Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy, but left the Navy to become one of the top Hollywood stars of the 1920s. Bancroft's first starring role was in Pony Express (1925), and the next year he headed a cast including Wallace Beery and Charles Farrell in the period naval epic Old Ironsides (1926), then went from historical pictures to the gritty world of the underground in such films as Underworld (1927) and The Docks of New York (1928). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1929 for Thunderbolt. Those who knew him, such as Budd Schulberg, said that he developed an inflated ego. Reportedly he refused to fall down on set after a prop revolver was fired at him, saying "Just one bullet can't stop Bancroft!"
Los Angeles Middle School: