Al Christie made the whole world laugh for a generation. He was credited with being the first to produce comedies in Hollywood.
He came to Hollywood in 1911 for Nestor Comedies with a stock company of then unknown actors. Among them were Dorothy Davenport, who later became Mrs. Wallace Reid, and Victoria Ford. Christie produced his first comedies with Nestor, which starred Eddie Lyons and Lee Moran.
Several years later, he and his brother, Charles, H. Christie, organized their own film company. They brought to the silent screen stars such as Betty Compson, Fay Tincher, Billy Rhodes, Ethel Lynn and Dorothy Devore.
Christie Film Co. was at Sunset and Gower, out of which came hits such as the first silent version of “Charley’s Aunt,” starring Syd Chaplin. When sound came to films, the Christies spent about $500,000 re-equipping their studios and were the first to produce comedy “talkies.”
Largely wiped out by the Great Depression and going into bankruptcy in 1932, Christie continued to produce in his later years but mainly in New York for Education Film Corp., which was then released through 20th Century Fox. In all, he produced more than 700 films before retiring in 1942.