MOVIES WAY BACK WHEN: A Newcomer’s Hard Knocks

By Betsy J. Green

This was not a great introduction for a new actor at the “Flying A” studio. “[The actor] narrowly escaped death in the filming of one of the scenes [for “The Wayfarers”] in which a motorcycle ridden by him crashed into the side of a standing automobile. The impact of the crash was so great that [the actor] was hurled 25 feet. He was unconscious when picked up but, after several hours in the hands of physicians, was brought around again. It will be several weeks, however, before [the actor] is numbered among those present at the Santa Barbara studios. – New York Clipper, April 22, 1916

Fortunately, the actor, George Webb, recovered and made several silent movies after this one. In fact, he had a big part in the 1921 silent film “Black Beauty.”

Betsy’s Way Back When book — Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions — is now available in local bookstores and at This is the seventh book in her series on the history of Santa Barbara. Learn more at​.


Written by bjgreen

Betsy J. Green is a Santa Barbara historian and author. Her books are available in local bookstores, and at (Shop local if you can.) Learn more at

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