Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #00054: HOBART BOSWORTH

Scarce vintage 6x8-inch black and white publicity portrait, boldly signed and inscribed in black fountain pen for inveterate collector Harry Wilkinson in 1932. In fairly good condition, with a light crease traveling from the part in his hair to his left eye, chiefly invisible when the photo is viewed head-on. Veteran stage and early film actor Hobart Bosworth, who was also a noteworthy director and producer, was the very first screen actor to portray Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in the1908 horror film of the same name.  Two years later, he starred as The Wizard of Oz in the first film adaptation of Frank L. Baum's beloved fantasy series.  In 1913, Bosworth founded his own company, Bosworth, Inc., where he directed and starred in a seven-reel adaptation of The Sea Wolf (1913), later headlining in John Barleycorn (1913), The Valley of the Moon (1914) and Martin Eden (1914).  During this period, he was active in silent comedy shorts and full-length features.  Eventually, the company merged with Paramount, and Bosworth drifted into supporting roles.  He appeared in scores of B-westerns and serials, typically cast as kind, fatherly types, both occasionally as a heartless Boss Villain.  His other contributions to the horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery genres include The Leopard Queen (1909), The Polo Substitute (1912), A Messenger to Kearney (1912), Joan the Woman (1916), The Devil-Stone (1916), The Chinese Parrot (1927), Just Imagine (1930), The Phantom Express (1932), The Dark Hour (1936), The Secret of Treasure Island (1938), and Rollin' Plains (1938).