Cecil B. De Mille

image for Cecil B. De Mille
Exhibition Label
Born Ashfield, Massachusetts
Director Cecil B. DeMille’s repertory boasts such classic films as Cleopatra (1934), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), and The Ten Commandments (1956), but his significance began in the 1910s and 1920s when he helped found the Hollywood movie colony. He directed dozens of early movies—including The Squaw Man (1914), Carmen (1915), Male and Female (1919), The Ten Commandments (1923), and The King of Kings (1927)—and helped establish Gloria Swanson, Claudette Colbert, Gary Cooper, and Paulette Goddard by casting them repeatedly in his pictures. DeMille later appeared as himself in Sunset Boulevard (1950), and the film ends with Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) famously saying, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up." This photograph, taken by his cinematographer Karl Struss, depicts DeMille in his ornate studio office.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Karl Struss, 30 Nov 1886 - Dec 1981
Cecil Blount DeMille, 12 Aug 1881 - 21 Jan 1959
Home Furnishings\Lighting Devices\Lamp
Equipment\Smoking Implements\Ashtray
Home Furnishings\Telephone
Home Furnishings\Clock
Costume\Jewelry\Watch\Wrist watch
Cecil Blount DeMille: Male
Cecil Blount DeMille: Performing Arts\Director\Motion Pictures
Cecil Blount DeMille: Performing Arts\Producer\Motion Pictures
Cecil Blount DeMille: Oscar
Cecil Blount DeMille: Legion of Honor
Gelatin silver
Image/Sheet: 21.3 x 16.1cm (8 3/8 x 6 5/16")
Mount: 31.4 x 23cm (12 3/8 x 9 1/16")
Mat: 45.7 x 35.6cm (18 x 14")
National Portrait Gallery