Actor. He starred in D. W. Griffith's "The Musketeers of Pig Alley" (1912), cited by many film experts as the first gangster flick. Playing The Snapper Kid, a Manhattan street tough engaged in a turf war on the Lower East Side, Booth interpreted the gangster as a cocky, enterprising antihero, far different from the standard teeth-gnashing movie bad guys of the time. His groundbreaking performance created a new character type and paved the way for all the Cagneys, Bogarts, and Robinsons who later shot their way across the screen. William Elmer Booth was born in Los Angeles, and began acting in touring stock companies as a teenager. From 1910 he appeared in 40 films, including Griffith's "An Unseen Enemy" (1912) and "The Battle at Elderbush Gulch" (1913), and the early feature "Mrs. Black Is Back" (1914). His death at 32 in a car crash ended a career of great potential. Griffith, who planned to give Booth an important role in "Intolerance", delivered the actor's graveside eulogy. He was the brother of famous film editor Margaret Booth.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards