Milton Sills was a highly successful American stage and film actor of the early twentieth century.
Milton Sills was born in Chicago, Illinois into a wealthy and highly regarded family. He was the son of a successful mineral dealer father and an heiress mother from a prosperous banking family. Upon completing high school, Sills was offered a one-year scholarship to the University of Chicago where he studied psychology and philosophy. After graduating, he was offered a position at the university as a researcher and within several years worked his way up to becoming a professor at the school.
In 1905, stage actor Donald Robertson visited the school to lecture on author and playwright Henrik Ibsen and suggested to Sills that he should try his hand at acting. On a whim, Sills agreed and left his prestigious teaching career to embark on a stint in acting. Sills joined Robertson’s stock theater company and began touring the country.
In 1908, while Milton Sills was performing in New York City, he garnered critical praise from such notable Broadway producers as David Belasco and Charles Frohman. That same year he made his Broadway debut in This Woman and This Man, which was an immediate success with both the theater-going public and critics. From 1908 to 1914, Sills appeared in about a dozen Broadway shows, becoming a crowd favorite and attaining a great deal of fame.