(aka "The Man of a Thousand Faces")
April 1, 1883 - August 26, 1930
Born Leonidas Chaney in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Father of Lon Chaney Jr.
See Lon Chaney's Internet Movie Database Filmography
Visit the Official Chaney Web Site
Go to the Lon Chaney Home Page maintained by Jon C. Mirsalis
Browse the Lon Chaney Galleries at David B. Pearson's Silent Ladies & Gents site
See all Lon Chaney products for sale at Amazon.com
A Lot of Favorite Memories of Lon Chaney
- As "The Frog," a fake cripple "healed" by a phony faith healer in The Miracle Man (1919) — sadly, this scene is almost all that survives of the film.
- As legless, vengeful "Blizzard" in The Penalty (1920).
- As gangster "Black Mike Sylva" and Chinaman "Ah Wing" in the tough crime drama Outside the Law (1920), directed by Tod Browning.
- As "Mr. Farallone," an anarchist assassin suffering from unrequited love in The Ace of Hearts (1921.
- As Dickens' sympathetic scoundrel "Fagin," teaching street wisdom and petty theft to Jackie Coogan's Oliver Twist (1922).
- As good-hearted "Yen Sin, The Heathen," a lesson in tolerance and decency in Shadows (1922).
- As "Dr. Arthur Lamb" and his experimental "Ape Man" in A Blind Bargain (1922), a lost film (so far).
- As the grotesque but magnificent "Quasimodo" in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), with Patsy Ruth Miller as Esmeralda.
- As "Paul Beaumont," aka "HE," a ruined inventor who becomes a famous circus clown in He Who Gets Slapped (1924).
- As the archetypal mad scientist "Dr. Ziska" in the comedy thriller The Monster (1925).
- As sideshow ventriloquist "Professor Echo," masquerading as "Mrs.O'Grady" to commit robberies in the silent version of
The Unholy Three (1925). Directed by Tod Browning, with Victor McLaglen and Harry Earles as his criminal accomplices.
- As the hideously disfigured, musically gifted, and love-smitten "Erik," The Phantom of the Opera (1925), with Mary Philbin as Christine.
- As "Singapore Joe" in The Road to Mandalay (1926), directed by Tod Browning.
- As "Sgt. O'Hara," the toughest leatherneck NCO ever, in Tell It to the Marines (1926). Eat your hearts out, Duke and Clint.
- As unsympathetic "Mr. Mandarin Wu" and his ancient grandfather in Mr. Wu (1927).
- As "Alonzo the Armless," an apparently armless circus knife thrower (with his feet!), cut to the quick by unrequited love for
Joan Crawford in The Unknown (1927), directed by Tod Browning.
- As "Professor Edward C. Burke" and a great looking vampire in London After Midnight (1927) — still a lost film, but recently "restored" with
music and still photos.
- As "Tito Beppi," aka "Flik" the circus clown, in Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928), with Loretta Young.
- As stage magician "Phroso," crippled by the man who steals his wife, and as "Dead Legs," the hateful creature Phroso becomes,
stewing in a jungle hell, plotting his vengeance in West of Zanzibar (1928), directed by Tod Browning, featuring Lionel Barrymore, Mary Nolan and Warner Baxter.
- As scarfaced "Tiger Haynes," an animal trapper in China in Where East Is East (1929), directed by Tod Browning, with Lupe Velez as Lon's
- As "Grumpy Anderson," a dedicated old railroad engineer in his last (and sadly, mostly lost) silent film, Thunder (1929).
- Reprising "Professor Echo," and "Mrs.O'Grady" for the sound version of The Unholy Three (1930), his only talkie.
Directed by Jack Conway, with Ivan Linow and Harry Earles as his strongman and midget cronies.
Lon gets to show off vocal talents worthy of his "Man of A Thousand Faces" reputation; too bad he didn't get a chance to do more,
but as Echo says, "That's all there is to Life, just a little laugh, a little tear."
- As the father and inspirator of Creighton Chaney, aka Lon Chaney Jr., a fine character actor and a favorite of genre fans.
Go Back to BOOS WHO Classic Horror Players Directory List
Last revised August 20, 2005 by George "E-gor" Chastain.
Maintained by George "E-gor" Chastain