Lon Chaney Jr.

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Lon Chaney Jr.
Lon Chaney Jr. in Indestructible Man.jpg
Chaney Jr. in Indestructible Man (1956)
Born
Creighton Tull Chaney

(1906-02-10)February 10, 1906
DiedJuly 12, 1973(1973-07-12) (aged 67)
OccupationActor
Years active1931–1971
Spouse(s)
Dorothy Hinckley
(m. 1928;div. 1937)

Patsy Beck
(m. 1937)
Children2
Parent
Website lonchaney.com/lon-chaney-jr/

Creighton Tull Chaney (February 10, 1906 – July 12, 1973), known by his stage name Lon Chaney Jr., was an American actor known for playing Larry Talbot in the film The Wolf Man (1941) and its various crossovers, Count Alucard (Dracula spelled backward) in Son of Dracula , Frankenstein's monster in The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), the Mummy in three pictures, and various other roles in many Universal horror films, making him a horror icon. [1] He also portrayed Lennie Small in Of Mice and Men (1939) and supporting parts in dozens of mainstream movies, including High Noon (1952), and The Defiant Ones (1958).

Contents

Originally referred to in films as Creighton Chaney, he was later credited as "Lon Chaney, Jr." in 1935, and after Man Made Monster (1941), beginning as early as The Wolf Man later that same year, he was almost always billed under the name of his immensely more famous father, the deceased cinema giant Lon Chaney, at the studio's insistence. Chaney had English, French, and Irish ancestry, and his career in movies and television spanned four decades, from 1931 to 1971.

Early life

Lon Chaney, Creighton's father Lon Chaney, Sr. The Miracle Man.jpg
Lon Chaney, Creighton's father

Creighton Tull Chaney was born on February 10, 1906, in Oklahoma City, the son of then-stage performer Lon Chaney and Frances Cleveland Creighton, a singing stage performer who traveled in road shows across the country with Chaney. In a 1965 interview, Lon Chaney Jr revealed that he was a stillborn baby. "I was all black and not breathing when I was born," he shared. "My father ran out of the house with me and broke a hole in the ice in a nearby lake, and dunked me in time after time until he revived me". [2] His parents' troubled marriage ended in divorce in 1913 following his mother's scandalous public suicide attempt in Los Angeles. Young Creighton lived in various homes and boarding schools until 1916, when his father (now employed in the film industry) married Hazel Hastings and could provide a stable home.

From an early age, he worked hard to avoid his famous father's shadow. In young adulthood, his father discouraged him from show business, and he attended business college and became successful in a Los Angeles appliance corporation. Creighton, who had begun working for a plumbing company, married Dorothy Hinckley, the daughter of his employer Ralph Hinckley. They had two sons: Lon Ralph Chaney and Ronald Creighton Chaney.

Creighton's life changed when his father was diagnosed with throat cancer and died on August 26, 1930, at the age of 47. Many articles and biographies over the years report that Creighton was led to believe his mother had died while he was a boy, and he only learned that she was still alive after his father's death. Creighton always maintained he had a tough childhood.

Career

As Creighton Chaney

Gigi Parrish and Chaney in Girl o' My Dreams (1934) Gigi Parrish and Lon Chaney Jr., in Girl o' My Dreams (1934).jpg
Gigi Parrish and Chaney in Girl o' My Dreams (1934)

It was only after his father's death that Chaney began to act in films, billed by his own name. He began with an uncredited bit part in the serial The Galloping Ghost (1931) and signed a contract with RKO who gave him small roles in a number of films, including Girl Crazy (1932), The Roadhouse Murder (1932), Bird of Paradise (1932), and The Most Dangerous Game (1932).

RKO gave him the starring role in a serial, The Last Frontier (1932). He got bigger film roles in Lucky Devils (1933), Son of the Border (1933), Scarlet River (1933), The Life of Vergie Winters (1934). Over at Mascot Pictures he supported John Wayne in a serial, The Three Musketeers (1933), which was later re-edited into a film entitled Desert Command (1946).

"I did every possible bit in pictures" said Chaney later. "Had to do stuntwork to live. I bulldogged steers, fell off and got knocked off cliffs, rode horses off precipices into rivers, drove prairie schooners up and down hills." [3]

He had the lead in the independent film Sixteen Fathoms Deep (1934), and a memorable part in which his character sings in Girl o' My Dreams (1934) at Monogram. The last film he made as Creighton Chaney was The Marriage Bargain (1935) for Screencraft Productions. After this point he was billed as Lon Chaney, Jr. until 1942, when he was usually billed, at the insistence of Universal Studios, with his iconic father's name, although the "Jr." was usually added by others to distinguish the two.

