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Lon Chaney (1883 - 1930)

Films: The Unknown (1927) - Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Related: actor - horror films - American cinema

Phantom of the opera - The title character as depicted by Lon Chaney, Sr. in the 1925 film depiction, the most famous adaptation prior to the musical version.


Lon Chaney, Sr. (April 1, 1883 - August 26, 1930) was an American actor.

Born to deaf parents in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Leonidas Frank Chaney, skilled in pantomime, made his silent movie debut in 1912 and is chiefly remembered as a forerunner in such horror films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. His ability to transform himself without sophisticated make-up techniques earned him the nickname of "Man of a Thousand Faces".

In the 1957 biography Man of a Thousand Faces, James Cagney portrayed Chaney.

His son, Lon Chaney, Jr., was also known for his acting in horror movies. This earned both of them a mention in Warren Zevon's popular song, Werewolves of London.

The cause of death was lung cancer, and he was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, California.

Lon Chaney has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1994, he was honored with his image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lon_Chaney%2C_Sr. [Feb 2005]

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