Directors

15 Unique Secrets About Cecil B. Demille

1. Between 1913 and 1956, he made seventy features, both silent and sound films.

2. One of his first acting jobs was in 1905 at the Historic Elitch Theatre in Denver, CO. He later moved to writing and directing stage productions, some with Jesse Lasky, who was then a vaudeville producer.

3. Its interracial love story made it a phenomenal hit and it “put Hollywood on the map.” The continued success of his productions led to the founding of Paramount Pictures with Lasky and Adolph Zukor.

4. His first biblical epic, The Ten Commandments , was both a critical and financial success;

5. He was also a real estate speculator, an underwriter of political campaigns, and a Bank of America executive, approving loans for other filmmakers.

6. He made silent films of every genre: social dramas, comedies, Westerns, farces, morality plays, and historical pageants.

7. The King of Kings , his biography of Jesus Christ, was acclaimed for its sensitivity.

8. Although it was a silent film, it circulated in 16mm prints for more than a half century after its release, reaching more than 800 million viewers. The Sign of the Cross was his first film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

9. After more than thirty years in Hollywood, DeMille reached the pinnacle of his career with Samson and Delilah , which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

10. His last and most famous film, The Ten Commandments , is currently the seventh highest-grossing film of all-time adjusted for inflation.

11. He was also the first recipient of the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, which was later named in his honor.

12. DeMille married Constance Adams DeMille in 1902, with whom he had one biological child, Cecilia; and three adopted children, Katherine, John, and Richard.

13. As an adult, he adopted the spelling DeMille for professional purposes but continued to use de Mille in private life.

14. The family name de Mille was used by his children Cecilia, John, Richard, and Katherine.

15. Cecil Blount DeMille was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, while his parents were vacationing there, and grew up in Washington, North Carolina.

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