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August 19, 2022

30 Vintage Photos of George O’Brien in the 1920s and ’30s

Born 1899 in San Francisco, California, American actor George O’Brien came to Hollywood in his early twenties hoping to become a cameraman and worked as an assistant cameraman for a while, for both Tom Mix and Buck Jones. He began his acting career in bit parts and as a stuntman. One of his earliest roles was in the 1922 George Melford-directed drama Moran of the Lady Letty, most notable for starring Rudolph Valentino.

In 1924, O’Brien received his first starring role in the drama The Man Who Came Back opposite Dorothy Mackaill. That same year he was chosen by the famed movie director John Ford to star in The Iron Horse opposite Madge Bellamy. The film was an immense success at the box-office and he made nine more films for Ford.

In 1927, O’Brien starred in the F. W. Murnau-directed Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans opposite Janet Gaynor, which won three major Academy Awards and remains his most famous film, and also played the lead in the New York City epic East Side, West Side that same year.

O’Brien would spend the remainder of the 1920s as an extremely popular leading man in films. He suffered a stroke in 1981 and was bedridden the last four years of his life. He died in 1985 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Brien was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6201 Hollywood Blvd., in Los Angeles, California.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see portraits of a young and handsome George O’Brien in the 1920s and 1930s.


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