As Lon Chaney Jr.

He had the lead in A Scream in the Night (1935) made for Commodore Pictures, a crime thriller. [4] He played small roles at Paramount: Hold 'Em Yale (1935), Accent on Youth (1935) and Rose Bowl (1936). A small outfit, Ray Kirkwood Productions, gave him a lead, The Shadow of Silk Lennox (1935).

At Republic he featured alongside Gene Autry in The Singing Cowboy (1936) and The Old Corral (1937). He was a henchman in a serial for Republic, Undersea Kingdom (1936). Universal got him to play a henchman in their serial, Ace Drummond (1937) and he was uncredited in Columbia's Killer at Large (1936). He lent his name to a cafe which was embroiled in a liquor scandal. [5]

Chaney Jr. was the main villain in a Tom Tyler B Western, Cheyenne Rides Again (1937) and was in a serial, Secret Agent X-9 (1937).

20th Century Fox

Chaney Jr. signed a contract at 20th Century Fox and appeared in Love Is News (1937) with Tyrone Power, Midnight Taxi (1937) with Brian Donlevy, That I May Live (1937), This Is My Affair (1937) with Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck, Angel's Holiday (1937), Born Reckless (1937) with Brian Donlevy, Wild and Woolly (1937) with Walter Brennan, The Lady Escapes (1937) with Gloria Stuart, Thin Ice (1937) with Tyrone Power, One Mile from Heaven (1937) with Claire Trevor, Charlie Chan on Broadway (1938), Life Begins in College (1937) with the Ritz Brothers, Wife, Doctor and Nurse (1937) with Loretta Young, Second Honeymoon (1937) with Tyrone Power and Loretta Young, Checkers (1937), Love and Hisses (1938) with Walter Winchell, City Girl (1938), Happy Landing (1938) with Ethel Merman, Sally, Irene and Mary (1938) with Fred Allen and Jimmy Durante, Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938) with Peter Lorre, Walking Down Broadway (1938) with Claire Trevor, Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938) with Tyrone Power, Josette (1938) with Don Ameche and Robert Young, Speed to Burn (1938) with Lynn Bari, Passport Husband (1938), Straight, Place and Show (1938) with the Ritz Brothers, John Ford's Submarine Patrol (1938) with Nancy Kelly, and Road Demon (1939). He was almost killed by a train while filming a bank robbery scene in Jesse James (1939). [6] Jesse James also coincidentally featured Henry Hull, the star of Werewolf of London (1935), in a supporting role.

Chaney Jr. later made Charlie Chan in City in Darkness (1939) with Lynn Bari and Frontier Marshal (1939) with Randolph Scott and Nancy Kelly.

Of Mice and Men (1939)

Chaney Jr's only stage appearance had been as Lennie Small in a production of Of Mice and Men with Wallace Ford. [7] He was cast in that role in the film Of Mice and Men (1939), which was produced by Hal Roach Studios. The film was Chaney Jr's first major role in a film and was a critical success for him. Chaney had a screen test for the role of Quasimodo for the remake of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), a role which his father played back in 1923, but the role went to Charles Laughton.

One Million B.C

Hal Roach used him in his third-billed character role in One Million B.C. (1940) as Victor Mature's caveman father, Chaney began to be viewed as a character actor in the mold of his father. He had in fact designed a swarthy, ape-like Neanderthal make-up on himself for the film, but production decisions and union rules prevented his following through on emulating his father in that fashion. Cecil B. DeMille used him in a supporting role in North West Mounted Police (1940) and MGM used him in Billy the Kid (1941) with Robert Taylor as Billy and Brian Donlevy as Pat Garrett. That studio considered putting Chaney Jr in a remake of his father's hit He Who Gets Slapped but decided not to make it. [8]

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures offered Chaney Jr the lead in Man-Made Monster (1941), a science-fiction horror thriller originally written with Boris Karloff in mind. Chaney's first horror film, it was successful enough for them to offer him a long-term contract.

Universal kept him in supporting roles for a while: a comedy Too Many Blondes (1941), a musical San Antonio Rose (1941) with Shemp Howard, a serial Riders of Death Valley (1941) featuring Noah Beery Jr., the Western Badlands of Dakota (1941) and the "Northern" North to the Klondike (1942) with Broderick Crawford.

