For a decade Wallace Reid was the most recognized face in Hollywood, the most universally beloved actor in silent film. Today all that is widely remembered of "Wally" Reid is that he died in a padded sanitarium cell, the victim of a fatal morphine addiction. Of all the actors who have enjoyed great fame only to vanish from the public eye, Reid perhaps fell the fastest and hardest. This first full biography recounts Reid's complicated childhood, his disrupted family history and his rise to film stardom despite these restricting factors. It documents his myriad talents and accomplishments, most notably his gift for brilliant onscreen acting. The text explores in depth how the modern studio, however unconsciously, turned the popular star, a well-adjusted man with a loving family, into a drug-dependent mental patient within three years. His death rocked the foundations of Hollywood, and the huge new industry that he helped build nearly died with "Dashing Wally Reid."