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Leonidas Frank "Lon" Chaney (April 1, 1883 – August 26, 1930) was an American stage and film actor, make-up artist, director and screenwriter. He is regarded as one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema, renowned for his characterizations of tortured, often grotesque and afflicted characters, and his groundbreaking artistry with makeup. Chaney was known for his starring roles in such silent horror films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925). His ability to transform himself using makeup techniques he developed earned him the nickname "The Man of a Thousand Faces".
Chaney during the production of
The Miracle Man, 1919
Leonidas Frank Chaney
April 1, 1883
|Died||August 26, 1930 (aged 47)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, Los Angeles County, California|
|Other names||Lon Chaney Sr. |
The Man of a Thousand Faces
Frances Cleveland Creighton
(m. 1905; div. 1913)
Hazel Bennett Hastings (m. 1915)
|Children||Lon Chaney Jr. (born Creighton Tull Chaney)|
Leonidas Frank Chaney was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Frank H. Chaney (1852–1927) and Emma Alice Kennedy. His father was of English and French ancestry, and his mother was of Scottish, English, and Irish descent. Chaney's maternal grandfather, Jonathan Ralston Kennedy, founded the "Colorado School for the Education of Mutes" (now, Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind) in 1874, and Chaney's parents met there. His great-grandfather was congressman John Chaney. Both of Chaney's parents were deaf, and as a child of deaf adults Chaney became skilled in pantomime. He entered a stage career in 1902, and began traveling with popular Vaudeville and theater acts. In 1905, Chaney, then 22, met and married 16-year-old singer Cleva Creighton (Frances Cleveland Creighton) and in 1906, their only child, a son, Creighton Tull Chaney (later known as Lon Chaney Jr.) was born. The Chaneys continued touring, settling in California in 1910.
Marital troubles developed and on April 30, 1913, Cleva went to the Majestic Theater in downtown Los Angeles, where Lon was managing the "Kolb and Dill" show, and attempted suicide by swallowing mercuric chloride. The suicide attempt failed but it ruined her singing career as a result; the ensuing scandal and divorce forced Chaney out of the theater and into film.
The time spent there is not clearly known, but between the years 1912 and 1917, Chaney worked under contract for Universal Studios doing bit or character parts. His skill with makeup gained him many parts in the highly competitive casting atmosphere. During this time, Chaney befriended the husband-wife director team of Joe De Grasse and Ida May Park, who gave him substantial roles in their pictures, and further encouraged him to play macabre characters.
Chaney married one of his former colleagues in the Kolb and Dill company, a chorus girl named Hazel Hastings. Little is known of Hazel, except that her marriage to Chaney was solid. Upon marrying, the new couple gained custody of Chaney's 10-year-old son Creighton, who had resided in various homes and boarding schools since Chaney's divorce from Cleva in 1913.
By 1917 Chaney was a prominent actor in the studio, but his salary did not reflect this status. When Chaney asked for a raise, studio executive William Sistrom replied, "You'll never be worth more than one hundred dollars a week." After leaving the studio, Chaney struggled for the first year as a character actor. It was not until he played a substantial role in William S. Hart's picture Riddle Gawne (1918) that Chaney's talents as a character actor were truly recognized by the industry.
Universal presented Chaney, Dorothy Phillips, and William Stowell as a team in The Piper's Price (1917). In succeeding films, the men alternated playing lover, villain, or other man to the beautiful Phillips. They would occasionally be joined by Claire DuBrey nearly making the trio a quartet of recurring actors from film to film. So successful were the films starring this group that Universal produced fourteen films from 1917 to 1919 with Chaney, Stowell, and Phillips. The films were usually directed by Joe De Grasse or his wife Ida May Park, both friends of Chaney's at Universal. When Chaney was away branching out on films such as Riddle Gawne and The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin (both 1918), Stowell and Phillips would continue on as a duo until Chaney's return. Stowell and Phillips made The Heart of Humanity (also 1918), bringing in Erich von Stroheim for a part as the villain that could easily have been played by Chaney. Paid in Advance (1919) was the group's last film together, for the chiseled featured Stowell was sent to Africa by Universal to scout locations for a movie. En route from one city to another, Stowell was in the caboose when it was hit by the locomotive from another train; he was killed instantly. The majority of these films are lost but a few, including Triumph and Paid in Advance survive in private collections or unrestored in European or Russian archives.[Note 1]
Chaney had a breakthrough performance as "The Frog" in George Loane Tucker's The Miracle Man (1919). The film displayed not only Chaney's acting ability, but also his talent as a master of makeup. Critical praise and a gross of over $2 million put Chaney on the map as America's foremost character actor.
Chaney exhibited great adaptability with makeup in more conventional crime and adventure films, such as The Penalty (1920), in which he played a gangster with both legs amputated. Chaney appeared in 10 films directed by Tod Browning, often portraying disguised and/or mutilated characters, including carnival knife-thrower Alonzo the Armless in The Unknown (1927) opposite Joan Crawford. Around the same time, Chaney also co-starred with Conrad Nagel, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall and Polly Moran in the Tod Browning horror film London After Midnight (1927), one of the most sought after lost films. His final film role was a sound remake of his silent classic The Unholy Three (1930), his only "talkie" and the only film in which Chaney utilized his powerful and versatile voice. Chaney signed a sworn statement declaring that five of the key voices in the film (the ventriloquist, the old woman, a parrot, the dummy and the girl) were his own.
Makeup in the early days of cinema was almost non-existent with the exception of beards and moustaches to denote villains. Most of what the Hollywood studios knew about film stemmed from their experience with theater make-up, but this did not always transfer well to the big screen, especially as the film quality increased over time. It is also worth noting that make-up departments were not yet in place during Chaney's time. Prior to the mid-20s, actors were expected to do their own make-up. In absence of specialized make-up artist professions, Chaney's make-up artistry skills gave him a competitive advantage over other actors. He was the complete package. Casting crews knew that they could place him in virtually any part and he would thrive. In some films his skill allowed him to play dual roles. An extreme case of this was the film Outside the Law (1920), where he played a character that shot and killed another character, whom he also was playing.
As Quasimodo, the bell ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, and Erik, the "phantom" of the Paris Opera House, Chaney created two of the most grotesquely deformed characters in film history. However, the portrayals sought to elicit a degree of sympathy and pathos among viewers not overwhelmingly terrified or repulsed by the monstrous disfigurements of these victims of fate.
In a 1925 autobiographical article for Movie magazine, Chaney wrote: "I wanted to remind people that the lowest types of humanity may have within them the capacity for supreme self-sacrifice. The dwarfed, misshapen beggar of the streets may have the noblest ideals. Most of my roles since The Hunchback, such as The Phantom of the Opera, He Who Gets Slapped, The Unholy Three, etc., have carried the theme of self-sacrifice or renunciation. These are the stories which I wish to do." Chaney referred to his expertise in both make-up and contorting his body to portray his subjects as "extraordinary characterization." Chaney's talents extended beyond the horror genre and stage makeup. He was also a highly skilled dancer, singer and comedian.
Ray Bradbury once said of Chaney, "He was someone who acted out our psyches. He somehow got into the shadows inside our bodies; he was able to nail down some of our secret fears and put them on-screen. The history of Lon Chaney is the history of unrequited loves. He brings that part of you out into the open, because you fear that you are not loved, you fear that you never will be loved, you fear there is some part of you that's grotesque, that the world will turn away from."
Chaney and his second wife Hazel led a discreet private life distant from the Hollywood social scene. Chaney did minimal promotional work for his films and for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, purposefully fostering a mysterious image, and he reportedly intentionally avoided the social scene in Hollywood.
In the final five years of his film career (1925–1930), Chaney worked exclusively under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, giving some of his most memorable performances. His portrayal of a tough-as-nails marine drill instructor in Tell It to the Marines (1926), one of his favorite films, earned him the affection of the Marine Corps, who made him their first honorary member from the motion picture industry. He also earned the respect and admiration of numerous aspiring actors, to whom he offered mentoring assistance, and between takes on film sets he was always willing to share his professional observations with the cast and crew. During the filming of The Unknown (1927), Joan Crawford stated that she learned more about acting from watching Chaney work than from anyone else in her career. "It was then," she said, "I became aware for the first time of the difference between standing in front of a camera, and acting."
