Donald Crisp (I) (1882–1974)

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White-haired London-born character actor, a familiar face in Hollywood for more than five decades. He was born George William Crisp, the youngest of ten siblings, to working class parents James Crisp and his wife Elizabeth (nee Christy). Despite his humble beginnings, Donald was educated at Oxford University. He saw action with the 10th Hussars of... See full bio »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins. See more awards »


Known For

Broken Blossoms Battling Burrows
Jezebel Dr. Livingstone
Wuthering Heights Dr. Kenneth


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (167 credits)
 1963 Spencer's Mountain
Grandpa Zubulon Spencer
 1960 Pollyanna
Mayor Karl Warren
 1960 A Dog of Flanders
Jehan Daas
 1959 Playhouse 90 (TV Series)
Samuel Harman
- The Raider (1959) ... Samuel Harman
 1958 The Last Hurrah
Cardinal Martin Burke
 1958 Saddle the Wind
Dennis Deneen
 1957 Drango
Judge Allen
 1956 Fire on the Heather (Documentary short)
 1956 Crossroads (TV Series)
Father Anatole Martin
- Anatole of the Bayous (1956) ... Father Anatole Martin
 1955 The Man from Laramie
Alec Waggoman
 1955 The Long Gray Line
Old Martin
 1954 Prince Valiant
King Aguar
 1951 Home Town Story
John MacFarland
 1950 Bright Leaf
Major James Singleton
 1949 Challenge to Lassie
'Jock' Gray
 1948 Whispering Smith
Barney Rebstock
 1948 Hills of Home
 1947 Ramrod
Jim Crew
 1945 The Valley of Decision
William Scott
 1945 Son of Lassie
Sam Carraclough
 1944 National Velvet
Mr. Brown
 1944 The Adventures of Mark Twain
J.B. Pond
 1944 The Uninvited
Cmdr. Beech
 1943 Lassie Come Home
Sam Carraclough
 1943 Forever and a Day
Capt. Martin
 1942 The Gay Sisters
Ralph Pedloch
 1941 How Green Was My Valley
Mr. Morgan
 1941 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Sir Charles Emery
 1941 Shining Victory
Dr. Drewett
 1940 Knute Rockne All American
Father John Callahan C.S.C.
 1940 City for Conquest
Scotty MacPherson
 1940 The Sea Hawk
Sir John Burleson
 1940 Brother Orchid
Brother Superior
 1940 Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet
Minister Althoff
 1939 The Old Maid
Dr. Lanskell
 1939 Daughters Courageous
Sam Sloane
 1939 Sons of Liberty (Short)
Alexander McDougall
 1939 Juarez
General Marechal Achille Bazaine
 1939 Wuthering Heights
Dr. Kenneth
 1939 The Oklahoma Kid
Judge Hardwick
 1938 The Dawn Patrol
 1938 Comet Over Broadway
Joe Grant
 1938 The Sisters
Tim Hazelton
 1938 Valley of the Giants
Andy Stone
 1938 The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse
Inspector Lane
 1938 The Beloved Brat
John Morgan
 1938 Jezebel
Dr. Livingstone
 1938 Sergeant Murphy
Col. Carruthers
 1937 That Certain Woman
Merrick, Sr.
 1937 Confession
Presiding Judge
 1937 The Life of Emile Zola
Maitre Labori
 1937 Parnell
 1937 The Great O'Malley
Captain Cromwell
 1936 Beloved Enemy
 1936 A Woman Rebels
Judge Byron Thistlewaite
 1936 The Charge of the Light Brigade
Col. Campbell
 1936 Mary of Scotland
 1936 The White Angel
Dr. Hunt
 1935 Mutiny on the Bounty
 1935 Oil for the Lamps of China
Mr. McCarger
 1935 Laddie
Mr. Pryor
 1935 Vanessa, Her Love Story
George - the Inn Owner
 1934 The Little Minister
Doctor McQueen
 1934 What Every Woman Knows
Mr. David Wylie
 1934 British Agent
Marshall O'Reilly (scenes deleted)
 1934 The Life of Vergie Winters
Mike Davey
 1934 The Key
Peadar Conlan
 1934 The Crime Doctor
District Attorney
 1933 Hamlet, Act I: Scenes IV and V (Short)
 1933 Broadway Bad
 1932 Red Dust
 1932 A Passport to Hell
Sgt. Snyder
 1931 Kick In
Police Commisioner Harvey
 1931 Svengali
The Laird
 1930 Scotland Yard
Charles Fox
 1929 The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Colonel Moran
 1929 The Pagan
Mr. Roger Slater
 1929 Trent's Last Case
Sigsbee Manderson
 1928 The Viking
Leif Ericsson
 1928 The River Pirate
 1928 Stand and Deliver
London Club Member (uncredited)
 1926 The Black Pirate
MacTavish (as Mr. Donald Crisp)
 1925 Don Q Son of Zorro
Don Sebastian
 1921 The Bonnie Brier Bush
Lachlan Campbell
 1919 Broken Blossoms
