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Maurice Costello

Biography

Among the initial on-screen intimate leads in Hollywood, he appeared as Sydney Carton in AN ACCOUNT Of Two Metropolitan areas. In 1909, he made an appearance within a Midsummer Night’s Wish. He produced his debut functionality as the titular personality in 1905’s Sherlock Holmes. He uncovered a Moses Harry Horwitz when the last mentioned was still an errand youngster, and presented him to Moe from the Three Stooges. His grandson was John Drew Barrymore. Though he vowed to never return to films after the audio era, he continuing to make little performances, like in the John Wayne film, Female from Louisiana.

Quick Facts


Date Of Birth February 22, 1877
Died October 29, 1950, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States
Place Of Birth Pennsylvania
Profession Movie Actor
Nationality American
Spouse Ruth Reeves, Mae Costello
Children Dolores Costello, Helene Costello
Parents Ellen Fitzgerald Costello, Thomas Costello
Movies A Tale of Two Cities, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Crimson Stain Mystery, Lady from Louisiana, Les Misérables, Reap the Wild Wind, The Doughgirls, Camille, St. Elmo, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; or, Held for Ransom, Antony and Cleopatra, Let Not Man Put Asunder, Man and Wife, Uncle Tom's Cabin, As You Like It, Eagle of the Night, The Story Without a Name, Fog Bound, Wanted... a Grandmother, It All Came Out in the Wash, Bobby's Father, The Crown Prince's Double, Mrs. 'Enry 'Awkins, Mrs. Carter's Necklace, The Warmakers, Love of Chrysanthemum, Getting Up a Practice, Dr. LaFleur's Theory, A Romance of Wall Street, What a Change of Clothes Did, The Adventure of the Ambassador's Disappearance, The Perplexed Bridegroom, The Jocular Winds of Fate, The Mill of Life, The Criminal, The Law or the Lady, The Sale of a Heart, The First Violin, Her Hero
Star Sign Pisces