During the filming of Thunder in the winter of 1929, Chaney developed pneumonia. In late 1929 he was diagnosed with bronchial lung cancer. This was exacerbated when artificial snow, made out of cornflakes, lodged in his throat during filming and quickly created a serious infection. Despite aggressive treatment, his condition gradually worsened, and seven weeks after the release of the remake of The Unholy Three, he died of a throat hemorrhage on Tuesday, August 26, 1930, in Los Angeles, California.[Note 2] His funeral was held on August 28 in Glendale, California. Honorary pallbearers included Paul Bern, Hunt Stromberg, Irving Thalberg, Louis B. Mayer, Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Tod Browning, Lew Cody, and Ramon Novarro. The U.S. Marine Corps provided a chaplain and Honor Guard for his funeral. While his funeral was being conducted, all film studios and every office at MGM observed two minutes of silence in his honor.
Chaney was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, next to the crypt of his father. His wife Hazel was interred there upon her death in 1933. For unknown reasons, Chaney's crypt has remained unmarked.
In 1957, Chaney was the subject of a biopic titled Man of a Thousand Faces, in which he was portrayed by James Cagney. The film is a largely fictionalized account, as Chaney was notoriously private and hated the Hollywood lifestyle. He never revealed personal details about himself or his family, once stating, "Between pictures, there is no Lon Chaney."
Chaney's son Creighton, who later changed his name to Lon Chaney Jr., became a film actor after his father's death. Chaney Jr. is best remembered for roles in horror films, such as the title character in The Wolf Man (1941). In October 1997, both Chaneys appeared on commemorative US postage stamps as the Phantom of the Opera and the Wolf Man, with the set completed by Bela Lugosi as Dracula and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster and the Mummy.
In 1929, Lon Chaney built a stone cabin in the remote wilderness of the eastern Sierra Nevada, near Big Pine, California, as a retreat. The cabin (designed by architect Paul Williams) still stands, and is preserved by the Inyo National Forest Service. Following his death, Chaney's famous makeup case was donated to the Los Angeles County Museum by his widow, Hazel. The case is occasionally displayed for the public. The stage theater at the Colorado Springs Civic Auditorium is also named after the actor.
Approximately 100 of the 157 films made by Lon Chaney are currently classified as lost films.
|1912||The Honor of the Family||Unconfirmed/disputed|
|1913||The Ways of Fate||Unconfirmed/disputed|
|1913||Poor Jake's Demise||The Dude|
|1913||The Sea Urchin||Barnacle Bill||Lost film|
|1913||The Blood Red Tape of Charity||Marx, a Gentleman Thief||Lost film|
|1913||Shon the Piper||Clansman||Unconfirmed/disputed|
|1913||The Trap||Lon||Lost film|
|1913||The Restless Spirit||The Russian Count||Uncredited|
|1913||Almost an Actress||Cameraman||Lost film|
|1913||An Elephant on His Hands||Eddie's Uncle||Lost film|
|1913||Back to Life||The Rival||Lost film|
|1913||Red Margaret, Moonshiner||Lon||Alternative title: Moonshine Blood|
|1913||Bloodhounds of the North||Mountie Lieutenant||Lost film|
|1914||The Lie||Young MacGregor||Lost film|
|1914||The Honor of the Mounted||Jacques Laquox||Lost film|
|1914||Remember Mary Magdalen||The Half-Wit||Lost film|
|1914||Discord and Harmony||Lon - the Sculptor||Lost film|
|1914||The Menace to Carlotta||Giovanni Bartholdi||Writer|
Alternative title: Carlotta, the Bead Stringer
