Billy West Movies and Career Information

Billy West profile image
Virgo
Sep 22, 1892

Actor

Billy West (September 22, 1892 - July 21, 1975) was an American film actor and director of the silent film era. Born Roy B. Weissburg in Russia, West adopted his professional name some time after emigrating to America. He appeared in many short films, first in Apartment No. 13 in 1912, however he was to become best known as a Charlie Chaplin imitator, despite Chaplin not making his first film appearance until 1914. Oliver Hardy often appeared as his antagonist in a role reminiscent of those of Eric Campbell's in Chaplin's shorts with Mutual Films. He later moved in to Directing/Producing, first himself and occasionally Ethelyn Gibson (famous for her early film verions of Winnie Winkle). Billy West was married to Englishwoman Jane Walder and married in England under the name of William Briscoe. They had two children in England, William and Joseph Valentine, who joined him in the US in 1924. They later had a daughter Ruth.

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