Today is the birthday of Edward “Eddie” Dillon (1879-1933). New York native Dillon was a professional horse jockey who transitioned into acting in stage plays with the likes of Otis Skinner, Dustin Farnum and Rose Melville. He broke into films at Biograph circa 1908, where he appeared in Griffith classics like Enoch Arden (1911), eventually gravitating toward the comedies of Mack Sennett and Dell Henderson. By 1913 he was directing his own films at Biograph, then moved with Griffith to Reliance/ Majestic. He directed comedies with Fay Tincher, De Wolf Hopper and others. His directing career ended in 1926, but he continued acting in character parts (including roles in Hal Roach comedy shorts) through 1932.
Now: I normally use these posts as an excuse to plug my own book Chain of Fools. But you know what? Virtually all this information came from another invaluable book, and I’d like to start the new year off right by plugging that one. It’s Steve Massa’s crucial Lame Brains and Lunatics — read my review it right here. You can learn much more about Eddie Dillon and dozens of others there.