Larry Steers, Acting, Politics; a Man Whose Energy Could Not Be Corralled.

Motion Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual 1920Larry Steers

Larry Steers is an important part of the history of Hollywood, film-making in general, to the state of California and our Country. We may remember him most for his laundry-list of uncredited movie appearances; yet, from 1917-1929 he was well known by audiences, and was applauded as a sound supporting-player.

Steers began his acting career as a stock company player, treading the boards of so many theaters.[1] He worked with the Bush temple Stock of Chicago and appeared with Robert Edeson in Strongheart; he also spent some time in St. Louis in stock group.[2]

For the citizens of the Golden State, Steers was a Captain (during WWII) of the California State Guard, acting as a liaison between the State Guard and the local sheriff’s department and the highway patrol.[3] To his country he was a volunteer for WWII.[4]

For the members of the film-community at large, in 1934, Steers was named to the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG) standing committee on extras;’[5] also in 1937 he was the SAG Junior Guild President.[6] In 1939 he was part of the Hollywood delegation that appeared before the executive council of the American Federation of Labor. This group from SAG presented their side of the case against the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Stagehands’ union. Other representatives in attendance with Steers (the delegate for screen extras) were Mischa Auer, Edward Arnold, Binnie Barnes, Henry Hull, Wayne Morris, Ralph Morgan and Jean Muir. This argument was a territorial dispute, one not easily understood by the general public at the time or even amongst many actors. The issue reduced to its simplest terms was that The American Federation of Actors had been granted a charter by The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, prior to that the Federation had been part of the Associated Actors and Artists of America… The Screen Actors’ Guild demanded that the Federation be returned to their original sponsorship; as then President of the Screen Actors’ Guild, Ralph Morgan said” What does a stage hand know about the problems of an actor?”[7] A threatened strike by SAG won the day, and preempted a takeover by IATSE.

The_News_Herald_Fri__Aug_11__1939_

 

Steers was as involved in the politics of Hollywood, the elements within the industry of movie making, and in the political action that effected Hollywood, as he was in the process of making films; he was an active man, little moss could have grown under his feet, as busy as he stayed.

Oakland Tribune January 26, 1934

Oakland Tribune January 26, 1934

Motion Picture Daily March 27, 1945

Motion Picture Daily March 27, 1945

Motion Picture Herald January 20, 1934

Motion Picture Herald January 20, 1934

 

With more than five-hundred films under his belt, over a thirty-five year period, Larry Steers was a true ironman. Steers’ hundreds of nearly anonymous screen appearances that began in 1930 and lasted over twenty years, were offset by his forty-plus roles between 1917 and 1930, when Mr. Steers name was regularly seen in advertisements and film reviews.

Lebanon_Daily_News_Fri__Jan_29__1926_Harrisburg_Telegraph_Tue__Mar_5__1929_

The_Journal_News_Sat__Feb_15__1930_Chicago_Daily_Tribune_Sat__Aug_9__1919_

The_Iola_Register_Wed__Mar_5__1930_The_Wichita_Daily_Eagle_Tue__Sep_7__1920_

Variety July 1918Exhibitors Herald May 12, 1923

 

 

By C. S. Williams

 

[1] Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) February 8, 1930

[2] Motion Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual, 1920

Motion Picture News Blue Book, 1930

[3] Long Beach Independent (Long Beach, California) July 13, 1944

[4] Abilene Reporter News (Abilene, Texas) August 4, 1942

[5] The Film Daily Production Guide and Director’s Annual 1934, editor Jack Alicoate, The Film daily, 1934, page 53

[6] Chinese in Hollywood, by Jenny Cho and the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California,

Arcadia Publishing, 2013, page 42

[7] The Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) August 9, 1939

The Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, Ohio) August 10, 1939

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11 thoughts on “Larry Steers, Acting, Politics; a Man Whose Energy Could Not Be Corralled.

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