Biography

A busy actor/director with the pioneering Vitagraph company from at least 1908, William Humphrey played Napoleon Bonaparte to Julia Arthur's Josephine in Napoleon and the Empress Josephine (1909) and later helmed one-reelers featuring the company's famous canine star Jean. Humphrey's last directorial assignment was the 1922 mystery drama Foolish Monte Carlo, which he also wrote. As a character actor, the white-haired Humphrey portrayed Mr. Sedley in Vanity Fair (1923), was Stephen A. Douglass in Abraham Lincoln (1924), and played the defense attorney in Lon Chaney's The Unholy Three (1925). He repeated his impersonation of Napoleon three times in the sound era: in Devil May Care (1929), Manhattan Parade (1933), and Are We Civilized? (1934); he also played Dr. Haupt in the minor horror classic The Vampire Bat (1933). ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi