Mack Sennett once aspired to be an opera singer but instead made his mark as early Hollywood's master of mirth.
Sennett began his career as a performer in a Baptist church choir in New York. He landed a few odd acting jobs after that and in 1909 wormed his way into the old Biograph Studios, where he was able to observe the work of D.W. Griffith and Mary Pickford.
That was the end of his brief acting career and the start of his life a director and producer of film comedies. In his rise to fame, Sennett discovered more talent than anyone before or after him.
Those who first set their feet on the rode ro movie fame via Sennett's slapstick comedies included Charles Chaplin, Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Gloria Swanson, Harry Langdon, Polly Moran, Chester Conklin, Harold Lloyd, Phyllis Haver, Mack Swain, Webber and Fields, Buster Keaton, Bebe Daniels, Charlie Murray, Hal Roach, Marie Prevost and Eddie Foy.
One of his most notable products was actress Mabel Normand — who died in her mid-30s — with whom he had a long romance.
A pioneer of the silents, Sennett was faced with obsolescence when sound came in. But he defied the pessimists and cranked out 80 sound comedies and his slapstick became even more popular.
He moved to Paramount where he introduced Bing Crosby and W.C. Fields, and later to 20th Century-Fox to serve briefly as an associate producer.
At the peak of his career, Sennett owned three homes which became the scene of lavish parties for friends and employees. He lived a madcap, extravagant life and became known and loved as the kind of comedy.
|1931||Best Short Subject - Comedy||The Loud Mouth||Nomination|
|1931||Best Short Subject - Novelty||Wrestling Swordfish||Win|