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

#Fact
1He is the first actor credited with playing the role of Sherlock Holmes, the most portrayed character in film history.
2Irish-American.
3Made his stage debut in 1894 as an Irish comedian in vaudeville.
4Parents were Thomas Costello (born 1852) and Ellen Fitzgerald (born 1853).
5Strongly opposed the marriage of daughter Dolores Costello to John Barrymore. Maurice knew of Barrymore's history of womanizing and heavy drinking and was strongly put off by the fact that Barrymore was closer in age to him than his daughter, and he frequently begged his daughter not to go through with it, saying that it would not last. She went against his wishes and married Barrymore anyway. Maurice was proved right when the marriage did not even last ten years.
6Although during the late 'teens and early '20s he was one of the most successful, and highest paid, stars in Hollywood, by the late '30s his career had declined to the point where he was reduced to taking unbilled work as a background extra for a day or two at a few dollars a day. By 1939 he was so broke that he had to sue his daughters for financial support.
7Shares his birthday, 22nd February, with his great-grandaughter Drew Barrymore
8In 1939 his financial situation was so dire that he sued his daughters Dolores Costello and Helene Costello for support.
9In the early days of the movie industry, everybody on the set (actors, directors, writers, cameramen, lighting crews, grips, etc.) was expected to build sets and paint scenery. Costello was the first actor to get away with refusing this duty. He claimed that he was hired as an actor and nothing else. He often sat in a chair, reading a newspaper and drinking coffee while the others did set work.
10Discovered Moe Howard, later of The Three Stooges. Twelve-year-old Moe, who was hoping to get into movies, would hang around the American Vitagraph studio and run errands for the actors and crew. Costello was impressed with Moe because he didn't charge extra to run errands. He invited Moe into the studio. Moe, under the name Harry Howard, appeared in several Vitagraph dramas and comedies that summer. [1909]
11Great-grandfather of actress Drew Barrymore.
12Grandfather of John Drew Barrymore.
13Entered films with Thomas A. Edison in 1905.
14Father of actresses Dolores Costello and Helene Costello.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Wagon Show1928Colonel Beldan
See You Later1928
Spider Webs1927Jeffrey Stanton
The Shamrock and the Rose1927Father O'Brien
Wolves of the Air1927Bob's Father
Johnny Get Your Hair Cut1927Baxter Ryan
Camille1926/IArmand's father
The False Alarm1926
The Last Alarm1926Fireman's father
The Wives of the Prophet1926William Neil
The Mad Marriage1925
The Law and the Lady1924Cyrus Blake
The Story Without a Name1924The Cripple
Heart of Alaska1924
Love of Women1924Mr. Redfield
Virtuous Liars1924Josiah Wright
Week End Husbands1924John Keane
Roulette1924Ben Corcoran
Let Not Man Put Asunder1924Sir Humphrey
Fog Bound1923Deputy Brown
Man and Wife1923Caleb Perkins
The Glimpses of the Moon1923Fred Gillow
None So Blind1923Russell Mortimer
Determination1922Putnam
Conceit1921Barbe la Fleche
The Tower of Jewels1920Fraser Grimstead
Deadline at Eleven1920Paul Klocke
Human Collateral1920Richard Morton
The Girl-Woman1919Sanford
The Man Who Won1919Henry Longfield
The Cambric Mask1919John Sark
The Captain's Captain1919Lawford Tapp
The Crimson Stain Mystery1916Harold Stanley
Tried for His Own Murder1916ShortJohn D'Arclay
The Crown Prince's Double1915Prince Oscar / Barry Lawrence
A Question of Right or Wrong1915ShortPaul Mathews
Saints and Sinners1915/IIShortAshley
The Gods Redeem1915ShortSlippery Tom
The Man Who Couldn't Beat God1915Martin Henchford
