Laurence William Austin (Laurence William Austin)

Laurence William Austin

Folk Figure. Born the son of Ethel Austin, Cecil B. DeMille’s tailor, and William Austin, a silent film actor. He apparently cultivated a mysterious mien, declining even to discuss his age in interviews. He acquired a theater specializing in silent films about 1990. He apparently delighted in his role as proprietor of Silent Movie, which was the only theater in the country devoted solely to silent films. On the evening of January 17, 1997, during the showing of the silent short “School Days,” a man who had been sitting in the back row slipped into the lobby and gunned down Austin and the concessions clerk, he then ran through the theater firing in the air, and escaped through a back exit. Austin was dead, but the clerk recovered and was instrumental in eventually convicting the gunman who had been hired by Austin’s projectionist partner, apparently in expectation of inheriting Austin’s estate. Both men were sentenced to life in prison. (bio by: Iola)


  • February, 05, 1922
  • USA


  • January, 01, 1997
  • USA


  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
  • California
  • USA

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