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A film pioneer and one of the first recognizable film stars. Anderson appeared in Edwin S. Porter's ground-breaking 1903 thirteen-minute short, "The Great Train Robbery." He later co-founded Essanay, where he starred in, wrote and directed over 375 Westerns in the enormously popular "Broncho Billy" series. After selling his interest in the company and taking an unsuccessful stab at producing for and investing in the legitimate theater, Anderson attempted a comeback only to find he had been supplanted in popularity by new cowboy actor William S. Hart.
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