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Subject: ARCHIVE: February 25, 1927 ~Here is the little-known story of very early Hollywood figure writer/director LYNN REYNOLDS, whose young life ended violently during a Hollywood cocktail gathering. ...

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Date Posted: Thursday, February 25, 01:10:54pm

Lynn Fairfield Reynolds
(May 7, 1889 February 25, 1927)

Early Hollywood motion-picture director and writer. A former Iowa newspaper reporter, he began acting in films in 1914 but found work behind the camera more congenial. Between 1915 and 1926 Reynolds wrote and directed 80 films, most of them westerns; his biggest hit was the classic "Riders of the Purple Sage" (1925), starring Tom Mix. In 1921, he married actress Kathleen O'Connor (1894-1957. At the beginning of February 1927 Reynolds started production on "Back To God's Country," an Alaskan adventure tale starring Renee Adoree. He took the cast and crew to the Sierras, near the California-Nevada border, for what was expected to be a three-day location shoot, but a sudden blizzard left them snowbound for nearly three weeks.

The weary filmmakers came home on February 24. That night, at a cocktail party celebrating Reynolds' return, O'Connor accused her husband of an indiscretion with Adoree. Reynolds flew into a rage, beat O'Connor savagely, and threatened her with a .38 pistol. One witness claimed Reynolds actually tried to kill his wife, but the gun misfired. Then he shot himself through the head. He died the following morning at a local hospital. Reynolds' suicide caused a minor scandal in Hollywood because of its unusual circumstances and the fact that Adoree, a well-known star, was indirectly involved. "Back To God's Country" was completed by director Irvin Willat, who was given sole credit. The last film that Reynolds finished, "The Silent Rider," was witheld from release until 1928. Reynolds modest stone gravemarker is located along the lake at Hollywood Memorial Cemtery (now Forever Cemetery). ...

Reynolds was survived by a son Lynn Jr., from his first marriage to Louise Lawlor (1888-1954). Lynn Jr died
in 2003, at age 86, both mother and son buried at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery in Santa Monica, CA.

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