Rags and the Girl1915ShortTom Raine
Dorothy1915ShortTom Marley
The Romance of a Handkerchief1915ShortJohn Harmon
The Dawn of Understanding1915ShortOliver Weldon - the Husband
The Criminal1915ShortGordon West - the District Attorney
The Heart of Jim Brice1915ShortJim Brice
On the Altar of Love1915ShortGerald Lynn
The Understudy; or, Behind the Scenes1915Short
The Evil Men Do1915ShortDavid Horton
The Plot1914ShortRoy Burton - the Reporter
The Product1914ShortJohn Strong
By the Governor's Order1914ShortAllan Lawrence
Too Much Burglar1914ShortTom Perry
Lola the Rat1914ShortDr. Chester
The Mystery of Brayton Court1914ShortDr. Lynn Darmon
The Mill of Life1914ShortHarry Ames
The Girl in the Case1914ShortHarry Mackay - Bank Cashier
The Blood Ruby1914ShortBob Carr - the Ranch Foreman
Bella's Elopement1914ShortWilton - the Husband
The Mysterious Lodger1914ShortRalph Brent - the Mysterious Lodger
The Woes of a Waitress1914ShortBob Stevens
Through Life's Window1914ShortGeorge Tresham
Love the Clairvoyant1914ShortJohn Masten - the Jealous Husband
Doctor Smith's Baby1914Short
The Moonstone of Fez1914ShortSchuyler Van Norden
A Sentimental Burglar1914ShortLt. Holland Pursey
Etta of the Footlights1914ShortLord Wentworth
The Acid Test1914/IIShortTom Marston
Her Great Scoop1914ShortBert Balley
Mr. Barnes of New York1914Mr. Barnes
The Woman in Black1914/IIIShortDick Coles
Iron and Steel1914ShortJohn Smardon
Some Steamer Scooping1914ShortBaron Lafitte
The Perplexed Bridegroom1914ShortJack Demly - the Bridegroom
The Education of Aunt Georgiana1913ShortHarry
The Golden Pathway1913ShortJames Evans
Fellow Voyagers1913ShortTom Blake
The Sale of a Heart1913ShortCharles Lindgard
The Warmakers1913ShortCalhoun - Under Secretary of War
On Their Wedding Eve1913ShortGeorge Kendrick
Matrimonial Manoeuvres1913ShortMartin Mills
The Mystery of the Silver Skull1913ShortBilly Steele
Extremities1913ShortEdwin Bartells
The Hindoo Charm1913ShortSir Edward Tilbury
Cupid Versus Women's Rights1913ShortRex Liston
The Lonely Princess1913ShortEndicott, an American Millionaire
A Princess of Bagdad1913Seyn - the Cobbler
The Clown and the Prima Donna1913ShortToto, the Clown
A Maid of Mandalay1913ShortTommy Wilkins
The Joys of a Jealous Wife1913ShortMr. Markham - the Husband
A Faithful Servant1913ShortCount Gullio
The Intruder1913/IShortGilbert Gray - the Intruder
The Taming of Betty1913ShortCharles Disbrow
The Spirit of the Orient1913ShortSir Leslie Gillespie
Jack's Chrysanthemum1913ShortJack, an American Artist
Delayed Proposals1913ShortJack Hardy
The Wrath of Osaka1913ShortOsaka
The Mystery of the Stolen Jewels1913ShortLambert Chase
Mr. Mintern's Misadventures1913ShortMadison Mintern
The Mystery of the Stolen Child1913ShortLambert Chase - Detective
Getting Up a Practice1913ShortDr. Lyons
The Way Out1913ShortDavid Turner - a Bachelor
Cinderella's Slipper1913ShortJohn Leigh
The Weapon1913ShortDarrell Young
The Two Purses1913ShortGerald Warren
What a Change of Clothes Did1913ShortJohn Mason
The Interrupted Honeymoon1913/IIShortMr. Harry Young - the Husband
The Adventure of the Ambassador's Disappearance1913ShortLambert Chase
The Adventure of the Counterfeit Bills1913ShortLambert Chase - Detective
Days of Terror1912Short
It All Came Out in the Wash1912ShortBarry Wall
The Night Before Christmas1912ShortJohn Corbin - the Father
Six O'Clock1912ShortMr. Cameron
Lord Browning and Cinderella1912ShortLord Browning
The Face or the Voice1912ShortRobert Hale
A Mistake in Spelling1912ShortFred Manning
When Persistency and Obstinacy Meet1912ShortHenry Ford
As You Like It1912Orlando
The Adventure of the Smelling Salts1912ShortLambert Chase - Detective
Bobby's Father1912ShortDick Ramsay - Bobby's Father
The Adventure of the Italian Model1912ShortLambert Chase - the Detective
