Film director, actor
Del Lord Jr.
October 7, 1894 (
Grimsby, Ontario, Canada
March 23, 1970, Calabasas, California, United States
Busy Buddies, Gem of a Jam
A Plumbing We Will Go, The Three Stooges Collection, An Ache in Every Stake, Trapped by Television, All the World's a Stooge
Delmer Lord was born in the small town of Grimsby, Ontario, Canada. Interested in the theatre, he traveled to New York City, then when fellow Canadian Mack Sennett offered him a job at his new Keystone Studios, Lord went on to work in Hollywood, California. There he played the driver of the Keystone Cops police van, appearing in many of the Kops' successful films.
Given a chance to direct, Lord was responsible for a number of very successful comedies for Keystone and directed two feature films for Universal Pictures. However, the Great Depression devastated the film industry, and Sennett was forced to close his studio in 1933. Work was scarce and Lord had to take a job selling used cars until a friend at Columbia Pictures offered him work.
From 1935-45 Lord directed some of Columbia's fastest and funniest two-reelers and is credited with developing the unique comic style of the Three Stooges. In addition to more than three dozen Stooges films, on which he collaborated first with Jules White and then Hugh McCollum, over his career he directed or produced more than 200 motion pictures. Lord was promoted to feature films in 1944 (he was replaced as a Stooge director by Edward Bernds). Curiously, Lord's Columbia features are action melodramas rather than slapstick comedies.
Lord worked briefly for Monogram Pictures in 1946, and returned to Columbia in 1948. In 1952 he directed Buster Keaton in an industrial featurette, A Paradise for Buster. Del Lord can be seen in an episode of TV's This Is Your Life, honoring Lord's old boss Mack Sennett.
A rock band of the 1980s, the Del Lords, was named after him.