David Powell was a Scottish born stage and later film actor of the silent era. In his twenties Powell appeared in stage companies of Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Ellen Terry and Johnston Forbes-Robertson. In 1907 he appeared with Terry on Broadway in the first American presentation of Shaw’s Captain Brassbound’s Conversion. He later appeared with Forbes-Robertson in the United States and decided to stay in that country.
In 1912 Powell started his film career in one to three reel shorts. Possessed of dark good looks and shiny dark eyes, he was often cast opposite or in support of well-known star actresses of the time. Many of these actresses include Mary Pickford, Clara Kimball Young, Billie Burke, Hazel Dawn, Ann Murdock, Alice Brady, Edna Goodrich, Elsie Ferguson, Mae Murray, Mary Glynne and Ann Forrest amongst others. At the beginning of the 1920s he starred in several Paramount produced English films. Alfred Hitchcock was the title card writer for several of these films. As with other silent screen performers Powell has a lot of his filmography missing. Extant films that feature Powell are The Dawn of A Tomorrow, Less Than Dust, Idols of Clay, The Virtuous Liar, The Green Goddess, The Average Woman. Several of these however are in film vaults and foreign archives.
Powell died of pneumonia in April 1925 at the age of 42. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.