A Vitagraph Romance1912ShortMaurice Costello
The Loyalty of Sylvia1912ShortDr. Dudley Lawrence
Flirt or Heroine1912ShortDr. Kenneth Leslie
Her Grandchild1912ShortDonald Grant - the Son
The Two Battles1912ShortGordon Frazier
Wanted... a Grandmother1912ShortMr. Hale
The Adventure of the Retired Army Colonel1912ShortLambert Chase - the Detective
The Adventure of the Thumb Print1912ShortLambert Chase, Detective
The Black Sheep1912/IShortHarold Moreland - the Black Sheep's Brother (unconfirmed)
Conscience1912ShortHarold Winter
The Money Kings1912ShortRoy Brain
Aunty's Romance1912ShortStephen Fiske Jr.
On the Pupil of His Eye1912ShortLambert Chase, Detective
When Roses Wither1912ShortHoward Bennett - the Son
The Days of Terror; or, In the Reign of Terror1912Short
Lulu's Doctor1912ShortDoctor John Lewis
Half a Hero1912Joe Godfrey, Drug Commissioner
The Picture Idol1912ShortHoward Hanson
Their Golden Anniversary1912ShortJohn Jones - the Son
The Spider's Web1912ShortTrevor Lawlor - a Young Attorney
Dr. LaFleur's Theory1912ShortDr. LaFleur
The Old Kent Road1912ShortHarry Gettings, A Young Traveling Salesman
Counsel for the Defense1912ShortLynn Charter, Attorney
The Way of a Man with a Maid1912ShortWillis Bland
The Jocular Winds of Fate1912ShortLord Drumleigh
Nemesis!1912ShortRichard Adams - a Doctor
The Old Silver Watch1912ShortFrank as an Adult
Mrs. 'Enry 'Awkins1912Short'Enry Awkins
Mrs. Carter's Necklace1912ShortHarry Carter
The Diamond Brooch1912ShortJack Bronson - the Man The Star Loves
Her Last Shot1912ShortJohn Lewis - the Farmer
Winning Is Losing1912ShortOliver Normand
The First Violin1912Short
For the Honor of the Family1912ShortGuy Ryder aka Guy Denton
Caught in the Rain1912ShortJaspar Ray - the Prisoner
The Meeting of the Ways1912ShortTom - an Honest Attorney
The Law or the Lady1912ShortJudge Calder
A Romance of Wall Street1912ShortPhilip Linton
Siren of the Sea1911ShortFisherman
Some Good in All1911ShortBill - a Providential Thief
Love at Gloucester Port1911ShortFrank Mills
His Wife's Secret1911ShortLeslie Charlton
His Last Cent1911ShortJack Meyers
An Innocent Burglar1911ShortFrank Foster
Who's Who1911ShortBertie Hall - a Young Clubman
Auld Lang Syne1911ShortTammas
Captain Barnacle, Diplomat1911ShortDick Martin
Her Hero1911Short
A Western Heroine1911ShortRoger Peters - the Ranch Foreman
His Sister's Children1911ShortHarry Burton - the Children's Uncle
Foraging1911ShortJack Ainsley
The Thumb Print1911ShortUndetermined Role (unconfirmed, uncredited)
My Old Dutch1911ShortClive Huntley
Wages of War1911ShortMaurice Payson
The Second Honeymoon1911ShortJack Merwin - the Husband
For Love and Glory1911ShortLt. Osmond
A Handsomer Man1911ShortJohn - the Husband
Two Wolves and a Lamb1911ShortBertie Belknap - Man About Town
She Came, She Saw, She Conquered1911ShortHerbert - Rose's Fiance
The Geranium1911ShortDaniel Briton
The Battle Hymn of the Republic1911ShortJesus Christ
A Quaker Mother1911ShortJohn Harmon - A Quaker Husband
Barriers Burned Away1911ShortJohn Martin - First Brother
The Sleep Walker1911ShortDr. Allan Langham
Proving His Love; or, The Ruse of a Beautiful Woman1911ShortLloyd Stanwood
The Changing of Silas Warner1911ShortSilas Warner's Son
The Sacrifice1911ShortNick Austin
For Her Brother's Sake1911/IIShortAlbert Black - The Brother
A Dead Man's Honor1911ShortHugh
The Show Girl1911ShortDr. Renfrew
His Mother1911ShortDonald Gray
The Wooing of Winifred1911ShortThe Suitor
The Inherited Taint1911ShortHerbert Warning
A Tale of Two Cities1911ShortSydney Carton
The New Stenographer1911ShortThe Boss
Society and the Man1911ShortThe Protagonist
Girl of the Mountains1911ShortHarold Brandon, a Speculator
Three Men and a Maid1911ShortSecretary to the Old Men
The Law and the Man1910/IShortJohn Turton - a Lawyer
A Woman's Love1910Short
