Please join us on Saturday April 8, 2017 for an Evening with Dell Henderson. Tickets are available at the Art Centre $20 or table of 6 for $100 (snacks included and Cash Bar).
Guest Speaker Pete Sheridan takes a look at one of St. Thomas' Hollywood success stories.
Born in the Southwestern Ontario city of St. Thomas, Dell Henderson started his acting career on the stage, but appeared in his first movie Monday Morning in a Coney Island Police Court already in 1908. Henderson was a frequent associate of film pioneer D.W. Griffith since 1909 and appeared in numerous of his early shorts in Hollywood. He also acted on a less prolific basis in the movies of producer Mack Sennett and his Keystone Studios. In addition to acting, Henderson also directed nearly 200 silent films between 1911 and 1928. Most of those films are forgotten or lost, but he also directed movies with silent stars like Harry Carey and Roscoe Arbuckle. Henderson also worked as a writer on numerous screenplays.
After retiring from directing in 1927, Henderson turned to acting full-time and played important supporting roles in King Vidor's The Crowd (1928) and as General Marmaduke Pepper in Show People (1928). The advent of sound film damaged his acting career and he often had to play smaller roles. In the 1930s, the comedic character actor appeared on several occasions as a comic foil for such comedians as The Three Stooges, W. C. Fields and Laurel and Hardy.
He often played somewhat pompous figures like judges, businessman, detectives or mayors. Modern audiences will remember Henderson as annoyed hospital president Dr. Graves in The Three Stooges film Men in Black and the put-upon chaperone in the Little Rascals film Choo-Choo!. He also appeared as a Night Court Judge in Laurel and Hardy's Our Relations (1936) and as a friendly Car salesman in Leo McCarey's drama Make Way for Tomorrow (1937). Henderson ended his film career after numerous small roles in 1950.
Henderson died of a heart attack in Hollywood at the age of 79. He was married with actress Florence Lee until his death, they made several silent films together.
Phone: (519) 631-4040