Marshall Ambrose Neilan (11 April 1891 – October 27, 1958) was an actor, screenwriter, director and film producer.

Early Life

Born in San Bernardino (California), Neilan was known to the majority with the nickname of “Mickey.” After his deceased father, and with only eleven years old, Neilan had to abandon the studies and work to help her mother economically. As a teenager, began to make small roles in the Theatre, and in 1910 he worked as conductor at Biograph Studios with the task of moving to executives in the vicinity of Los Angeles to determine the suitability of the West coast of the United States as a place to install a permanent study.


Neilan debuted in film forming part of the cast of the American Film Manufacturing Company western The Stranger at Coyote (1912). Hired by Kalem Company for work and filming westerns in its facility in Santa Monica, California, Neilan was chosen to work with Ruth Roland. Described as sure of himself and, sometimes, egocentric, Neilan talent made a year working in Kelem already directed films. After acting in more than 70 short Mute for Kalem and directing more than other thirty, Neilan was hired by the Selig Polyscope Company later known as Bison Motion Pictures, and later as Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. In 1915 Neilan was one of the founding members of the Association of film directors, along with directors such as Cecil B. DeMille, Allan Dwan and William Desmond Taylor.

At the end of 1916 Neilan worked for Mary Pickford leading actress in several productions, including Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and The Little Princess in 1917, more Stella Maris, Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley and M’Liss in 1918, and Daddy-Long-Legs in 1919.

Abandoned interpretation, Neilan directorial success led him to create his own production company, and in 1920-1926 Marshall Neilan Productions made eleven feature films, almost all distributed by First National Pictures. He was praised by critics by directing and producing films such as Bits of Life and The Lotus Eater. In 1929 he was hired by RKO Pictures, but struggled to adapt to the direction of talkies. That year went to Rudy Vallee and Marie Dressler in The Vagabond Lover talkie, and although Dressler was praised for his interpretation, the film was both critical and commercial failure.

Actor, director and producer, Neilan was a talented writer, and in 1930 wrote the screenplay for the film of Howard Hughes hell’s Angels. Other companies that worked was Hal Roach Studios, for which he directed a few films in 1930 his final work as a conductor took place in 1937.

Having battled alcoholism much of his adult life, twenty years after his last work, Neilan returned to acting to the screen with a small role, as a u.s. Senator in the film, Elia Kazan A Face in the Crowd.

In recognition of her contribution to motion pictures, in 1940 the Directors Guild of America he was named an honorary life member. Subsequently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the 6233 Hollywood Boulevard.

Personal life

Neilan married actress Gertrude Bambrick in 1913. They had a son, Marshall Neilan, Jr., who also worked for the film industry as Executive success, participating in almost every episode of the tribe of the Brady Bunch. Bambrick marriage ended in 1921, and a year later he was married with the also Blanche Sweet, actress who directed several times. They divorced in 1929.

Marshall Neilan died in Los Angeles, California, in 1958 from throat cancer. He was buried in the Los Angeles Angelus-Rosedale cemetery.

Selected filmography


* Ranch Girls on a Rampage (1912)

* The Wooers of Mountain Kate (1912)

* Fatty’s Busy Day (1913)

* The Wall of Money (1913)

* Judith of Bethulia (1914)

* Ham the Iceman (1914)

* Put Me Off at Wayville (1915)

* Madame Butterfly (1915)

* Anne calamity, Guardian (1916)

* The Crisis (1916)

* Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy long legs) (1919)

* Broadway Gold (1923)

* A Star is Born (Uncredited, 1937)

* To Face in the Crowd (Uncredited, 1957)


* The American Princess (1913)

* Rube, the Interloper (1914)

* The Chronicles of Bloom Center (1915)

* The Prince Chap (1916)

* Freckles (1917)

* Out of a Clear Sky (1918)

* The Unpardonable Sin (1919)

* Go and Get It (1920)

* Bits of Life (1921)

* Fools First (1922)

* The Eternal Three (1923)

* Tess of the D’urbervilles (1924)

* The Great Love (1925)

* The Sporting Venus (1925)

* Wild Oats Lane (1926)

* Her Wild Oat (1927)

* Taxi 13 (1928)

* The Vagabond Lover (1929)

* Sweethearts on Parade (1930)

* War Mamas (1931)

* Chloe, Love Is Calling You (1934)

* This Is the Life (1935)

* Thanks for Listening (1937)


* The river’s End (1920)

* Don’t Ever Marry (1920)

* Go and Get It (1920)

* Dinty (1920)

* Bob Hampton of Placer (1921)

* Bits of Life (1921)

* The Lotus Eater (1921)

* Penrod (1922)

* Fools First (1922)

* The Strangers’ Banquet (1922)

* Wild Oats Lane (1926)

* Everybody’s Acting (1926)

* Tanned Legs (1929)

* Social Register (1934)


* Saved from Court Martial (1912)

* The stabilization of Dad (1913)

* The Wall of Money (1913)

* If’s Wonderful Mineral Spring (1914)

* Ham the Iceman (1914)

* The Winning Whiskers (1914)

* The stabilization of Ham (1914)

* Ham at the Garbage gentleman’s Ball (1915)

* The Come Back of Percy (1915)

* The Cycle of Fate (1916)

* The Country That God Forgot (1916)

* A Strange Adventure (1917)

* Dinty (1920)

* Bits of Life (1921)

* Minnie (1922)

* The Strangers’ Banquet (1922)

* The Eternal Three (1923)

* The Great Love (1925)

* Mike (1926)

* Hell Angels (1930)

* Chloe, Love Is Calling You (1934)

* The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Uncredited, 1938)