Wilbur Higby, Actor of the Silent Era, Who Worked With the Finest Film-Makers of That Time

Wilbur Higby

Wilbur Higby

Wilbur Higby was on stage (stock and touring companies, not making an appearance on Broadway) long before his lengthy foray into filmdom. He was part of the Moore & Livingstone Dramatic Company, which in 1897 found itself in Michigan, collecting rave reviews.[1] Mr. Higby was associated with the Harry Glazier Company, in 1901,[2] a well traveled acting troupe. Our man Higby worked with the Spooner Stock Company, in 1903[3] and then in 1904, Higby established his own group: the Wilbur Higby Dramatic Company.[4] By May of that same year Higby Dramatic had to reorganize and hire a new manager. [5]His next stop was the J. J. Flynn Stock Company during 1906.[6] Higby, yet again authored another touring-band of thespians, his Wilbur Higby Stock Company had to end their engagement in St. Louis, Missouri, early because of him being taken ill.[7]

Wilbur Higby had seventy-six film credits to his name, working into the talkie era; his most notable celluloid work came early, playing alongside Douglas Fairbanks in The Matrimaniac and Reggie Mixes In, both films made in 1916. He also had some success with the D. W. Griffith movie-making-machine in Hoodoo Ann, 1916, and True Heart Susie, 1919. One thing is for sure Wilbur Higby often portrayed the father, uncle or some other elder or person in a position of authority; his silver-screen career lasted twenty years, with his last two pictures (St. Louis Woman and The Mighty Barnum) released in the same year of his death, 1934.


Other films of Wilbur Higby:

A Girl of the Timber Claims, 1917

The Love Trap (John Ince directed), 1923

Confessions of a Queen (directed by famed actor-director-writer, Victor Sjöström), 1925


By C. S. Williams


[1] The Morning Record (Traverse City, Michigan) Sunday, August 22, 1897

[2] Sandusky Daily Star (Sandusky, Ohio) Monday, October 28, 1901

[3] The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) Tuesday, November 10, 1903

[4] The Fort Wayne Evening Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Monday, April 18, 1904

[5] The Fort Wayne Daily News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Thursday, May 12, 1904

[6] The New York Clipper (New York, New York) Saturday, April 7, 1906

[7] Variety, Saturday,  May 6, 1911


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