The Nine of Diamonds1910Short
The Sepoy's Wife1910ShortThe Doctor
How She Won Him1910ShortArthur Lewis
Rose Leaves1910Short
Back to Nature; or, The Best Man Wins1910ShortThe Chauffeur
The Turn of the Balance1910Short
Uncle Tom's Cabin1910/IShort
Becket1910Short
The Altar of Love1910Short
Over the Garden Wall1910/IShort
Love of Chrysanthemum1910ShortThe American
Convict No. 7961910ShortConvict No. 796
Through the Darkness1910ShortThe Actor
St. Elmo1910/IShortSt. Elmo Thornton
Guest Wife1945Bit Role (uncredited)
Elektra1910Short
Practically Yours1944Senate Stenographer (uncredited)
Capital vs. Labor1910Short
The Climax1944Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Conscience1910Short
The Doughgirls1944uncredited
The Girl and the Judge; or, A Terrible Temptation1910ShortThe Young Lover
A Fig Leaf for Eve1944Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
A Pair of Schemers; or, My Wife and My Uncle1910ShortThe Husband
Sweet Rosie O'Grady1943Minor Role (uncredited)
Richelieu; or: The Conspiracy1910Short
Du Barry Was a Lady1943Passerby (uncredited)
The Power of the Press1909Short
The Glass Key1942Card Player (uncredited)
A Midsummer Night's Dream1909ShortLysander
Henry Aldrich, Editor1942Minor Role (uncredited)
Les Misérables1909ShortJean Valjean
Cairo1942Cavity Rock Townsman (uncredited)
Les misérables (Part III)1909ShortJean Valjean
Reap the Wild Wind1942Ball Guest (unconfirmed, uncredited)
The Romance of an Umbrella1909ShortJimmie Conyers
Ride 'Em Cowboy1942Rodeo Spectator with Martin Manning (uncredited)
Les miserables (Part II)1909ShortJean Valjean
H.M. Pulham, Esq.1941Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Les Miserables (Part I)1909ShortJean Valjean
Here Comes Mr. Jordan1941Ringsider at Fight (uncredited)
The Way of the Cross1909Short
Citizen Kane1941Extra (uncredited)
The Gift of Youth1909Short
Lady from Louisiana1941Edwards
The Duke's Jester or A Fool's Revenge1909Short
A Man Betrayed1941Club Inferno Patron (uncredited)
The Plot That Failed1909Short
Tin Pan Alley1940uncredited
King Lear1909ShortUndetermined role
A Little Bit of Heaven1940Uncle Louie
Kenilworth1909Short
Third Finger, Left Hand1940Man at Railroad Station (uncredited)
Saul and David1909ShortDavid
Foreign Correspondent1940Bit Part (uncredited)
Virginius1909Short
All This, and Heaven Too1940Extra (uncredited)
Ruy Blas1909Short
The Sea Hawk1940Man Carrying Spear (uncredited)
The Bride of Lammermoor: A Tragedy of Bonnie Scotland1909Short
Edison, the Man1940Broker (uncredited)
The Merchant of Venice1908ShortUndetermined Role
Johnny Apollo1940Extra (uncredited)
The Dancer and the King: A Romantic Story of Spain1908Short
Alice in Movieland1940ShortWell-Wisher at Train Station (uncredited)
Slippery Jim's Repentance1908Short
Rovin' Tumbleweeds1939Ways and Means Committee Member (uncredited)
Julius Caesar1908/IShort
The Roaring Twenties1939uncredited
Antony and Cleopatra1908ShortMarc Antony (unconfirmed)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington1939Diggs - Newsman (uncredited)
Ex-Convict No. 9001908Short
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew1939Hart (uncredited)
Leah the Forsaken1908Short
Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever1939Man in Audience (uncredited)
Richard III1908Short
It's a Wonderful World1939Guest (uncredited)
Salome1908ShortKing Herod
Happily Buried1939ShortBoard Member (uncredited)
Disbarred1939Frightened Juror (uncredited)
There's That Woman Again1938Headwaiter (uncredited)
Comet Over Broadway1938Actor at Dress Rehearsal (uncredited)
A Man to Remember1938Town Councilor (uncredited)
I Am the Law1938Lindsay Staff Member (uncredited)
Hollywood Boulevard1936Director in Commissary
Search for Beauty1934Health Acres Guest (uncredited)
Eagle of the Night1928
Black Feather1928

Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Mystery of Brayton Court1914Short
The Mill of Life1914Short
The Girl in the Case1914Short
The Blood Ruby1914Short
Bella's Elopement1914Short
The Mysterious Lodger1914Short
The Woes of a Waitress1914Short
Through Life's Window1914Short
Love the Clairvoyant1914Short
Doctor Smith's Baby1914Short
The Moonstone of Fez1914Short
A Sentimental Burglar1914Short
Etta of the Footlights1914Short
The Acid Test1914/IIShort
Her Great Scoop1914Short
Mr. Barnes of New York1914
The Woman in Black1914/IIIShort
Iron and Steel1914Short
Some Steamer Scooping1914Short
The Perplexed Bridegroom1914Short
The Education of Aunt Georgiana1913Short
The Golden Pathway1913Short
Fellow Voyagers1913Short
The Sale of a Heart1913Short
The Warmakers1913Short
On Their Wedding Eve1913Short
Matrimonial Manoeuvres1913Short
The Mystery of the Silver Skull1913Short
Extremities1913Short
The Hindoo Charm1913Short
Cupid Versus Women's Rights1913Short
The Lonely Princess1913Short
The Clown and the Prima Donna1913Short
A Maid of Mandalay1913Short
The Joys of a Jealous Wife1913Short
A Faithful Servant1913Short
The Intruder1913/IShort
The Taming of Betty1913Short
The Spirit of the Orient1913Short
Jack's Chrysanthemum1913Short
The Wrath of Osaka1913Short
The Mystery of the Stolen Jewels1913Short
Mr. Mintern's Misadventures1913Short
The Mystery of the Stolen Child1913Short
Getting Up a Practice1913Short
The Way Out1913Short
Cinderella's Slipper1913Short
The Weapon1913Short
The Two Purses1913Short
What a Change of Clothes Did1913Short
The Adventure of the Ambassador's Disappearance1913Short
The Adventure of the Counterfeit Bills1913Short
It All Came Out in the Wash1912Short
Conscience1912Short
On the Pupil of His Eye1912Short
Their Golden Anniversary1912Short
The Spider's Web1912Short
Dr. LaFleur's Theory1912Short
The Old Kent Road1912Short
The Jocular Winds of Fate1912Short
Nemesis!1912Short
Mrs. 'Enry 'Awkins1912Short
The Law or the Lady1912Short
A Romance of Wall Street1912Short
Some Good in All1911Short
Love at Gloucester Port1911Short
His Wife's Secret1911Short
The Turn of the Balance1910Short
The Altar of Love1910Short
The Man Who Couldn't Beat God1915
The Heart of Jim Brice1915Short
On the Altar of Love1915Short
The Understudy; or, Behind the Scenes1915Short
The Evil Men Do1915Short
The Plot1914Short
The Product1914Short
By the Governor's Order1914Short
Too Much Burglar1914Short
Lola the Rat1914Short

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Fellow Voyagers1913Short scenario
Aunty's Romance1912Short scenario

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Through Life's Window1914Short producer

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
How Cissy Made Good1914ShortHimself (uncredited)
The Peacemaker1914ShortHimself - Cameo Appearance
Winsor McCay, the Famous Cartoonist of the N.Y. Herald and His Moving Comics1911ShortHimself - Maurice Costello (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hollywood: The Golden Years1961TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
Flicker Flashbacks No. 2, Series 51947Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
The Movie Album #21932Short
The Movie Album1932Documentary shortHimself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6515 Hollywood Blvd.

TitleSalary
Tin Pan Alley (1940)$12 .50/day

#Quote
1[In reference to his plummeting film career] It's better to be a has-been than a never-was.


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