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Birth date of Lon Chaney, Sr., horror film legend

By @ 04/01/11 in April

chaneysrApril 1, 1883

Lon Chaney was born in Colorado to deaf mute parents. To communicate with them, he relied on pantomime and facial expressions. As natural performers, he and his brother produced their own play and toured it throughout the West. While traveling, Lon had a son, Lon Chaney, Jr., another early film legend. The Chaneys settled in Los Angeles, where Lon, Sr. worked as a choreographer and actor. After his marriage and theater career disintegrated, he turned to the silver screen. Beginning in 1913, Lon enjoyed a prolific Hollywood career, playing a variety of horrifying and imaginative characters. While he debuted in The Miracle Man playing a cripple, he adopted legendary roles like Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Erik, the title character in The Phantom of the Opera. As “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” Lon was renowned for his ghastly facial expressions, ability to contort his body, and the groundbreaking makeup he sported. He was reluctant to embrace the new technology of sound movies, or “talkies,” however, and made only one shortly before his death in 1930.

How do you think Lon’s childhood helped his silent film career?