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Robert Ellis (actor, born 1892)

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Robert Ellis
Silent film actor Robert Ellis (SAYRE 23350).jpg
Ellis in 1924
Robert Ellis Reel

(1892-06-27)June 27, 1892
New York City, U.S.
DiedDecember 29, 1974(1974-12-29) (aged 82)
Resting placeInglewood Park Cemetery
  • Actor
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
Years active1913–1950
(m. 1920; div. 1923)
(m. 1926; div. 1938)
(m. 1962)

Robert Ellis Reel[1] (June 27, 1892 – December 29, 1974), known professionally as Robert Ellis,[2] was an American film actor, screenwriter and film director. He appeared in more than 160 films between 1913 and 1934. He also wrote for 65 films and directed 61.


Ellis was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 27, 1892,[3] and he attended St. Francis Xavier College in New York City.[4]

Ellis's wives included actresses May Allison[5] and Vera Reynolds and screenwriter Helen Logan. He and Logan wed in 1962, following Reynolds's death.[3] His relationship with Reynolds drew public attention in 1938 as a lawsuit ended when the two decided to marry. Reynolds had sued Ellis for $180,000 for breach of promise, asserting that after their 1926 marriage in Greenwich, Connecticut, was found to be invalid, he had promised to marry her but failed to follow through. After a month's hearing, their decision to marry ended the litigation.[2]

On Broadway, Ellis portrayed Dan Huntley in Baxter's Partner (1911).[6] Ellis acted for Kalem and Metro film studios.[4] He was the leading man in the film For Sale (1924),[7] but he often portrayed villains. After acting, he became a screenwriter whose scripts were used in films of Charlie Chan, Jane Withers, and others.[2] He also directed films, including A Fool and His Money and The Figurehead.[4]

On December 29, 1974, Ellis died[3] in Santa Monica, California. He and Logan are buried in adjacent graves in Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.[3]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ Room, Adrian (January 10, 2014). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-7864-5763-2. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Robert Ellis Reel and Vera Reynolds to marry". Freeport Journal-Standard. Illinois, Freeport. Associated Press. March 29, 1938. p. 3. Retrieved January 8, 2021 – via
  3. ^ a b c d Wilson, Scott (August 22, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-7864-7992-4. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Fox, Charles Donald; Silver, Milton L. (1920). Who's who on the Screen. Ross publishing Company. p. 367. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  5. ^ "Passport application of Robert Ellis Reel, 1922, in FamilySearch collection "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925"". Retrieved January 1, 2023.
  6. ^ "Robert Ellis". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  7. ^ "Robert Ellis blasts fond mothers' hopes". The Pittsburgh Press. July 6, 1924. p. 39. Retrieved January 8, 2021 – via
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Robert Ellis (actor, born 1892)
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