Tom Santschi (Paul William Santschi)
Photos with Tom Santschi
American leading man and character actor of the silent period. Born in Crystal City, Missouri(though a number of popular reference works list Switzerland and Kokomo, Indiana). He is listed in the 1880 census as living in Kokomo at the age of two years. This means his date of birth must have been 1878. His father, Paul Santschi was born in Sigriswill, Switzerland and came to the U.S. as a child. Tom Santschi promoted the myth that he was born in Switzerland since it seemed much more exciting than being born in Crystal City or Kokomo. Read more... made his professional stage debut at age 19, and worked for the next decade in the theatre. He landed a small role in a film produced by Selig Polyscope, and over the next few years rose from bit player to leading man. He directed and wrote a few of his films. Following the First World War, he became more frequently seen in supporting roles, often as villains. He worked consistently until his death in 1931.