George A. Billings


George A. Billings Famous memorial

Preston, Fillmore County, Minnesota, USA
Death 15 Apr 1934 (aged 63)
Sawtelle, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Section 68, Row G, Site 1
Memorial ID 3689625 View Source

Actor. He will be best remembered for his portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln on stage, at live appearances, and in films of the 1920s. He was born one of eleven children (he also had two brothers and eight sisters) as George Arthur Billings to Henry Orville Billings and his wife Amanda Melvina Warr Billings in Preston, Minnesota, on November 22, 1870. He was educated locally, lived in Preston, Minnesota, until the age of eight and then moved with his parents to the west where his father worked as a wagon repairman. He then decided to serve his country and enlisted in Devil's Lake, North Dakota, and was mustered in San Francisco, California, to serve with the US Volunteers, Thirty-Fourth Infantry Artificer, during the Spanish-American War, in 1899. He then moved to Tacoma, Washington, and lived here from 1907 to 1908. He worked for a time in the building and loan business while living in that city. He then served his country once again with the rank of Private First Class (or PFC) in the United States Army during World War I. During this time, he had lived in Los Angeles, California, and eventually moved back to Tacoma, Washington, to live with his brother Orville in 1919, before moving back to Los Angeles, California, in about 1921, where he pursued a film career. He married Ethel R. Kernan in Los Angeles, California, on June 27, 1921, but the couple had no children. He made his film debut as 'President Abraham Lincoln' in "The Dramatic Life Of Abraham Lincoln" in 1924. The biography drama focuses on President Abraham Lincoln's presidency, his life during the Civil War, and events leading up to his assassination by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865. The film which was directed by Phil Rosen and written by Frances Marion also starred Ruth Clifford as 'Ann Rutledge,' Danny Hoy as 'Lincoln as a boy,' and William F. Moran as 'John Wilkes Booth.' He was cast as 'President Abraham Lincoln' due to his actual close likeness of the late president. He never had any actual acting experience before he was cast in the film. Besides, "The Dramatic Life Of Abraham Lincoln" (1934), his other film credits include, "Barbara Frietchie" (1924), "The Man Without A Country" (1925), "Hands Up!" (1926), "The Greater Glory" (1926), and "Lincoln" (1929). He also toured and appeared on stage in the mid-western United States playing 'President Abraham Lincoln' in a two-man play with a young actor named Henry Fonda in 1927. The play was very successful at first but Henry Fonda later quit due to his Billings prodigious drinking. He and his wife also lived in Columbus, Ohio, in 1925, and in Jefferson, Ohio, in 1930, but later returned to Los Angeles, California. He continued to portray President Abraham Lincoln until his death. He passed away at the National Military Home in Sawtelle, California, on April 15, 1934, at the age of 63, from a lung abscess relating to pneumonia and emphysema. He was buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Sawtelle, California. He ironically passed away on the same day of the 59th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. His wife Ethel survived him passing away on April 20, 1964, at the age of 73.

Bio by: Kris 'Peterborough K' Peterson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 3 Mar 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3689625
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George A. Billings (22 Nov 1870–15 Apr 1934), Find a Grave Memorial ID 3689625, citing Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .