Larry Semon was a director of numerous silent films, as well as an actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer and cartoonist.
Semon was born in West Point, Miss. His mother and father were actors, and as soon as he was old enough he too appeared on stage.
In school in Savannah, Ga., Semon began cartooning and became an expert working on several New York newspapers before he returned to the stage in vaudeville. He then transferred his abilities to the screen as a comedian and was immediately successful, later producing his own comedies.
It was while he was producing that he met Dorothy Dwan. They were married and she became his leading lady in many of his silent films, including the role of Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" (1925).
Semon suffered a nervous breakdown several months before his death in 1928, on his return to Hollywood from a vaudeville tour. The collapse followed severe financial troubles, which ended in bankruptcy proceedings.
To recuperate, Semon was taken to a ranch near Victorville. But he had trouble eating and failed steadily until pneumonia developed, causing his death in a matter of days. Dwan was acting in a theater at the time of Semon's breakdown and rushed to his bedside when his doctor informed her that his condition was worsening.