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Actor Wallace Reid And A Stutz Bearcat In Seattle

Silent Screen Actor Wallace Reid And A Stutz Bearcat In Seattle

The Seattle Times covered famous silent screen actor Wallace Reid’s visit to the city during the third week of July 1919. He is pictured above with an attractive Stutz Bearcat on the sidewalk in front of the newspaper’s building at 4th. Avenue and Olive Way. In an article in the paper covering his stay, he was referred to as a Stutz admirer and a lover of automobiles.

Reid had recently finished the movie The Roaring Road, just released tree weeks earlier. While in Seattle he used a Bearcat provided by Jimmy Parsons, who was both a Stutz dealer and a racing driver in the Pacific Northwest. His dealership, Parsons Motor Car Company, was located on Broadway, in the heart of Automobile Row in the City. The photo and the news report is courtesy of pauldorpat.

  • Actor Wallace Reid in a Duesenberg
  •                                  Wallace Reed in a Duesenberg racing car in “Too Much Speed”.

During this period, Reid starred in four car related films titled: The Roaring Road (1919), Double Speed (1920), Excuse my Dust (1920) and Too Much Speed (1921). In 1919, he was seriously injured while performing his own stunt work during the movie The Valley of the Giants. To ease his pain while working after he was hurt so the movie could be finished, Reid was given a  prescription for morphine.

Unfortunately, he soon became addicted to the drug in the brief time he was taking it. Sadly after a three-year struggle with his health, the actor died on January 18, 1923, from complications that arose while attempting withdrawal from the drug at the age of only 32. You can learn more about Reid’s life and acting career at The Roaring Road to and the Stutz in earlier articles here on The Old Motor. 

Wallace Reid stars in the silent film The Rolling Road above, by renowned director Cecil B. DeMille. It features racing and romance while giving a very rare glimpse at period footage. In it Reed drives a Stutz Bulldog Touring Car and the object of his affection Dorothy Ward is behind the wheel of a Stutz Bearcat. The rest of the movie involves a plot involving road racing and a Los Angeles to San Francisco record run with an earlier T-head Bearcat. Included in the film is some great original background footage of action at the 1916 Santa Monica Road Races.

  • stutzs
  •                                          A Stutz Bulldog and a Bearcat featured in “The Rolling Road”

It has been said that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Reid’s son Wallace Reid Jr., of Hollywood, California, is shown below with his mother, actress Dorothy Davenport-Reid his father’s widow. The sixteen-year old had just finished filming the movie The Roaring Strain, which was a racing movie. He is shown working on his pride and joy a 1926 or 1927 Model T Ford with an accessory overhead valve head and wire wheels. The photo is dated December, 7 1932.

Actor Wallace Reid Junior's 1926 or 1927 Model T Ford with an accessory overhead valve head and wire wheels

9 responses to “Silent Screen Actor Wallace Reid And A Stutz Bearcat In Seattle

  1. Marx toys came out with a motorized riding Stutz in the early 60s.
    Made me think for years that the bearcat was the best of the old timey cars

  2. Wallace owned two (and perhaps three) McFarlan automobiles. One is restored in a museum in Alaska, and another later owned by Fatty Arbuckle, is in the Nethercutt Collection.

  3. That film is actually quite a story in itself.

    I note the video is labeled 1919 – but the time stamp certificate at the Telegraph office shows 1913. Also, why are the two drivers wearing dark glasses at night? Strange.

    Tom M.

  4. David –
    It is known that Teddy Tetzlaff and Wallace Reid were good friends, most likely because of their mutual auto racing associations, as well as Tetzlaff’s many Hollywood connections. But their mutual substance addiction may have played a role. Tetzlaff was in pain for most of his adult life because of a severe spine injury early in his career, and was a morphine user. It is believed that Tetzlaff did some uncredited stunt driving in several of Reid’s car chase films.

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