Phillip G. Sleeman
Gaunt, pockmarked Philip Sleeman gained a reputation as one of the better character villains menacing poor Dorothy Davenport Reid in the anti-drug "epic" Human Wreckage (1923). Onscreen in America from the early 1920s, Sleeman appeared in every genre, including Westerns, and was downright frightening as the killer "Palo, the Scorpion" in Bob Custer's The Border Whirlwind. In the sound era, Sleeman's British accent disqualified him for Westerns and he instead appeared as decadent European aristocrats, such as Count Lestoq in The Scarlet Empress (1934). Had he been given the chance (which he never was), Sleeman could have offered more famous screen bogeymen like Boris Karloff, C. Henry Gordon, or Lionel Atwill a run for their money.