Person Male Born 7/9/1855 Died 5/5/1921
Photographer, inventor and pioneer of cinematography. Born Bristol as William Edward Green. Married the Swiss Helena Friese in 1874 and added her name to his. (It's not clear where the extra "e" came from.) One of the first to work (mainly in Brighton) on the idea of moving images, he lodged various patents but none of his methods worked well enough to keep him out of the bankruptcy courts nor for the world to credit him as the inventor of cinema.
Died at a cinema industry meeting in the Connaught Rooms and buried at Highgate Cemetery with a grave monument by Lutyens (unexpectedly traditionally Gothic in style), on which he is described as "the inventor of kinematography". The Gaumont Graphic newsreel (available on the British Pathe website) captured Friese-Greene’s funeral procession arriving at the cemetery, the coffin topped by a full size mock-up of a film projector pointing at a screen on which are the words, picked out in flowers, “The End”.
In 1951 a biopic, The Magic Box, directed by John Boulting, was produced for the Festival of Britain.