Lon Chaney Jr

Highest Rated: 100% Cobra Woman (1944)
Birthday: Feb 10, 1906
Birthplace: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
The son of actors Lon Chaney and Cleva Creighton, Creighton Tull Chaney was raised in an atmosphere of Spartan strictness by his father. He refused to allow Creighton to enter show business, wanting his son to prepare for a more "practical" profession; so young Chaney trained to be plumber, and worked a variety of relatively menial jobs despite his father's fame. After Lon Sr. died in 1930, Creighton entered movies with an RKO contract, but nothing much happened until, by his own recollection, he was "starved" into changing his name to Lon Chaney Jr. He would spend the rest of his life competing with his father's reputation as The Man With a Thousand Faces, hoping against hope to someday top Lon Sr. professionally. Unfortunately, he would have little opportunity to do this in the poverty-row quickie films that were his lot in the '30s, nor was his tenure (1937-1940) as a 20th Century Fox contract player artistically satisfying. Hoping to convince producers that he was a fine actor in his own right, Chaney appeared as the mentally retarded giant Lennie in a Los Angeles stage production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. This led to his being cast as Lennie in the 1939 film version -- which turned out to be a mixed blessing. His reviews were excellent, but the character typed him in the eyes of many, forcing him to play variations of it for the next 30 years (which was most amusingly in the 1947 Bob Hope comedy My Favorite Brunette). In 1939, Chaney was signed by Universal Pictures, for which his father had once appeared in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925); Universal was launching a new cycle of horror films, and hoped to cash in on the Chaney name. Billing Lon Jr. as "the screen's master character actor," Universal cast him as Dynamo Dan the Electric Man in Man Made Monster (1941), a role originally intended for Boris Karloff. That same year, Chaney starred as the unfortunate lycanthrope Lawrence Talbot in The Wolf Man, the highlight of which was a transformation sequence deliberately evoking memories of his father's makeup expertise. (Unfortunately, union rules were such than Lon Jr. was not permitted to apply his own makeup). Universal would recast Chaney as the Wolf Man in four subsequent films, and cast him as the Frankenstein Monster in The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) and the title role in Son of Dracula (1943). Chaney also headlined two B-horror series, one based upon radio's Inner Sanctum anthology, and the other a spin-off from the 1932 film The Mummy. Chaney occasionally got a worthwhile role in the '50s, notably in the films of producer/director Stanley Kramer (High Noon, Not As a Stranger, and especially The Defiant Ones), and he co-starred in the popular TV series Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans. For the most part, however, the actor's last two decades as a performer were distinguished by a steady stream of cheap, threadbare horror films, reaching a nadir with such fare as Hillbillies in a Haunted House (1967). In the late '60s, Chaney fell victim to the same throat cancer that had killed his father, although publicly he tried to pass this affliction off as an acute case of laryngitis. Unable to speak at all in his last few months, he still grimly sought out film roles, ending his lengthy film career with Dracula vs. Frankenstein(1971). He died in 1973.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Heroes of Horror Actor 2001
No Score Yet Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces Actor 2000
No Score Yet Gallery of Horrors Dr. Mendell 1992
38% Into the Night Wolfman 1985
0% Dracula vs. Frankenstein Groton 1971
92% Spider Baby Bruno 1968
No Score Yet Welcome to Hard Times (Killer on a Horse) Avery 1967
No Score Yet Hillbillys in a Haunted House Maximillian 1967
No Score Yet Gallery of Horrors [Spark Of Life] 1967
No Score Yet Apache Uprising Charlie Russell 1966
No Score Yet Johnny Reno Sheriff Hodges 1966
No Score Yet Face of the Screaming Werewolf Mummy/Werewolf 1965
No Score Yet House of the Black Death Belial De Sade 1965
No Score Yet Law of the Lawless Tiny 1964
No Score Yet Witchcraft Morgan Whitlock 1964
71% The Haunted Palace Simon Orne 1963
No Score Yet The Devil's Messenger Actor 1961
No Score Yet La Casa del Terror (House of Terror) Mummy/Werewolf 1960
No Score Yet The Alligator People Mannon 1959
30% Night of the Ghouls Actor 1959
No Score Yet Money, Women and Guns Art Birdwell 1958
81% The Defiant Ones Big Sam 1958
No Score Yet The Cyclops Martin Melville 1957
No Score Yet Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer Blackfish (as Lon Chaney) 1956
No Score Yet Pardners Whitey 1956
No Score Yet The Black Sleep Dr. Munroe/Mungo 1956
No Score Yet Indestructible Man The Butcher/Charles Benton 1956
No Score Yet Manfish 'Swede' 1956
No Score Yet The Indian Fighter Chivington 1955
13% Not as a Stranger (Morton Thompson's Not as a Stranger) Job Marsh 1955
No Score Yet Big House, U.S.A. Leonard M. Alamo Smith 1955
No Score Yet I Died a Thousand Times Big Mac 1955
No Score Yet Casanova's Big Night Emo 1954
No Score Yet Passion Castro 1954
No Score Yet A Lion Is in the Streets Spurge 1953
No Score Yet The Black Castle Gargon 1952
No Score Yet The Battles of Chief Pontiac Chief Pontiac 1952
No Score Yet Springfield Rifle Elm 1952
96% High Noon Howe 1952
No Score Yet The Bushwhackers Actor 1952
No Score Yet Behave Yourself Pinky 1951
No Score Yet Bride of the Gorilla Police Commissioner Taro 1951
No Score Yet Only the Valiant Trooper Kebussyan 1951
No Score Yet Inside straight Shocker 1951
No Score Yet Flame of Araby Borka 1951
88% Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Lawrence Talbot/The Wolf Man 1948
No Score Yet 16 Fathoms Deep Dimitri 1948
No Score Yet Albuquerque Steve Murkill 1948
71% My Favorite Brunette Willie 1947
No Score Yet Desert Command Actor 1946
No Score Yet Pillow of Death Wayne Fletcher 1945
56% House of Dracula Lawrence Stewart Talbot/The Wolf Man 1945
No Score Yet The Frozen Ghost Alex Gregor / Gregor The Great 1945
No Score Yet Here Come the Co-eds Johnson 1945
No Score Yet Dead Man's Eyes David 'Dave' Stuart 1944
33% The Mummy's Ghost Kharis 1944
100% Cobra Woman Hava 1944
No Score Yet Weird Woman Prof. Norman Reed 1944
55% House of Frankenstein Lawrence Talbot 1944
40% The Mummy's Curse Kharis 1944
No Score Yet Follow the Boys Himself 1944
No Score Yet Calling Dr. Death Dr. Mark Steel 1943
60% Son of Dracula Count Alucard 1943
No Score Yet Crazy House Cameo appearance 1943
25% Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man The Wolf Man/Lawrence Talbot 1943
75% Ghost of Frankenstein The Monster 1942
29% The Mummy's Tomb Kharis 1942
No Score Yet Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror Gavin 1942
94% The Wolf Man Larry Talbot 1941
No Score Yet Badlands of Dakota Jack McCall 1941
No Score Yet San Antonio Rose Jigsaw Kennedy 1941
No Score Yet Billy the Kid Spike Hudson 1941
No Score Yet Man-Made Monster Dan McCormick 1941
No Score Yet One Million B.C. Akhoba 1940
100% Of Mice and Men Lennie 1939
No Score Yet Frontier Marshal Pringle 1939
No Score Yet Union Pacific Dollarhide 1939
No Score Yet Jesse James James Gang Member 1939
No Score Yet Mr. Moto's Gamble Joey 1938
No Score Yet Happy Landing Reporter 1938
No Score Yet Cheyenne Rides Again Girard 1938
No Score Yet Second Honeymoon Reporter 1937
No Score Yet Charlie Chan on Broadway Desk man 1937
No Score Yet Thin Ice American Reporter 1937
No Score Yet The Old Corral Garland 1936
No Score Yet Ace Drummond Actor 1936
No Score Yet Undersea Kingdom '''Captain Hakur''' 1936
No Score Yet The Cowboy Creed Actor 1936
No Score Yet The Singing Cowboy Martin 1936
No Score Yet Captain Hurricane Actor 1935
No Score Yet Shadow of Silk Lennox Silk Lennox 1935
No Score Yet The Three Musketeers Armand Corday 1933
No Score Yet The Last Frontier Tom Kirby 1932
No Score Yet Bird of Paradise Thornton 1932
91% Phantom Of The Opera Actor Director 1925
91% The Hunchback of Notre Dame Actor 1923
No Score Yet The Phantom Actor

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet The Monkees
1966-1968
Lenny
  • 1966
No Score Yet Rawhide
1959-1965
Rock
  • 1963
  • 1959

QUOTES FROM Lon Chaney Jr CHARACTERS