Milton Sills (1882 - 1930) American Actor, Editor and Writer. American leading man of silent pictures. Born into affluence in Chicago, he attended the University of Chicago on scholarship and remained there as a professor of psychology and philosophy. A chance visit to the school by actor- manager Donald Robertson led to Sills abandoning his career and joining Robertson's stock company as an actor in 1905. Three years later he went to New York and was an immediate Broadway success. After nearly twenty productions, he was wooed into films by producer William A. Brady. Sills debuted in The Pit (1914) and was just as immediately a success in movies. His stalwart personality and handsome looks brought him a following, and his talent extended to a wide variety of roles in an equally wide variety of genres. Although he free-lanced for many years, working at almost every studio, he signed with First National in 1924 and made a couple dozen films there. Still popular at the advent of sound, he seemed assured of a continued career, but physical, emotional, and financial difficulties disrupted his life in the late 1920s. He died suddenly of a heart attack while playing tennis in 1930 at the age of 48. He was survived by his second wife, actress Doris Kenyon, and his two children.
Son Kenyon Clarence Sills (6 May 1927 - 11 April 1971)
One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)
Fluent in Italian, Russian, French, and German
His principal heir was his nephew, Frederick (Fritz) Sills, who went on to become a world-famous body-builder. Fritz was lured to Hollywood in the 1960s where he was offered the starring role in Tarzan. He turned down the role when he learned that the salary was $1,750 a week, less than he was receiving from his uncles Trust Fund. Fritz Sills died in Hollywood in 1968.
Before becoming an actor, he was a professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago (IL).