Remembering Lon Chaney on the anniversary of his birth, April 1, 1883.
Chaney and his famous make-up box.
A personal hero of mine, both artistically and professionally.
Lon Chaney, pre-Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, was a staunch unionist, proud of his membership in the Theatrical Stage Employees union in the early 20th Century. After his star rose, and he could develop large projects that propelled him to even greater stardom (in roles like Quasimodo and The Phantom for Universal Pictures) he continued to look-out for his fellow actors. Like James Cagney in a later generation, he would often end a work day with a lot of actors on the call sheet before all was shot, knowing full-well they'd get to be employed one more day, or more.
Chaney passed away, of throat cancer, on August 26th, 1930. At the height of stardom with MGM, he was only 47-years-old.
-Mark Redfield, April 1, 2012