Lon Chaney

Lon Chaney

  • Highest Rated: 100% Of Mice and Men (1939)
  • Lowest Rated: 13% Not as a Stranger (Morton Thompson's Not as a Stranger) (1955)
  • Birthday: Invalid date
  • Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
  • Even after 65 years, the phrase "Man of a Thousand Faces" brings to mind only one name: Lon Chaney Sr. The son of deaf-mute parents, he learned at an early age to rely on pantomime as a communication skill. The stagestruck Chaney worked in a variety of backstage positions at the opera house in his hometown of Colorado Springs; he was eventually allowed to appear on stage, and, before his 17th birthday, was on tour with a play he'd co-written with his brother. Sensitive about his youth and plain features, Chaney hid behind elaborate makeup when appearing on-stage. Forced into single parenthood after divorcing his first wife Cleva Creighton (the mother of his son Creighton, Lon Chaney Jr.), Chaney had to find a more steady source of income than the theater. He began picking up extra work at Universal Studios in 1912, making himself valuable -- and ultimately indispensable -- with his expertise with character makeup. He rose from featured player to star at Universal between 1913 and 1920, sometimes doubling as director and scriptwriter. Chaney's breakthrough film was 1919's The Miracle Man, in which he played a phony cripple. It was the first of many films in which he underwent severe physical discomfort to achieve a convincing screen effect; in The Penalty (1920), for example, he not only bound his legs to play a double amputee, but also contrived to jump from great heights and land on his knees. As Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), Chaney wore a rubber hump weighing as much as 70 pounds, and the film made him a bona fide star. After Universal's Phantom of the Opera (1925), the actor moved to MGM, where he starred in several highly successful Grand Guignol horror films directed by Tod Browning. Some of Chaney's best work during this period was actually done without makeup, in such bread-and-butter vehicles as Tell It to the Marines (1926) and The Big City (1928). Offscreen, he was a loner, preferring to live far from Hollywood with his son and second wife. When sound pictures took hold in 1929, Chaney initially refused to participate, concerned that he'd have to come up with a different voice for each performance; he finally acquiesced with 1930s The Unholy Three (a remake of his 1925 silent film success), in which he not only utilized four different vocal characterizations but also proved to be a superior performer in his natural voice.), but a growth in his throat developed into bronchial cancer. He died in 1930 at the age of 47; in his last days, his illness rendered him unable to speak, forcing him to rely on the pantomimic gestures of his youth in order to communicate with his friends and loved ones.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet Suspense Actor 2013
No Score Yet The Grasp Of Greed Actor 2012
No Score Yet Vox Lumiere: The Hunchback Of Notre Dame Actor 2007
No Score Yet Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces Actor 2000
No Score Yet Lon Chaney: Behind the Mask Actor 1995
71% The Haunted Palace Actor 1963
83% The Defiant Ones Actor 1958
No Score Yet The Indian Fighter Actor 1955
13% Not as a Stranger (Morton Thompson's Not as a Stranger) Actor 1955
No Score Yet Casanova's Big Night Actor 1954
No Score Yet Springfield Rifle Actor 1952
96% High Noon Actor 1952
No Score Yet The Bushwackers Actor 1952
88% Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Actor 1948
71% My Favorite Brunette Actor 1947
56% House of Dracula Actor 1945
60% Son of Dracula Actor 1943
94% The Wolf Man Actor 1941
100% Of Mice and Men Actor 1939
No Score Yet The Three Musketeers Actor 1933
No Score Yet The Unholy Three Prof. Echo 1930
No Score Yet Where East Is East Tiger 1929
No Score Yet West of Zanzibar Phroso 'Dead-Legs' 1928
No Score Yet Laugh, Clown, Laugh Tito Beppi 1928
No Score Yet London After Midnight Edmund Burke 1927
No Score Yet Mockery Sergei 1927
100% The Unknown Alonzo 1927
No Score Yet Mister Wu Mr. Wu/Wu's Grandfather 1927
No Score Yet Tell It to the Marines Sgt. O'Hara 1926
No Score Yet The Black Bird The Black Bird/The Bishop 1926
91% Phantom Of The Opera The Phantom 1925
83% The Unholy Three Prof. Echo/Granny O'Grady 1925
No Score Yet The Monster Dr. Ziska 1925
No Score Yet Phantom of the Opera - Switchblade Symphony Actor 1925
No Score Yet He Who Gets Slapped Paul Beaumont 1924
91% The Hunchback of Notre Dame Quasimodo 1923
No Score Yet The Shock Wilse Dilling 1923
No Score Yet Oliver Twist Fagin 1922
No Score Yet The Light In The Dark Actor 1922
No Score Yet Flesh and Blood David Webster 1922
No Score Yet The Trap Gaspard Screenwriter 1922
No Score Yet Shadows Yen Sin, "The Heathen" 1922
No Score Yet A Blind Bargain The Ape Man/Dr. Arthur Lamb 1922
No Score Yet The Ace of Hearts Farralone 1921
No Score Yet Outside the Law Black Mike Sylva / Ah Wing 1920
80% The Penalty Blizzard 1920
No Score Yet Nomads of the North Raoul Challoner 1920
No Score Yet Victory Ricardo 1919
No Score Yet The Wicked Darling Stoop Connors 1919
No Score Yet False Faces Karl Eckstrom 1919
80% The Miracle Man The Frog 1919
No Score Yet The Scarlet Car Paul Revere Forbes 1917
No Score Yet When the Gods Played a Badger Game, (The Girl Who Couldn't Go Wrong ) Actor 1915
No Score Yet By the Sun's Rays Frank Lawler 1914
No Score Yet Her Grave Mistake Nunez 1914

QUOTES FROM Lon Chaney CHARACTERS

The Phantom
[after having drowned Raoul's brother] The callers have departed.
The Phantom
The callers have departed.
The Phantom
[at the Bal Masque as "The Red Death"] Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men! Thus does The Red Death rebuke your merriment!
The Phantom
Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men! Thus does The Red Death rebuke your merriment!
Christine Daae
You... You are the Phantom!
Christine Daae
You. You are the Phantom!
The Phantom
If I am the Phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so... If I shall be saved, it will be because your love redeems me.
The Phantom
If I am the Phantom, it is because man's hatred has made me so. If I shall be saved, it will be because your love redeems me.
The Phantom
She is singing to bring down the chandelier!
The Phantom
Feast your eyes! Glut your soul on my accursed ugliness!