|1914||The Embezzler||J. Roger Dixon||Lost film|
|1914||The Lamb, the Woman, the Wolf||The Wolf||Lost film|
|1914||The End of the Feud||Wood Dawson||Lost film|
|1914||The Forbidden Room||John Morris||Lost film|
|1914||The Tragedy of Whispering Creek||The Greaser||Writer|
Alternative title: The Mystery of Whispering Creek
|1914||The Unlawful Trade||The Cross Blood||Lost film|
Alternative title: Heartstrings
|1914||The Old Cobbler||Wild Bill||Lost film|
|1914||The Hopes of Blind Alley||The Vendor||Lost film|
|1914||A Ranch Romance||Raphael Praz||Lost film|
|1914||Her Grave Mistake||Nunez||Lost film|
|1914||By the Sun's Rays||Frank Lawler - the Clerk|
|1914||The Trey o' Hearts||One of Judith's Henchmen||Uncredited|
|1914||The Oubliette||Chevalier Bertrand de la Payne||Alternative title: The Adventures of François Villon #1: The Oubliette|
|1914||A Miner's Romance||John Burns||Lost film|
|1914||Her Bounty||Fred Howard||Lost film|
|1914||The Higher Law||Sir Stephen Fitz Allen||Alternative title: The Adventures of François Villon #2: The Higher Law|
|1914||The Pipes o' Pan||Arthur Darrell||Lost film|
|1914||Virtue Is Its Own Reward||Duncan Bronson||Lost film|
|1914||Her Life's Story||Don Valesquez||Lost film|
|1914||Lights and Shadows||Bentley||Lost film|
|1914||The Lion, the Lamb, the Man||Fred Brown - the Lion||Alternative title: Woman Finds Love in Untarnished Manhood|
|1914||A Night of Thrills||The Visitor||Lost film|
|1914||Her Escape||Pete Walsh - Pauline's Brother||Writer|
|1915||The Sin of Olga Brandt||Stephen Leslie||Lost film|
|1915||The Star of the Sea||Tomasco||Lost film|
|1915||A Small Town Girl||The Procurer||Lost film|
|1915||The Measure of a Man||Lt. Jim Stuart|
|1915||The Threads of Fate||The Count||Lost film|
|1915||When the Gods Played a Badger Game||Joe - the Property Man||Lost film|
|1915||Such Is Life||Tod Wilkes||Lost film|
|1915||Where the Forest Ends||Paul Rouchelle||Lost film|
|1915||Outside the Gates||Perez||Lost film|
|1915||All for Peggy||Seth Baldwin||Lost film|
|1915||The Desert Breed||Fred||Lost film|
|1915||Maid of the Mist||Lin - Pauline's Father||Lost film|
|1915||The Grind||Jerry||Lost film|
|1915||The Girl of the Night||Alternative titles: What's in a Theory, Her Chance|
|1915||The Stool Pigeon||Director|
|1915||An Idyll of the Hills||Lafe Jameson||Lost film|
|1915||The Stronger Mind||The Crook's Pal||Lost film|
|1915||The Oyster Dredger||Writer, director|
|1915||Steady Company||Jimmy Ford||Lost film|
|1915||The Violin Maker||Pedro - the Violin Maker||Director|
|1915||The Trust||Jim Mason||Director|
Alternative title: The Truce
|1915||Bound on the Wheel||Tom Coulahan||Lost film|
|1915||Mountain Justice||Jeffrey Kirke||Lost film|
|1915||The Chimney's Secret||Charles Harding||Writer, director|
|1915||The Pine's Revenge||Black Scotty||Lost film|
|1915||The Fascination of the Fleur de Lis||Duke of Safoulrug|
|1915||Alas and Alack||The Fisherman and Hunchback Fate|
|1915||A Mother's Atonement||Ben Morrison|
|1915||Lon of Lone Mountain||Lon Moore||Lost film|
|1915||The Millionaire Paupers||Martin - the Landlord|
|1915||Under a Shadow||DeSerris||Lost film|
|1915||Father and the Boys||Tuck Bartholomew||Lost film|
|1915||Stronger Than Death||Attorney||Lost film|
|1916||Dolly's Scoop||Dan Fisher|
|1916||The Grip of Jealousy||Silas Lacey|
|1916||Felix on the Job||Tod|
|1917||The Mask of Love||Marino|
|1914||Damon and Pythias||Unconfirmed|
|1916||The Grip of Jealousy||Silas Lacey||Lost film|
|1916||Tangled Hearts||John Hammond||A few minutes of footage exist of this film.|
|1916||The Gilded Spider||Giovanni||Lost film|
|1916||Bobbie of the Ballet||Hook Hoover||Lost film|
