William A. Seiter Overview:

Director, William A. Seiter, was born on Jun 10, 1890 in New York City, NY. Seiter died at the age of 74 on Jul 26, 1964 in Beverly Hills, CA and was laid to rest in Forest Lawn (Glendale) Cemetery in Glendale, CA.


The silent output of William A. Seiter is almost entirely routine, but with the advent of sound, Seiter's personality began to express itself in his work as he directed a series of lively, outgoing films. In his peak period, from 1933 to 1948, he made some good musicals, several films with moppet stars Shirley Temple and Deanna Durbin, some strong action films, and some slightly offbeat comedies with a number of the screen's best-known comedy teams.  

Born in New York City, Seiter was educated with a view to a military career, but was more interested in writing. Gaining employment with Mack Sennett as a Keystone Cop, he soon worked his way into the scenario department and became an assistant director by 1916. Two years later he began directing a few short subjects, but from 1921 concentrated on feature films. He met and married actress Laura La Plante in 1926, who starred in some of his silent features. The marriage however ended in 1932, and two years later Seiter married another actress, Marian Nixon. It was at Paramount that his distinctive comedy 'touch' made itself felt in the episode of the multi-story If I Had a Million in which henpecked Charles Ruggles takes his pet rabbit to the china store (where his is a downtrodden employee), and (having inherited the million dollars of the title) proceeds to let the animal smash everything in sight.

Over at RKO, Seiter directed four comedies with Wheeler and Woolsey and five films featuring Ginger Rogers, easily the best of which is the elegant musical Roberta. He also nipped across to the Hal Roach lot for his only Laurel and Hardy comedy feature, Sons of the Desert, considered by many Laurel and Hardy fans to be their best. Seiter also worked for Twentieth Century-Fox in the 1930s, notably making two of the most charming Shirley Temple films (Dimples and Stowaway), and a Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck romantic thriller about a presidential assassin (This is My Affair). As always, Seiter's sense of pace was an invaluable asset, and he continued to surprise with his versatility with films such as the John Wayne western Allegheny Uprising, Deanna Durbin musicals, the gritty war film Destroyer, and The Marx Brothers' Room Service.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Directors).



He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

Young Bride (, 1932)

By Judy on Aug 17, 2014 From Movie Classics

Helen Twelvetrees and Eric Linden I’m back in the Pre-Code groove after seeing quite a few of them in recent weeks – including this rather slight but enjoyable melodrama. I was attracted to Young Bride because it stars Helen Twelvetrees and Eric Linden, who are both now sadly forgotte... Read full article

See all articles

William A. Seiter Quotes:

No Quote for this person.

Share this page:
Visit the Classic Movie Hub Blog CMH
Also a Gemini

See All Geminis >>
William A. Seiter on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame

See All Walk of Fame Stars >>
William A. Seiter Facts
Father of Christopher N. Seiter and Jessica Seiter Niblo.

Entered films in 1915 as a stuntman in westerns.

Was one of the founding members of the Directors Guild

See All Related Facts >>