Del Lord (October 7, 1894 – March 23, 1970) was a Canadian film director and actor best known as a director of Three Stooges films.
Delmer Lord was born in the small town of Grimsby, Ontario, Canada. Interested in the theatre, he traveled to New York City then when fellow Canadian, Mack Sennett offered him a job at his new Keystone Studios, Lord went on to work in Hollywood, California. There, he played the driver of the Keystone Cops police van, appearing in numerous of the successful films.
Given a chance to direct, Del Lord was responsible for a number of very successful comedies for Keystone and directed two feature films for Universal Pictures. However, the Great Depression devastated the film industry and Sennett was forced to close his studio in 1933. Work was scarce and Del Lord had to take a job selling used cars until a friend at Columbia Pictures offered him work.
From 1935 to 1945, Lord directed some of Columbia's fastest and funniest two-reelers and is credited with developing the unique comic style of the Three Stooges. In addition to more than three dozen Stooges films, on which he collaborated first with Jules White and then Hugh McCollum, over his career he directed or produced more than 200 motion pictures. Del Lord was promoted to feature films in 1944 (he was replaced as a Stooge director by Edward Bernds). Curiously, Lord's Columbia features are action melodramas rather than slapstick comedies.
Lord worked briefly for Monogram Pictures in 1946, and returned to Columbia in 1948. In 1952, he directed Buster Keaton in an industrial featurette, A Paradise for Buster. Del Lord can be seen in an episode of TV's This Is Your Life, honoring Lord's old boss Mack Sennett.
Del Lord died on March 23, 1970 in Calabasas, California and is interred in the Olivewood Memorial Park, in Riverside, California.
A rock band of the 1980s, the Del Lords, was named after him.