse||Jackson 'Jack' Durant|
|1934||Hell in the Heavens||Lt. Steve Warner|
|As Husbands Go||Charles Lingard|
|Grand Canary||Dr. Harvey Leith|
|Stand Up and Cheer!||Lawrence Cromwell|
|Such Women Are Dangerous||Michael Shawn|
|Broadway Bill||Dan Brooks|
|1935||Under the Pampas Moon||Cesar Campo|
|One More Spring||Jaret Otkar|
|La Fiesta de Santa Barbara||Himself||Short film|
|1936||White Hunter||Capt. Clark Rutledge|
|To Mary - with Love||Jack Wallace|
|The Road to Glory||Captain Paul La Roche|
|The Prisoner of Shark Island||Dr. Samuel Mudd|
|King of Burlesque||Kerry Bolton|
|The Robin Hood of El Dorado||Joaquin Murrieta|
|1937||Wife, Doctor and Nurse||Dr. Judd Lewis|
|Vogues of 1938||George Curson|
|Slave Ship||Jim Lovett|
|1938||I'll Give a Million||Tony Newlander|
|Wife, Husband and Friend||Leonard Borland aka Logan Bennett|
|The Return of the Cisco Kid||The Cisco Kid|
|1941||Adam Had Four Sons||Adam Stoddard|
|1943||Crime Doctor||Dr. Robert Ordway/Phil Morgan||first of 10 films in the Crime Doctor B-film series|
|Crime Doctor's Strangest Case||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|1944||Shadows in the Night||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|Lady in the Dark||Kendall Nesbitt|
|1945||Crime Doctor's Warning||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|The Crime Doctor's Courage||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|1946||Crime Doctor's Man Hunt||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|Just Before Dawn||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|1947||Crime Doctor's Gamble||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|The Millerson Case||Dr. Robert Ordway|
|1948||The Gentleman from Nowhere||Earl Donovan/Robert Ashton|
|1949||The Crime Doctor's Diary||Dr. Robert Ordway||last of the Crime Doctor series|
|The Devil's Henchman||Jess Arno|
|Prison Warden||Warden Victor Burnell|
|1950||State Penitentiary||Roger Manners|
|1952||O. Henry's Full House||clip of Baxter from The Cisco Kid|
- "Los Angeles Times Hollywood Star Walk - Warner Baxter". Los Angeles Times. May 8, 1951. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 35. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- Tibbetts, John C.; Welsh, James M. (2010). American Classic Screen Profiles. Scarecrow Press. pp. 26–29. ISBN 9780810876774. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- "The Official Academy Awards Database". oscars.org. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- "Hollywood Walk of Fame - Warner Baxter". Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. 8 February 1960. Archived from the original on 2016-04-03. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
- Cliff Aliperti (29 March 2010). "Warner Baxter-A Brief Biography". Things and Other Stuff. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Warner Baxter, 62, Star Of Motion Pictures, Dies". The Morning Herald. Maryland, Hagerstown. Associated Press. May 8, 1951. p. 1. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Warner Baxter, 59, Film Star, Is Dead: Winner of 'Oscar' in 1929– Best Known for Cisco Kid and 'Crime Doctor' Portrayals". The New York Times. psychosurgery.org. 8 May 1951. Archived from the original on 13 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Warner Baxter, an Academy Award winning actor, sought out a lobotomy against doctors' advice". The Vintage News. 25 December 2017.