Horror film star: The Wolf Man, The Mummy, Inner Sanctum

Chaney Jr. as The Wolf Man (1941) HorrorMonstersNo1Pg1Crop (black and white).png
Chaney Jr. as The Wolf Man (1941)
Evelyn Ankers in The Wolf Man TheWolfManLobbyCardCropped.png
Evelyn Ankers in The Wolf Man
Chaney Jr., Evelyn Ankers and Bela Lugosi in The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) The-ghost-of-frankenstein-lobby-card001.jpg
Chaney Jr., Evelyn Ankers and Bela Lugosi in The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
Patric Knowles, Chaney Jr. and Doris Lloyd in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) FrankensteinMeetsTheWolfManCrop.png
Patric Knowles, Chaney Jr. and Doris Lloyd in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
Chaney Jr. as the Mummy in The Mummy's Ghost (1944) MummysGhost1944Crop002.png
Chaney Jr. as the Mummy in The Mummy's Ghost (1944)

Chaney Jr. was then given the title role in The Wolf Man (1941) for Universal, a role which, much like Karloff's Frankenstein monster, would largely typecast Chaney as a horror film actor for the rest of his life. Universal dropped the "Jr." and billed him as "Lon Chaney" going forward within that studio, apparently to foster confusion with his father among audiences.

Chaney Jr. was now an official horror star, and Universal gave him the role of Frankenstein's monster in The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), the first B-movie of the series, when Boris Karloff decided not to play the part again; Bela Lugosi returned in his role as Ygor and the leading lady was Evelyn Ankers. He was in a crime film, Eyes of the Underworld (1942) and the wartime shorts Keeping Fit (1942) and What We Are Fighting For (1943).

Chaney Jr. played Kharis the Mummy in The Mummy's Tomb (1942), another hit. He was in a Western Frontier Badmen (1943), then reprised his role as the Wolf Man in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) with Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's monster. The film was originally filmed with the Monster being blind but also speaking in Lugosi's distinctive "Ygor" voice but the studio cut out all references to either so that audiences were left wondering why the Monster staggered around with his arms extended in front of him, not to mention why he had lost the ability to speak since Ghost of Frankenstein, grievously damaging Lugosi's reputation.

Chaney Jr. was given the role of Dracula in Son of Dracula (1943); the film was actually about Dracula himself, who had no son in the film. This made him the only actor to portray all four of Universal's major horror characters: the Wolf Man, Frankenstein's monster, the Mummy, and Count Dracula.

After a cameo in Crazy House (1943) he was given the lead in Calling Dr. Death (1943), based on the Inner Sanctum mysteries. It kicked off another series starring Chaney, the first of which was Weird Woman (1944).

He made a second mummy movie, The Mummy's Ghost (1944) and had a support part in Cobra Woman (1944), starring Maria Montez and Ghost Catcher (1944), with the comedy team Olsen and Johnson.

Dead Man's Eyes (1944) was the third Inner Sanctum, after which he was back as the Wolf Man in House of Frankenstein (1944). The Mummy's Curse (1944) was Chaney's third and final appearance as Kharis.

He played an antagonist in the Abbott and Costello comedy Here Come the Co-Eds (1945), then made more Inner Sanctums: The Frozen Ghost (1945) with Evelyn Ankers and Strange Confession (1945) with Brenda Joyce. He returned as the Wolf Man in House of Dracula (1945), one of the last of the Universal horror cycle. Pillow of Death (1945) was the last Inner Sanctum. The Daltons Ride Again (1945) was a Western featuring Noah Beery Jr. in a supporting role.

Leaving Universal

Despite being typecast as the Wolf Man, the 6-foot 2-inch, 220-pound actor managed to carve out a secondary niche as a supporting actor and villain.

He was in a Bob Hope comedy My Favorite Brunette (1947), supported Randolph Scott in Albuquerque (1948) and had a support in The Counterfeiters (1948) and played a villain in 16 Fathoms Deep (1948) for Monogram Pictures, a remake of his 1934 film.

