While some men are born into royalty, Douglas Fairbanks definitely earned his crown. From his eager beginnings in the theater to becoming one of Hollywood’s most celebrated icons, Fairbanks transformed the silent film era. Falling for “America’s sweetheart” Mary Pickford, Fairbanks and his lovely lady took their fame to scandalous new heights. With a legacy that continues to inspire today, it’s no wonder Douglas Fairbanks is known as the “First King of Hollywood.”

1. He Had A Dysfunctional Family

Douglas Fairbanks came into the world on the heels of his mother’s horrific love life. Born on May 23, 1883, to Ella Marsh and Hezekiah Charles Ullman, Douglas’ dysfunctional family defined his childhood. Ella had two tragic marriages behind her and began raising her children on a very shaky foundation. You see, Ella wasn’t the most responsible mother around.

When Douglas was only five years old, she dealt the family a betrayal so terrible—it changed her son’s life forever.

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