Ted Dickson — The Discovery of Dickson (1921) 🇺🇸

Ted Dickson — The Discovery of Dickson (1921) | www.vintoz.com

December 30, 2023

A director at Lasky’s was talking about “Dickson,” and I thought it was a town where the company had gone on location. I was about to ask what the population was and what part of the State it was in, when the director interrupted my obvious ignorance by saying, “In twelve months from now that name won’t be so unfamiliar. I consider that Ted Dickson is one of the discoveries of the year.”

by Celia Brynn

And still I was completely in the dark about him — except that I knew he was a person instead of a place. Then Mary Miles Minter paused in passing and contributed a statement to the fact that Ted was the dearest boy; that he had worked with her in Sweet Lavender, and that she was crazy about him.

So naturally I was anxious to meet this new discovery and to “discover” for myself the qualifications which had made the conservative Lasky director predict for him such a bright and shining future.

Over the phone his voice had in it the suspicion of a Southern drawl. And when he appeared at my office in response to an invitation to come down and get interviewed, I was positive that my long-distance estimate was correct. Somehow he looked as if he’d been born down in “Ole Kaintuck.” He has crisp, curly, black hair, big brown eyes, and the most perfect array of teeth which I have seen for some time. Add to that that he is almost six feet in height, is just twenty-one, dresses correctly, but not flashily, and  you have a picture of what Ted Dickson looks like off the screen.

“But I’m not from the South,” he drawled, contradicting my spoken guess. “I was born in New York and lived there most of my life. If I ever resided in the South it must have been in a previous incarnation.”

When I asked the young man where he was working he hesitated, tried to speak with offhand nonchalance, and failed.

“I’m the leading man of the Van Curen Company.” He said it in exactly the same tone your kid brother would use when announcing that he had licked the school bully twice his size; trying to be modest about it, but intensely proud just the same.

I gasped.

“Why you were only an extra six months ago!” I exclaimed — having had this much data from the director. And Ted Dickson blushed like a schoolboy and twirled his hat in his hands.

“Luck, just plain luck,” he said apologetically. “This company was going to make a series of Westerns, and for the lead of the first one they wanted a young fellow who didn’t look like a ‘native son,’ as the story called for a boy who is an Easterner. The casting director was considering different free-lance actors, when I just happened to come along. And just by luck, at that moment the big boss himself came out of his office, stared at me for a minute, then said out of the side of his mouth to the man who stood by him, ‘That’s the fellow we want, right there!’ And I was hired out of hand on the spot, as you might say.”

The interview was over, and the door was closing upon cinema’s newest leading man, but suddenly, he flung it open.

“Say!” he said breathlessly, “I forgot to tell you I got a fan letter today! What do you know about that? It’s from a girl in Iowa who saw me in a ‘bit,’ and she wants my picture. Do you think I ought to send it to her?” He finished anxiously.

I told him it was customary, in fact quite the usual thing.

“Well, it gave me one of the biggest thrills I’ve had since I started in the movies,” he said.

“The other two were when I landed the lead in the Van Curen Company, and when you told me I was a discovery.

“I hope,” he added earnestly, “that I won’t disappoint that director. If I do 

“But I won’t,” he finished firmly.

And I don’t believe he will.

Tsuru Aoki — To One Lot of Kimonos — $25,000 | Ted Dickson — The Discovery of Dickson | 1921 | www.vintoz.com

Dickson as he appeared in Sweet Lavender.

Ted Dickson — The Discovery of Dickson (1921) | www.vintoz.com

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Collection: Picture Play Magazine, April 1921