Sennett, Mack

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Sennett, Mack

(sĕn`ĭt), 1884–1960, American movie director and producer, b. Danville, Que. In 1909 he began working for D. W. GriffithGriffith, D. W.
(David Llewelyn Wark Griffith), 1875–1948, American movie director and producer, b. La Grange, Ky. Griffith was the first major American film director. He began his film career as an actor and a scenario writer in 1908 with the Biograph Company.
..... Click the link for more information.
 at the Biograph Company, and in 1912 he organized his own Keystone studio company. Sennett's films, rarely more than one or two reels long, were slapstick comedies noted for their fantastic chases and custard pie warfare. His Keystone Kops and bathing beauties became American institutions, and Charlie ChaplinChaplin, Charlie
(Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin), 1889–1977, English film actor, director, producer, writer, and composer, b. London. Chaplin began on the music-hall stage and then joined a pantomime troupe.
..... Click the link for more information.
 originated his Little Tramp character with the company. In 1916 he became the third producer of the Triangle Corporation with D. W. Griffith and Thomas Ince; he left Keystone in 1917. Keystone Studios, after some years of difficulty, went bankrupt in 1933.


See his autobiography, King of Comedy (1954); G. Fowler, Father Goose (1934).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sennett, Mack


(real name, Mickall Sinnott). Born Jan. 17, 1880, in Richmond, Ontario; died there Nov. 5, 1960. American film director and actor.

In 1902, Sennett began a career as a comedian, singer, and dancer in various New York theaters. In 1908 he began acting in motion pictures. He later became an assistant director, and in 1910 began directing his own films. In 1912 he founded his own motion-picture company, the Keystone Studio. Sennett created a new genre in American comedy, based on slapstick humor and illogical but witty tricks. He discovered several actors and actresses who achieved world fame, including C. Chaplin, M. Normand, R. (Fatty) Arbuckle, B. Turpin, G. Swanson, B. Keaton, and H. Lloyd. From 1916 he worked mainly as a producer. After the introduction of sound motion pictures, Sennett tried without success to continue making films in the style he had developed, and in 1935 retired from the motion-picture industry.


Sennett, M., and C. Shipp. King of Comedy. New York, 1954.
Turconi. D. Mack Sennett. Paris, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sennett, Mack (b. Michael or Mikall Sinnott)

(1880–1960) film director, producer, actor; born in Danville, Quebec, Canada. After appearing on Broadway and in burlesque, he switched to films in 1908. By 1910 he was directing Biograph shorts. A cofounder of Keystone, he made his name with slapstick comedy and later added his skills to romances. The "King of Comedy" received a special Oscar in 1937.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.