Cecil B. DeMille was born on August 12th 1881 in Ashfield, Massachusetts. He was the younger of two sons. Cecil was sent to military college but ran away to the recruits to fight in the Spanish-American War, only to be rejected since he was too young. He was then enrolled as a student at the Academy of the Dramatic Arts in New York City after he had shown interest in the theater. While acting, he met his future wife, Constance Adams whom he married on August 16th 1902. Cecil and his wife Constance raised a large family.
His debut as an actor was on February 21, 1900 in a production of Hearts Art Trumps. Cecil worked with his brother William, on many plays and while doing so he met Jesse L. Lasky with whom he would have a lifelong relationship. With Lasky he formed a production company which would later become Paramount Pictures.
During Cecil’s first years a director he was held in high regard by his peers. Among directors, only his name and those of D.W. Griffith and Alfred Hitchcock were really sufficient in themselves to attract top box office trade.
When sound came to the film industry, Cecil was very successful in making the transition. Two of his most well known credits include Cleopatra and The Ten Commandments.Throughout his life he continued planning and producing. Cecil was working on a film about the boy scouts when he died. Early in the morning of January 21st 1959, he died at the age of 77.
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