Cause of death
Alan Crosland, Jr.
August 10, 1894 (
New York City, New York, U.S.
July 16, 1936, Hollywood, California, United States
Natalie Moorhead (m. 1930–1935)
The Jazz Singer, Don Juan, The Beloved Rogue, The Flapper, When a Man Loves
May McAvoy, Al Jolson, Warner Oland, Eugenie Besserer, Samson Raphaelson
Alan Crosland: The Jazz Singer (1127) (extract)
Alan Crosland (August 10, 1894 – July 16, 1936) was an American stage actor and film director.
Early life and career
Born in New York City, New York to a well-to-do family, Alan Crosland attended Dartmouth College. After graduation, he took a job as a writer with the New York Globe magazine. Interested in the theatre, he began acting on stage, appearing in several productions with Shakespearian actress Annie Russell.
Crosland began his career in the motion picture industry in 1912 at Edison Studios in The Bronx, New York, where he worked at various jobs for two years until he had learned the business sufficiently well to begin directing short films. By 1917, he was directing feature-length films and in 1920 directed Olive Thomas in The Flapper, one of her final films before her death in September of that year.
In 1925, Crosland was working for Jesse L. Lasky's film production company Famous Players-Lasky (later Paramount Pictures) when he was hired by Warner Bros. to work at their Hollywood studios. He had directed several silent films for Warner's including directing Don Juan starring John Barrymore in 1926. It was the first feature-length film with synchronized Vitaphone sound effects and musical soundtrack, though it has no spoken dialogue. He was chosen to direct Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer (1927). The film would make him famous as the first of the new talkies that changed the course of motion pictures.
Crosland died in 1936 at the age of 41 as a result of an automobile accident on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. He is interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. His grave remained unmarked for 67 years until a headstone was donated by The Hollywood Underground in 2003.
His son, Alan Crosland Jr. (1918–2001), would also have a successful career as a television director. Juanita Fletcher was his mother.