Nelson McDowell (August 14, 1870 – November 3, 1947) was an American actor. He appeared in 176 films between 1917 and 1945. He was born in Greenville, Missouri and died in Hollywood, California after he shot himself. Prior to embarking on a theatrical career, McDowell had a career in dentistry. In 1901, he was appointed professor of orthodontics at the University of Illinois.