William Surrey Hart (December 6, 1864 – June 23, 1946) was an American silent film actor, screenwriter, director and producer.
Hart was born in Newburgh, New York; to James Howard Hart (1829-1902) and Katherine Diédricht Hart (1833-1909). William had 2 brothers and 4 sisters. His father was of Irish ancestry, and his mother was of German heritage. In his twenties, Hart began his acting career on stage and would not consider acting in movies until he was 49 years of age.
A successful Shakespearean actor on Broadway who had worked with Margaret Mather and other stars, he appeared in the original 1899 stage production of Ben-Hur.