Cecil B. DeMille Talks About…
Wallace Reid, one of the outstanding stars of his time, was first brought to DeMille’s attention in D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915).
“He [Reid] played the part of blacksmith in the picture, and I was very impressed with the marvelous fight he put up. He was probably on the screen not more than seventy-five feet, but his magnificent physical strength and appearance was striking.
“However, Wally wasn’t very much of an actor in those days. He was stiff and rather wooden, and it was difficult to make him unbend. I sent for him and we had a chat. He was very much a kid, but I put him under contract fro a small amount, something like $60 or $75 a week. I gave him important leads to do and later public opinion made a star out of him.
“The first thing he did for me was with Geraldine Farrar in Maria Rosa (1916), then with Farrar in Carmen (1915), and later with the same star in Joan the Woman (1917). Then I decided to allow him to carry a picture, without starring in it, and I called the picture The Golden Chance (1915). Cleo Ridgely played opposite him in it, and it proved indeed to be Wally’s golden chance. It was a big success and Wally was a very big success in it.”
— Cecil B. DeMille
NOTE: I think DeMille had some problems with his chronology
The preceding is taken from an interview that DeMille gave the Los Angeles Times on August 21, 1932.