Battling Burrows
 1916 Intolerance
Extra (uncredited)
 1916 Ramona
Jim Farrar (as James Needham)
 1915 A Girl of Yesterday
A.H. Monroe
 1915 The Foundling (scenes deleted)
 1915 May Blossom
Steve Harland
 1915 The Commanding Officer
Col. Archer (the Commandant)
 1915 The Love Route
Harry Marshall
 1915 The Birth of a Nation
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
 1915 An Old-Fashioned Girl (Short)
 1914 Over the Ledge (Short)
 1914 A Question of Courage (Short)
 1914 The Sisters (Short)
 1914 Another Chance (Short)
The Tramp
 1914/I The Warning (Short)
Mr. Edwards
 1914 His Mother's Trust (Short)
Dr. Keene
 1914 The Great God Fear (Short)
Dick Stull
 1914 A Lesson in Mechanics (Short)
 1914 Her Mother's Necklace (Short)
The Burglar
 1914 The Tavern of Tragedy (Short)
Bob Jameson - the Spy
 1914/I The Idiot (Short)
Undetermined Role (unconfirmed)
 1914 The Weaker Strain (Short)
 1914 Their First Acquaintance (Short) (unconfirmed)
 1914 The Birthday Present (Short)
The Burglar
 1914 The Newer Woman (Short)
 1914 The Escape
'Bull' McGee
 1914 The Mountain Rat (Short)
 1914 The Soul of Honor (Short)
 1914 Home, Sweet Home
The Mother's Son
 1914 The Miniature Portrait (Short)
 1914 The Different Man (Short)
The Ranch Foreman
 1914 Ashes of the Past (Short)
 1914 The Stiletto (Short)
 1914 The Battle of the Sexes
Frank Andrews
 1914 The Mysterious Shot (Short)
 1913 In the Elemental World (Short)
The Husband
 1913 The Blue or the Gray (Short)
Southern Rival
 1913 By Man's Law (Short)
Lee Calvert - Brother Owner
 1913 The Bracelet (Short)
 1913 His Secret (Short)
 1913/I Black and White (Short)
 1913 Olaf-an Atom (Short)
The Beggar
 1913 The Sheriff's Baby (Short)
 1913 Pirate Gold (Short)
 1912 The Musketeers of Pig Alley (Short)
Rival Gang Member (uncredited)
 1912 The Eternal Mother (Short)
In Field
 1911 The Failure (Short)
Bank Employee
 1911 The Miser's Heart (Short)
 1911 The Battle (Short)
A Union Soldier (uncredited)
 1911 The Long Road (Short)
A Servant / The Landlord
 1911 The Adventures of Billy (Short)
First Tramp
 1911 The Making of a Man (Short)
Actor / Backstage
 1911 Her Awakening (Short)
Accident Witness
 1911 The Squaw's Love (Short)
Indian (uncredited)
 1911 Swords and Hearts (Short)
At Frazier House / Bushwacker (uncredited)
 1911 The Diving Girl (Short)
A Bather
 1911 Out from the Shadow (Short)
At Dance
 1911 The Primal Call (Short)
 1911 In the Days of '49 (Short)
 1911 Conscience (Short)
 1911 A Decree of Destiny (Short)
At the Club / At the Wedding
 1911 The Lily of the Tenements (Short)
 1911 What Shall We Do with Our Old? (Short)
Night Court Bailiff
 1911 Heart Beats of Long Ago (Short)
 1911 A Wreath of Orange Blossoms (Short)
A Servant / Man ;in Office
 1911 The Poor Sick Men (Short)
 1911 Fate's Turning (Short)
The Valet
 1911 Help Wanted (Short)
In Corridor
 1911 The Italian Barber (Short)
At Ball
 1911 The Two Paths (Short)
 1910 Winning Back His Love (Short)
At Stage Door
 1910 The Golden Supper (Short)
Courtier / Monk (uncredited)
 1910 A Child's Stratagem (Short)
 1910 A Plain Song (Short)
At Station
 1910 Sunshine Sue (Short)
Head of the Sweatshop
 1909 Through the Breakers (Short)
At the Club
 1908 The French Maid (Short)
Show Show Director (72 credits)
Show Show Writer (1 credit)
Show Show Soundtrack (2 credits)
Show Show Producer (1 credit)
Show Show Self (13 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (13 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

(12/2/40) Radio: Appeared (as "Father John Callahan") in a Lux Theater production of "Knute Rockne, All-American". See more »

Publicity Listings:

22 Articles | See more »

Alternate Names:

Mr. Donald Crisp | James Needham


5' 10" (1.78 m)


Jane Murfin  (divorced) | See more »


James Crisp | Elizabeth Crisp

Did You Know?


He passed away on May 25, 1974, two months away from what would have been his 92nd birthday on July 27. See more »


His barrel-chested frame and large workingman's hands, which got him cast as tough characters in silent films. See more »

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