Marshall Neilan directed and produced pictures starring many of the top names of the silent era, including Mary Pickford, Anita Stewart, Elsie Ferguson, John Barrymore and Blanche Sweet, to whom he was married for seven years.
Neilan was born April 11, 1891, in San Bernardino, where he spent his boyhood.
His first work in motion pictures was as a leading man, writer and assistant director for the old Kalem Co. He worked later for the American Film Co., Universal and Biograph, returning to Kalem at the age of 20 as general manager and head director.
He met Sweet while working on two-reelers at Biograph and appeared with her in "The House of Discord," "Classmates" and "Men and Women."
Neilan directed some of Pickford's first hits, including "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," "Stella Maris" and "Daddy Long Legs."
In 1913, he married Gertrude Bambrick. They had a son, Marshall Neilan Jr. Mrs. Neilan divorced the director in 1921 and he married Sweet the following year. She divorced him in 1929.