- Apr 21, 1956
An athletic, tall, dark, and handsome man, whom the camera loved, John Walker appeared in approximately 77 films between 1915 and 1933, mostly as a supporting character (variously credited as J. Walker, Johnny Walker, and John Walker). His films of the 1910s, made while he simultaneously held a brief stage career, include his first role as David Moss in… More Bio:
An athletic, tall, dark, and handsome man, whom the camera loved, John Walker appeared in approximately 77 films between 1915 and 1933, mostly as a supporting character (variously credited as J. Walker, Johnny Walker, and John Walker). His films of the 1910s, made while he simultaneously held a brief stage career, include his first role as David Moss in the John H. Collins comedy Cohen's Luck (1915). He played Larry Ward in director Henry Otto's drama The Man From Nowhere (1916), Xenia's son in Paolo Trinchera's A Son of Strife (1918), Hampton Gray in Robert G. Vignola's thriller The Knife (1918), and Herbert Drake in John B. O'Brien's comedy-drama Impossible Catherine (1919).
With the advent of the 1920s, Walker was more in demand, appearing in 34 films between 1920 and 1925 from Fantomas (1920) and Over the Hill to the Poorhouse (1920) to the role of Larry Brainerd in Whitman Bennett's Children of the Whirlwind (1925). In 1920, Walker also tried his hand at directing in Bachelor Apartments.
Other films included Greater Than Fame (1920); Live Wires, What Love Will Do, and The Jolt from 1921; Extra! Extra!, In the Name of the Law, and Walker as "a stranger" in Captain Fly-By-Night in 1922; The Third Alarm, The Fourth Musketeer, Children of Dust, Red Lights, Souls for Sale, and Shattered Reputations in 1923; The Spirit of the U.S.A., Girls Men Forget, Wine of Youth, The Slanderers, and Walker (now 30) played the part of 20-year-old Jackie Donovan Jr. in Life's Greatest Game in 1924; and, in 1925 came The Reckless Sex, The Mad Dancer, and the role of Lt. Parkman in The Scarlet West.
In 1926, Walker received his most well-known supporting role in James Cruze's stirring saga of the sea Old Ironsides (aka Sons of the Sea) released by Paramount in 1926. Walker plays Lt. Stephen Decatur on board an 18th century American fighting ship engaging Barbary pirates in battle. Six other features in this active year included Honesty -- The Best Policy, Lightning Reporter, Fangs of Justice, and Morganson's Finish. In 1927, Walker was involved in no less than 12 features, including a dual role in The Snarl of Hate, Wolves of the Air, and Rose of the Bowery.
In 1928, Walker finally had the opportunity to demonstrate his talents as a leading man in Frank Capra's touching comedy The Matinée Idol. Once thought lost, this 55-minute classic was recovered in 1996 in France and fully restored. In the story, Walker is Don Wilson, a Broadway matinée idol whose car breaks down in a small town where he falls for Ginger Bolivar (Bessie Love). As Harry Mann, he joins her father's awful acting troupe in their Civil War melodrama. Wilson's producers want to bring the piece to Broadway as a comedy, but the film is ultimately sympathetic to the untalented but earnest troupe.
In 1933, Walker again directed a film, Mr. Broadway, and produced The Yiddish King Lear in 1934.
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