Joseph De Grasse

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Joseph De Grasse
Joseph De Grasse in 1916
Born(1873-05-04)May 4, 1873
DiedMay 25, 1940(1940-05-25) (aged 67)
Burial placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
Occupationfilm director
(m. 1901)
RelativesSam De Grasse (brother)
Robert De Grasse (nephew)

Joseph Louis De Grasse (May 4, 1873 – May 25, 1940) was a Canadian film director.[1] Born in Bathurst, New Brunswick, he was the elder brother of actor Sam De Grasse.


Joseph De Grasse had studied and was a first-class graduate of accounting and he began his career as a journalist, but soon became enamored with the theater and took work as a stage actor. In 1903, he quit his full-time job as the City of Boston's bookkeeper to pursue acting.[1] In 1910, he acted in his first motion picture and although he would appear as an actor in 13 films, and write 2 screenplays, his real interest was in directing.

While working in Hollywood for Universal Pictures, De Grasse met and married one of the few female directors working at the time, Ida May Park (1879–1954). In 1915, he became a founding member of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a forerunner to today's Directors Guild of America.

During his career he directed a total of 86 films. In 1924, actor Lon Chaney said of the De Grasses:

Joe and Sam De Grasses are two of the most talented personalities in today's film industry. Joe, a very skilled actor, is also the consummate director, firm in his demands yet gentle in his way of dealing with many different temperaments to be found in the movie industry. Sam is the only actor I know who can horrify an audience without make-up and without grotesque posturing and playing to the camera. He is the only actor I know who pulls teeth on the set in between takes. A rare pair, they have given the industry not one but two dimensions.[1]

Joseph De Grasse died in Eagle Rock, California; he collapsed on a street while walking, and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. The cause of his death was a heart attack.[2]





The three surviving reels of De Grasse's film Triumph were restored by the Academy Film Archive in 2012.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Foster, Charles (2000). Stardust and Shadows: Canadians in Early Hollywood. Dundurn Press. p. 43. ISBN 1550023489. Retrieved September 10, 2015. Joe De Grasse.
  2. ^ Foster, Charles (September 2000). Stardust and Shadows: Canadians in Early Hollywood. Dundurn. ISBN 9781550023480. Sam De Grasse.
  3. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.

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