|1916||The Grasp of Greed||Jimmie|
|1916||The Mark of Cain||Dick Temple||Lost film|
|1916||If My Country Should Call||Dr. George Ardrath|
|1916||The Place Beyond the Winds||Jerry Jo|
|1916||The Price of Silence||Edmond Stafford|
|1917||The Piper's Price||Billy Kilmartin||Lost film|
|1917||Hell Morgan's Girl||Sleter Noble||Lost film|
|1917||The Girl in the Checkered Coat||Hector Maitland||Lost film|
|1917||The Flashlight||Henry Norton/Porter Brixton||Lost film|
|1917||A Doll's House||Nils Krogstad||Lost film|
|1917||Fires of Rebellion||Russell Hanlon||Lost film|
|1917||The Rescue||Thomas Holland||Lost film|
|1917||Pay Me!||Joe Lawson||Lost film|
|1917||The Empty Gun||Frank||Lost film|
|1917||Anything Once||Waught Moore||Lost film|
|1917||The Scarlet Car||Paul Revere Forbes|
|1918||The Grand Passion||Paul Argos||Lost film|
|1918||Broadway Love||Elmer Watkins|
|1918||The Kaiser, the Beast of Berlin||Bethmann-Hollweg||Lost film|
|1918||Fast Company||Dan McCarty||Lost film|
|1918||A Broadway Scandal||"Kink" Colby||Lost film|
|1918||Riddle Gawne||Hame Bozzam|
|1918||That Devil, Bateese||Louis Courteau||Lost film|
|1918||The Talk of the Town||Jack Langhorne||Lost film|
|1918||Danger, Go Slow||Bud||Lost film|
|1919||The False Faces||Karl Eckstrom|
|1919||The Wicked Darling||Stoop Connors|
|1919||A Man's Country||"Three Card" Duncan|
|1919||The Miracle Man||The Frog|
|1919||Paid in Advance||Bateese Le Blanc|
|1919||When Bearcat Went Dry||Kindard Powers|
|1920||Daredevil Jack||Royce Rivers|
|1920||Treasure Island||Blind Pew/Merry||Lost film|
|1920||The Gift Supreme||Merney Stagg|
|1920||Nomads of the North||Raoul Challoner|
|1920||Outside the Law||Black Mike Sylva/Ah Wing|
|1921||For Those We Love||Trix Ulner||Lost film|
|1921||Bits of Life||Chin Chow||Lost film|
|1921||The Ace of Hearts||Farallone|
|1922||Voices of the City||O'Rourke||Released in 1921 as The Night Rose, censored and renamed|
|1922||The Trap||Gaspard the Good||Writer|
|1922||Flesh and Blood||David Webster|
|1922||The Light in the Dark||Tony Pantelli|
|1922||Shadows||Yen Sin, the Heathen|
|1922||Quincy Adams Sawyer||Obadiah Strout||Lost film|
|1922||A Blind Bargain||Dr. Arthur Lamb/The Ape Man||Alternative title: The Octave of Claudius|
|1923||All the Brothers Were Valiant||Mark Shore||Lost film|
|1923||While Paris Sleeps||Henri Santodos||Lost film|
|1923||The Shock||Wilse Dilling|
|1923||The Hunchback of Notre Dame||Quasimodo||Makeup artist (uncredited)|
|1924||The Next Corner||Juan Serafin||Lost film|
|1924||He Who Gets Slapped||Paul Beaumont/HE|
|1925||The Monster||Dr. Ziska|
|1925||The Phantom of the Opera||The Phantom||Director, makeup artist (uncredited)|
|1925||The Unholy Three||Echo, the Ventriloquist|
|1925||The Tower of Lies||Jan||Lost film|
|1926||The Blackbird||The Blackbird/The Bishop||Alternative title: The Black Bird|
|1926||The Road to Mandalay||Singapore Joe|
|1926||Tell It to the Marines||Sergeant O'Hara|
|1927||Mr. Wu||Mr. Wu/Wu's Grandfather|
|1927||London After Midnight||Professor Edward C. Burke||Makeup artist (uncredited)|
|1928||The Big City||Chuck Collins||Lost film|
|1928||Laugh, Clown, Laugh||Tito|
|1928||While the City Sleeps||Dan Coghlan|
|1928||West of Zanzibar||Phroso|
|1929||Where East is East||Tiger Haynes|
|1929||Thunder||Grumpy Anderson||Mostly a lost film; a half reel survives|
|1930||The Unholy Three||Echo||Also makeup artist (uncredited)|
The Man of a Thousand FacesEdit
"Hypnotist" in London After Midnight (1927)
- In a scene from Triumph (1917), biographer Daniel Blum described the scene as: "... Phillips has hand on Chaney's head embracing him while Stowell reads paperwork on desk."