He reprised his Wolf Man role to great effect in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) but it did not cause a notable boost to his career. In April 1948 Chaney was hospitalized after taking an overdose of sleeping pills. [9] He recovered and played Harry Brock in a Los Angeles theatre production of Born Yesterday in 1949. [10]

Chaney kept busy in support roles: Captain China (1950), Once a Thief (1950), Inside Straight (1951), Bride of the Gorilla (1951), Only the Valiant (1951), Behave Yourself! (1951), Flame of Araby (1952), The Bushwackers (1952), Thief of Damascus (1952), Battles of Chief Pontiac (1952) (in the title role), High Noon (1952), Springfield Rifle (1952), The Black Castle (1952) (a return to horror), Raiders of the Seven Seas (1953), A Lion Is in the Streets (1953) with James Cagney, The Boy from Oklahoma (1954), Casanova's Big Night (1954), Passion (1954), The Black Pirates (1954), Jivaro (1955), Big House, U.S.A. (1955), I Died a Thousand Times (1955), The Indian Fighter (1955), and The Black Sleep (1956)

He had a leading role in Indestructible Man (1956) then was back to support parts: Manfish (1956); a Martin and Lewis comedy, Pardners (1956); Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer (1957); The Cyclops (1957) and The Alligator People (1959).

Chaney established himself as a favorite of producer Stanley Kramer; in addition to playing a key supporting role in High Noon (1952) (starring Gary Cooper), he also appeared in Not as a Stranger (1955)—a hospital melodrama featuring Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra—and The Defiant Ones (1958, starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier). Kramer told the press at the time that whenever a script came in with a role too difficult for most actors in Hollywood, he called Chaney.

He became quite popular with baby boomers after Universal released its back catalog of horror films to television in 1957 ( Shock Theater ) and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine regularly focused on his films.

In 1957, Chaney went to Ontario, Canada, to costar in the first ever American-Canadian television production, as Chingachgook in Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans , suggested by James Fenimore Cooper's stories. The series ended after 39 episodes. Universal released their film biography of his father, Man of a Thousand Faces (1957), featuring a semi-fictionalized version of Creighton's life story from his birth up until his father's death. Roger Smith was cast as Creighton as a young adult.

He appeared in an episode of the western series Tombstone Territory titled "The Black Marshal from Deadwood" (1958), and appeared in numerous western series such as Rawhide . He also hosted the 13-episode television anthology series 13 Demon Street in 1959, which was created by Curt Siodmak.

Chaney Jr. in Money, Women and Guns (1958) Money, Women and Guns - 09 - Lon Chaney Jr.jpg
Chaney Jr. in Money, Women and Guns (1958)
Chaney Jr. in Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) Dracula vs. Frankenstein Chaney.jpg
Chaney Jr. in Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)

1960s

In the 1960s, Chaney specialised in horror films, such as House of Terror (1960), The Devil's Messenger (1961) and The Haunted Palace (1963), replacing Boris Karloff in the last of those for Roger Corman.

He was in a Western Law of the Lawless (1963) with Dale Robertson, Face of the Screaming Werewolf (1964), Witchcraft (1964), and Stage to Thunder Rock (1964).

He starred in Jack Hill's Spider Baby , which was made in 1964 but not released until 1968 and would not attain notoriety until after Chaney's death. [11] Then it was back to Westerns – Young Fury (1965), Black Spurs (1965), Town Tamer (1966), Johnny Reno (1967), Apache Uprising (1967), Welcome to Hard Times (1967) and Buckskin (1968). There was also horror, such as Dr. Terror's Gallery of Horrors (1967) and Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967).

His bread-and-butter work during this decade was television – where he made guest appearances on everything from Wagon Train to The Monkees – and in a string of supporting roles in low-budget Westerns produced by A. C. Lyles for Paramount. In 1962, Chaney gained a chance to briefly play Quasimodo in a simulacrum of his father's make-up, as well as return to his roles of the Mummy and the Wolf Man on the television series Route 66 with friends Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre (Karloff wore a quickie version of the Frankenstein monster make-up toward the end of the episode).

Final films

In later years, he suffered from throat cancer and chronic heart disease among other ailments after decades of heavy drinking and smoking. In his final horror film, Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971), directed by Al Adamson, he played Groton, Dr. Frankenstein's mute henchman. He filmed his part in the spring of 1969, and shortly thereafter performed his final film role, also for Adamson in 1969 in The Female Bunch . [12] Chaney had lines in The Female Bunch but his hoarse, raspy voice was virtually unrecognizable. Due to illness he retired from acting to concentrate on a book about the Chaney family legacy, A Century of Chaneys, which remains to date unpublished in any form. His grandson, Ron Chaney Jr, was working on completing this project. [13]

Personal life

Chaney was married twice. He had two sons by his first wife, Dorothy, Lon Ralph Chaney (July 3, 1928 – May 5, 1992) and Ronald Creighton Chaney (March 18, 1930 – December 15, 1987). Dorothy divorced him in 1936 for drinking too much and being "sullen". [14] He married Patsy Beck in 1937.

