Academy Books Douglas Fairbanks

Beverly Hills, CA (November 4, 2008) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has published a new book, Douglas Fairbanks, that explores the life and career of one of Hollywood’s original superstars and provides an in-depth analysis on the industry’s early beginnings. Authored by Jeffrey Vance with Tony Maietta, and Robert Cushman as photographic editor, the book examines Fairbanks’s art and ventures behind his public persona, showcasing more than 200 photographs, some unseen for more than 75 years. Douglas Fairbanks is available for purchase wherever books are sold.

“During our research we were the first to see many hitherto ‘lost’ Fairbanks films such as “A Modern Musketeer” that have been found in recent years,” said Vance. “I also was able to conduct interviews with his son and others who knew or worked with him, giving us a wealth of fresh material to incorporate into the book.”

Vance will be on hand to sign copies of Douglas Fairbanks following the Academy’s screening of “Douglas Fairbanks as The Gaucho” on Thursday, November 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Co-published with University of California Press, Douglas Fairbanks is a combination of biography, film history and analysis of a pioneer who was critically important to the creation of cinema as the defining art form of the 20th century.

Vance completed much of the extensive research for the book at the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, where the Douglas Fairbanks Collection is housed. Donated in 2002 by Vera Fairbanks, widow of Douglas Fairbanks Jr., the collection consists of approximately 3,000 photographs, more than 200 original negatives, and a paper history of the star’s life and career. It includes an elaborate memorial album, compiled after Fairbanks’s death in 1939, which features letters, telegrams and press clippings from a “who’s who” of Hollywood.

In the 1920s, Fairbanks’s success in such films as “The Mask of Zorro,” “The Thief of Bagdad,” “The Black Pirate” and “Douglas Fairbanks as The Gaucho” sealed his action-hero status around the world.

In addition to being regarded as one of silent Hollywood’s greatest stars, Fairbanks also was one of its most respected citizens. He served as the Academy’s first president, was a founder of United Artists, and along with his wife Mary Pickford, was the first to be immortalized in the Grauman’s Chinese Theater footprint ceremony.

Vance is a film historian, producer, and lecturer as well as the author of an acclaimed trilogy of books on the great triumvirate of silent-film comedy: Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema, Harold Lloyd: Master Comedian (with Suzanne Lloyd), and Buster Keaton Remembered (with Eleanor Keaton).

Douglas Fairbanks retails for $45. To preview images featured in the book, visit

Tickets to “Douglas Fairbanks as The Gaucho” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets are available for purchase by mail, at the Academy box office (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or online at Doors open one hour prior to the event. All seating is unreserved.

The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit

In character photo of Douglas Fairbanks from “The Thief of Bagdad,”

Douglas Fairbanks as he appears in “The Thief of Bagdad,” 1924. Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library.

Download related images

Contact Information

For more information, contact

Teni Melidonian
(310) 247-3090

Related Links

Douglas Fairbanks

Don't Show Again