- The New York Times reported: "Lon Chaney dies after brave fight. On road to recovery, screen actor is stricken by hemorrhage of the throat. Was a master of makeup. Son of deaf and dumb Parents, He began career as property boy. Excelled in vivid personations. Acted as Pike's Peak guide. Made stage debut at 17. Appeared in slap-stick comedy. Wore straitjacket as "Hunchback." New disguise for each film. Although he was believed to be on the road to recovery, Lon Chaney, screen actor, who had been making a valiant fight against anemia and bronchial congestion, died at 12:55."
- "Obituary: Lon Chaney." The New York Times, August 27, 1930. Retrieved: July 21, 2007.
- Blackmar 1912, pp. 496–498.
- Mysteries and Scandals - Lon Chaney (Season 3, Episode 34). E!. 2000.
- "Mrs. Lon Chaney dies. Before her husband entered the movies she was well known In Vaudeville." The New York Times, November 1, 1933. Retrieved: July 21, 2007.
- Internet Movie Database, IMDb.com ; film listings on Lon Chaney, William Stowell, Dorothy Phillips & Claire Dubrey
- 'Blum 1953, p. 141
- Vogel 2010, p. 146.
- Herzogenrath 2008, p. 79.
- Anderson, R. G. (1971). Faces, Forms, Films; the Artistry of Lon Chaney (pp. 1-216). Cranbury, NJ: A. S. Barnes and Co., Inc.
- Lussier, Tim. "The Phantom of the Opera (1925)." Silents are Golden, 2000. Retrieved: May 10, 2016.
- Dick 1997, pp. 52-55.
- Fleming 2009, p. 167.
- LaSalle 2000, p. 120.
- Schickel and Hurlburt 1962, p. 133,
- "Funeral Service For Lon Chaney." The Telegraph, August 28, 1930, p. 5. Retrieved: January 26, 2015.
- Riley 1993, p. 54.
- Slide 2010, p. 217.
- Smith 2004, pp. 9, 12.
- Guiley 2004, p. 63.
- Carr, Richard. "Movie monsters kick off National Stamp-collecting Month." sun-sentinel.com, October 5, 1997. Retrieved: January 26, 2015.
- French, Phillip. "The Phantom of the Opera." theguardian.com, January 4, 2014. Retrieved: January 26, 2015.
- "Lon Chaney." latimes.com. Retrieved: January 26, 2015.
- Blake 1997, p. 290.
- "Quits (1915)." silentera.com. Retrieved: January 26, 2015.
- Anderson, Robert Gordon. Faces, Forms, Films: The Artistry of Lon Chaney. South Brunswick, New Jersey: A. S. Barnes, 1971. ISBN 978-0-4980-7726-5.
- Blackmar, Frank W., ed. Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, etc.. Chicago : Standard Publishing Company, 1912.
- Blake, Michael F. The Films of Lon Chaney. Vestal, New York: Vestal Press, 1998. ISBN 978-1-5683-3237-6.
- Blake, Michael F. A Thousand Faces: Lon Chaney's Unique Artistry in Motion Pictures. Vestal, New York: Vestal Press, 1997. ISBN 978-1-8795-1121-7.
- Blum, Daniel. Pictorial History of the Silent Screen. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1953. ISBN 978-0-4480-1477-7.
- Dick, Bernard F. City of Dreams: The Making and Remaking of Universal Pictures. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, 1997. ISBN 978-0-8131-2016-4.
- Fleming, E.J. Paul Bern: The Life and Famous Death of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Director and Husband of Harlow. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7864-3963-8.
- Guiley, Rosemary. The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8160-4684-3.
- Herzogenrath, Bernd, ed. The Cinema of Tod Browning: Essays of the Macabre and Grotesque. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2008. ISBN 978-0-7864-3447-3.
- LaSalle, Mick. Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-3122-8431-2,
- Riley, Philip J. MagicImage Filmbooks Presents The Wolf Man. Chesterfield, New Jersey: MagicImage Filmbooks, 1993. ISBN 978-1-8821-2721-4.
- Schikel, Richard and Allen Hurlburt. The Stars. New York: Bonanza Books, a division of Crown Publishers, 1962. ISBN 978-0-5170-3771-3.
- Slide, Anthony. Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8131-2249-6.
- Smith, Don G. Lon Chaney Jr.: Horror Film Star, 1906–1973. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2004. ISBN 978-0-7864-1813-8.
- Vogel, Michelle. Olive Borden: The Life and Films of Hollywood's 'Joy Girl'. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7864-4795-4.