Raymond Hackett: A Pro from Age 5

There are several discrete pieces to the stage and screen career of actor Raymond Hackett (1902-1958). Along with his older brother Albert, he was first a Broadway child actor, managed by their mother, screen star Florence Hackett. Starting with The Toymaker of Nuremberg (1907) he essentially grew up on Broadway, appearing in a dozen more shows through Nightstick (1927-28). More notable ones included a 1912 revival of Peter Pan with Maude Adams, Abraham Lincoln (1919) with Frank McGlynn, and The Cradle Snatchers (1925) with Mary Boland and Humphrey Bogart. 

Starting in 1912 Hackett also acted in silent films, initially at his mother’s studio, Lubin.  Of his nearly 3 dozen films, his best remembered screen work today dates from the early talkie period: The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929), The Sea Wolf (1930), and The Cat Creeps (1930). After Seed (1931) he returned to Broadway, where he appeared in another 5 plays between 1932 and 1934, the last being the short-lived Piper Paid, with Spring Byington and Fred de Cordova (later famous for producing The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.). In 1935, Hackett married former screen star Blanche Sweet and retired from show business.

For more on silent and early film, don’t miss my book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube.