The Man of a Thousand Faces

By | Aug 26, 2009

Lon Chaney was called ‘The Man of a Thousand Faces, because of his diverse roles and his use of makeup and the art of pantomime in silent films. He is most known for his horror silent films The Hunchback of Norte Dame and The Phantom of the Opera.

The silent film actor, was born on April 1 in 1883 to deaf mute parents, Frank and Emma Chaney.

Chaney, between 1913 and 1930, would play more than 150 roles. He appeared in the movies in widely diverse roles. Frequently they were as the villain and some were just bizarre.

It’s thought that Chaney would not have had a successful career in Talking Pictures. He along with Charlie Chaplin was against the new form and he only made one talking picture, The Unholy Three a ‘talkie’ remake of his 1925 film of the same name.

Chaney was diagnosed with bronchial lung cancer after he developed pneumonia in 1929. He died shortly later on August 26, 1930 at the age of 47.

Chaney’s son, Creighton Tull Chaney, would also have a career in the movies. He at first used his real name then the name Lon Chaney Jr and then later as simply Lon Chaney, as a marketing ploy.


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