Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lon Chaney Jr.


In 1906 Creighton Chaney arrived in the world nearly stillborn after a difficult delivery. His father, Lon Chaney, revived him by plunging him into the frigid waters of Belle Isle Lake. Young Chaney later made his debut at the age of six months as a prop in his father’s stage act.
Chaney worked as a stunt man and extra under his given name. When he realized studios were more receptive to him as the son of Lon Chaney, he used the name Lon Chaney Jr. professionally. As the Wolf Man, Chaney Jr.’s transformation was an arduous four-hour process while the gradual changes in his make-up were made and filmed. The removal of the layers of yak hair and make-up took a painful 45 minutes.
Though Chaney Jr.’s character perishes at the end of The Wolf Man, the popularity of the character caused Universal to resurrect the werewolf to live again in four more movies. With a career that spanned nearly four decades and included more than 150 film credits, Chaney Jr. was the only actor to portray, the Wolf Man, Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and the Mummy.

4 comments:

  1. Lovely to learn detail of the guy behind the fur. Great blog. I hope I can find some time asap to return and read more. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Hi Arlene,I believe the performances of these actors helped horror become an enduring genre.  Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Lon Chaney Jr was also a good dramatic actor but his horror role eclipse his other roles. he won great acclaim for the part of Lennie in "Of Mice and Men. In fact, that and the Wolfman are the two roles for which he's remembered. I particularly liked him as the Mohican Chingachook in the 1939 movie"Last of the Mohicans." This was a very good blog.

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  4. Hi Toni,

    Glad you've enjoyed the post. I've had fun researching and writing about these actors.

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