James Kirkwood, Sr. debuted on screen in 1909 and was soon playing leads for D.W. Griffith. He started directing in 1912, and became a favorite of Mary Pickford. In 1923 he married actress Lila Lee; with her, he had a son, James Kirkwood, Jr., who became a writer. His directing career fizzled in 1920, but he continued acting well into the 1950s. Kirkwood’s film career would eventually span more than two hundred films over nearly a half century. Many years later his son, James Jr., would become a successful writer, winning both a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize for A Chorus Line. His film, Behind the Scenes is a about a Broadway actress who leaves the stage to begin a new life with her farmer-husband and who ultimately must decide between stardom and life in the country.