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David Butler

Biography

Scottish screenwriter, most well-known for writing 1976’s Voyage from the Damned, which garnered him an Oscar nomination. He originally wished to become an acting professional and backed himself through his composing. He received an Emmy for Exceptional Writing inside a Miniseries or a particular for his focus on 1986’s Lord Mountbatten: THE FINAL Viceroy. He was wedded to Mary McPhail until his loss of life. His teleplay for The Duchess of Duke Road presented Gemma Jones.

Quick Facts


Full Name David Butler
Date Of Birth November 12, 1927
Place Of Birth Scotland
Height 1.82 m
Profession Screenwriter
Nationality American
Spouse Mary McPhail, Norma Ronald
Awards DGA Honorary Life Member Award
Nominations Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble, BET Award for Best Movie, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture, BAFTA Award for Best Makeup & Hair, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress, BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress, Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Makeup, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture, BET Award for Best Actor, Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture, BET Award for Best Actress, Satellite Award for Best Art Direction and Production Design, People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Movie
Movies Calamity Jane, Road to Morocco, The Little Colonel, Bright Eyes, King Richard and the Crusaders, Tea for Two, The Littlest Rebel, It's a Great Feeling, April in Paris, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, Just Imagine, Lullaby of Broadway, The Princess and the Pirate, Captain January, Thank Your Lucky Stars, The Story of Seabiscuit, The Command, Pigskin Parade, The Girl He Left Behind, A Connecticut Yankee, Two Guys from Milwaukee, Ali Baba Goes to Town, Caught in the Draft, Jump Into Hell, They Got Me Covered, The Time, the Place and the Girl, Shine on Harvest Moon, Sunny Side Up, Two Guys from Texas, C'mon, Let's Live a Little, East Side of Heaven, If I Had My Way, You'll Find Out, My Wild Irish Rose, Look for the Silver Lining, Kentucky Moonshine, Handy Andy, The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady, Doubting Thomas, Painting the Clouds with Sunshine, John Loves Mary, You're a Sweetheart, Fox Movietone Follies of 1929, Where's Charley?, Business and Pleasure, High Society Blues, The Right Approach, My Weakness, Playmates, Straight, Place and Show, Have a Heart
Star Sign Scorpio

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1Became manager of the Morosco Theatre in Los Angeles in 1923.
2The son of a stage director, Butler was educated at Lowell High school, then attended Hitchcock Military Academy and Stanford University. He began in the film business as an actor in 1910, appearing in films by top directors like D.W. Griffith, Frank Borzage and John Ford. He helmed his first picture in 1927, and, over the next three decades acquired a reputation as a solid, dependable studio director, displaying a particular penchant for turning out light comedies and musicals. Butler spent the first phase of his career (1927-38) at Fox, where he handled popular family fare with stars like Will Rogers and Shirley Temple. The second phase took place at Warner Brothers (1943-44; 1946-56), where he enjoyed his biggest successes directing Bob Hopecomedies (Road to Morocco (1942), The Princess and the Pirate (1944)) and Doris Day musicals (Tea for Two (1950), Lullaby of Broadway (1951), Calamity Jane (1953)).
3Directed 2 actors to Oscar nominations: Stuart Erwin (Best Supporting Actor, Pigskin Parade (1936)) and Walter Brennan (Best Supporting Actor, Kentucky (1938)). Brennan won an Oscar for his performance in Butler's film.
4A survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which happened when he was 11 years old. He said the quake shook the city so violently and for so long that he remembered his father saying, "I think this is the end. Get down and pray". He and his family escaped uninjured.
5Son of players Adele Belgrade and Fred J. Butler.


Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
High Society Blues1930
Nertz1929Short
Sunnyside Up1929
Salute1929uncredited
Chasing Through Europe1929
Fox Movietone Follies of 19291929
Masked Emotions1929
Prep and Pep1928
Win That Girl1928
News Parade1928
High School Hero1927
C'mon, Let's Live a Little1967
Camp Runamuck1966TV Series 1 episode
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre1964-1965TV Series 3 episodes
The Patty Duke Show1964-1965TV Series 2 episodes
Daniel Boone1965TV Series 1 episode
Leave It to Beaver1959-1963TV Series 58 episodes
The Twilight Zone1963TV Series 1 episode
I Love My Doctor1962TV Movie
The Hathaways1962TV Series 1 episode
Wagon Train1958-1962TV Series 11 episodes
The Deputy1959-1961TV Series 15 episodes
The Right Approach1961
Bringing Up Buddy1960TV Series 1 episode
Overland Trail1960TV Series 1 episode
General Electric Theater1959TV Series 1 episode
M Squad1959TV Series 1 episode
Buckskin1958-1959TV Series 6 episodes
77 Sunset Strip1959TV Series 1 episode
Schlitz Playhouse1957-1959TV Series 4 episodes
Bachelor Father1958TV Series 1 episode
The Girl He Left Behind1956
Screen Directors Playhouse1956TV Series 1 episode
Glory1956
Captain Z-Ro1955-1956TV Series 26 episodes
Studio 571955TV Series 1 episode
Jump Into Hell1955
King Richard and the Crusaders1954
The Command1954
Calamity Jane1953
By the Light of the Silvery Moon1953
April in Paris1952
Where's Charley?1952
Painting the Clouds with Sunshine1951
Lullaby of Broadway1951
Tea for Two1950
The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady1950
The Story of Seabiscuit1949
It's a Great Feeling1949
Look for the Silver Lining1949
John Loves Mary1949
Two Guys from Texas1948
My Wild Irish Rose1947
The Time, the Place and the Girl1946
Two Guys from Milwaukee1946
San Antonio1945
The Princess and the Pirate1944
Shine on Harvest Moon1944
Thank Your Lucky Stars1943
They Got Me Covered1943
Road to Morocco1942
Playmates1941
Caught in the Draft1941
You'll Find Out1940
If I Had My Way1940
That's Right - You're Wrong1939
East Side of Heaven1939
Kentucky1938
Straight Place and Show1938
Kentucky Moonshine1938
You're a Sweetheart1937
Ali Baba Goes to Town1937
Pigskin Parade1936
White Fang1936
Captain January1936
The Littlest Rebel1935
Doubting Thomas1935
The Little Colonel1935
Bright Eyes1934
Have a Heart1934
Handy Andy1934
Bottoms Up1934
My Weakness1933
Hold Me Tight1933
Handle with Care1932
Down to Earth1932
Business and Pleasure1932
Delicious1931
A Connecticut Yankee1931
Just Imagine1930

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Lux Video Theatre1955TV SeriesIntermission Guest
The Story of Will Rogers1952David Butler (uncredited)
It's a Great Feeling1949David Butler (uncredited)
Thank Your Lucky Stars1943David Butler (uncredited)
Nertz1929ShortDetective
Salute1929Navy Coach
The Rush Hour1928William Finch
Should Second Husbands Come First?1927ShortThe Widow's Older Son
7th Heaven1927Gobin, the Street Washer
Girl in the Rain1927
Nobody's Widow1927Ned Stevens
The Quarterback1926'Lumpy' Goggins
Womanpower1926Mallory
The Blue Eagle1926Nick 'Dizzy' Galvani
Meet the Prince1926Peter Paget
Oh, Baby!1926Jim Stone
Too Many Relations1926Short
The Sap1926Vance
His Own Lawyer1926ShortHelen's Brother
The Plastic Age1925James Henley
Wages for Wives1925Chester Logan
The Gold Hunters1925Roderick Drew
The People vs. Nancy Preston1925Bill Preston
The Phantom Express1925Jack Warren
Havoc1925Smithy
The Man on the Box1925Bob's Brother-in-Law
His Majesty, Bunker Bean1925Bud Matthews
Tracked in the Snow Country1925Terry Moulton
Private Affairs1925Lee Cross
Code of the West1925Bid Hatfield
The Narrow Street1925Ray Wyeth
In Hollywood with Potash and Perlmutter1924Crabbe
Arizona Express1924Steve Butler
Hoodman Blind1923Jack Yeulette
A Noise in Newboro1923Ben Colwell
The Temple of Venus1923Nat Harper
Cause for Divorce1923Tom Parker
Desire1923Jerry Ryan
Mary of the Movies1923David Butler (uncredited)
Poor Men's Wives1923Jim Maherne
The Fog1923Si Plumb
The Hero1923Bill Walters
Conquering the Woman1922Larry Saunders
The Village Blacksmith1922/IBillHammond, the Son
According to Hoyle1922'Boxcar' Simmons
The Wise Kid1922Freddie Smith
The Milky Way1922
Bing Bang Boom1922Bertram Bancroft Boom
Making the Grade1921Eddie Ramson
The Sky Pilot1921Bill Hendricks
The County Fair1920Joel Bartlett
Girls Don't Gamble1920James Fisher
Fickle Women1920Calvin Price
Smiling All the Way1920Hannibal Pillsbury
Don't Ever Marry1920Bill Fielding
The Triflers1920Cassidy
The Pointing Finger1919David
Bonnie Bonnie Lassie1919David
The Other Half1919Cpl. Jimmy
The Petal on the Current1919Ed Kinealy
Nugget Nell1919Big Hearted Jim
Better Times1919Peter Van Alstyne
Upstairs and Down1919Tom Carey
The Unpainted Woman1919Charley Holt
The Girl Who Stayed at Home1919Johann August Kant
The Greatest Thing in Life1918Mr. Le Bebe
Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages1916Babylonian Soldier (uncredited)
The Deathlock1915Ford Worthing (as David W. Butler)
The Alien1915Minor Role (uncredited)
The Birth of a Nation1915Northern Soldier / Confederate Soldier (uncredited)
The Adventures of Kathlyn1913Camel Boy
The Sea Wolf1913Sailor (uncredited)
The Face at the Window1910Short

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
You'll Find Out1940story
If I Had My Way1940story
That's Right - You're Wrong1939story
East Side of Heaven1939story
The Little Colonel1935contributor to screen play construction - uncredited
Bright Eyes1934story
Have a Heart1934story
Bottoms Up1934screenplay / story
My Weakness1933continuity
Handle with Care1932story
Just Imagine1930continuity
Nertz1929Short writer
Sunnyside Up1929continuity
Fox Movietone Follies of 19291929story
News Parade1928story
High School Hero1927story

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Glory1956producer
Playmates1941producer
You'll Find Out1940producer
If I Had My Way1940producer
That's Right - You're Wrong1939producer
East Side of Heaven1939producer
Sunnyside Up1929producer
According to Hoyle1922executive producer
Making the Grade1921producer

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Screen Directors Playhouse1956TV SeriesHimself - in prologue
20th Century Fox Promotional Film1936Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
Screen Snapshots, Series 1, No. 241921Documentary shortHimself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Private Screenings2006TV SeriesHimself
Hollywood My Home Town1965DocumentaryHimself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1978DGA Honorary Life Member AwardDirectors Guild of America, USA
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6561 Hollywood Blvd.

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1949Golden LionVenice Film FestivalLook for the Silver Lining (1949)

TitleSalary
Sunnyside Up (1929)$600 /week
The Quarterback (1926)$750 /week
The Temple of Venus (1923)$1,250 /week
The Greatest Thing in Life (1918)$80 /week
Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)$5 /day
The Alien (1915)$5 /day
The Birth of a Nation (1915)$5 /day
The Adventures of Kathlyn (1913)$5 /day
The Sea Wolf (1913)$10 /day

#Quote
1[about The Command (1954)] That picture was made as a filler, and it grossed more money than any other picture that year at Warner Bros.
2[about C'mon, Let's Live a Little (1967)] I don't even want to talk about that. I tried to do a favor for somebody, and we made it so fast that I don't know what happened . . . They ran short of money to finish the picture. I never got paid a quarter for it.
3[about Painting the Clouds with Sunshine (1951)] That was the worst of the whole bunch I made. I thought it was terrible, and I think the audience agreed with me.
4[about his career] I made friends, like buddies, with my crew, with my cutters, with my actors and actresses. I didn't want to have any feeling that I was the big boss and they were nothing. I think that by doing that I was able to last as long as I did.


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