Milton Sills was an outstanding stage and screen actor and one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
To movie lovers the world over Sills had been regarded as a star, and in Hollywood he was known as a champion for better working hours and always fostered a spirit of cooperation among the producers and actors and technicians.
Sills began his career as a college professor, and for a number of years was an instructor in mathematics and a teaching fellow in philosophy at the University of Chicago. Afterward he cast his lot with the world of the theater, receiving his first stage training in plays produced by David Belasco, Charles Frohman and William A. Brady.
On Broadway he appeared in "This Woman and This Man," "Just to Get Married," "The Governor's Lady," "Law of the Land," "Panthea"; and in a series of Shakespearean plays.
The rise of Sills to stardom in films was meteoric, the actor advancing almost overnight from the status of a supporting player to that of a star. His greatest success was scored under the banner of First National Productions in movies that presented him as a burly, rugged, two-fisted type of he-man hero. Among his more memorable hits were "The Barker," Burning Daylight," "The Crash," "The Hawk's Nest" and "The Valley of the Giants."