Chaney was well liked by some co-workers – "sweet" is the adjective that most commonly emerges from those who acted with, and liked him – yet he was capable of intense dislikes. For instance, he and frequent co-star Evelyn Ankers did not get along at all. He was also known to befriend younger actors and stand up for older ones whom he felt were belittled by the studios. One example was William Farnum, a major silent star who played a small role in The Mummy's Curse . According to co-star Peter Coe, Chaney demanded that Farnum be given his own chair on the set and be treated with respect, or else he would walk off the picture.[ citation needed ]

Chaney had run-ins with actor Frank Reicher (whom he nearly strangled on camera in The Mummy's Ghost ) and director Robert Siodmak (over whose head Chaney broke a vase). [15] Actor Robert Stack claimed in his 1980 autobiography that Chaney and drinking buddy Broderick Crawford were known as "the monsters" around the Universal Pictures lot because of their drunken behavior that frequently resulted in bloodshed. [16]

Honors

In 1999, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him. [17]

Death

Chaney suffered from a series of illnesses in the year prior to his death. In April 1973, he was released from the hospital after undergoing surgery for cataracts and treatment for beriberi. He also suffered from liver problems and gout. Chaney died on July 12, 1973, in San Clemente, California, at the age of 67. His cause of death was not immediately released to the public. [1] Chaney's death certificate listed his cause of death as cardiac failure due to arteriosclerotic heart disease and cardiomyopathy. [18]

He was honored by appearing as the Wolf Man on one of a 1997 series of United States postage stamps depicting movie monsters (his father appeared as the Phantom of the Opera, while Bela Lugosi appeared as Dracula, and Boris Karloff had two stamps as Frankenstein's monster and the original Mummy). His grandson Ron Chaney Jr. has appeared frequently as a guest at horror movie conventions. [19] [20]

Filmography

This is a list of known Lon Chaney Jr. theatrical films. Television appearances are listed separately.

YearFilmRoleDirectorNotes
1922 The Trap Hands of a Boy Robert Thornby uncredited
1931 The Galloping Ghost Henchman Benjamin H. Kline uncredited
1932 Bird of Paradise Thornton King Vidor
1932 The Last Frontier Tom Kirby, aka The Black Ghost Thomas Storey
1932 The Black Ghost Tom Kirby, alias 'The Black Ghost' Thomas Storey archive footage
1933 Lucky Devils Frankie Wilde Ralph Ince
1933 Scarlet River Jeff Todd Otto Brower
1933 The Three Musketeers Armand Corday [Chs. 1, 10]
1933 Son of the Border Jack Breen Lloyd Nosler
1934 Sixteen Fathoms Deep Joe Bethel Armand Schaefer
1934 The Life of Vergie Winters Hugo McQueen Alfred Santell
1934 Girl o' My Dreams Don Cooper Ray McCarey Chaney sings a song
1935 The Marriage Bargain Bob Gordon Albert Ray
1935 Captain Hurricane Dave Charles Kerr (assistant) uncredited
1935 Hold 'Em Yale Yale Football Player Sidney Lanfield uncredited
1935 Accent on Youth Chuck Wesley Ruggles
1935 The Shadow of Silk Lennox John Arthur 'Silk' Lennox Jack Nelson
1935 A Scream in the Night Jack Wilson / Butch Curtain Fred C. Newmeyer
1936 The Singing Cowboy Martin Mack V. Wright
1936 Undersea Kingdom Hakur Joseph Kane
1936 Ace Drummond Henchman Ivan Ford BeebeClifford Smith
1936 Killer at Large Second Coffin Man David Selman uncredited
1936 Rose Bowl Sierra Football Player Charles Barton uncredited
1936 The Old Corral Simms' Partner Joseph Kane
1937 Cheyenne Rides Again Girard Robert F. Hill
1937 Love Is News Newsman Tay Garnett uncredited
1937 Thin Ice American Reporter Sidney Lanfield uncredited
1937 Midnight Taxi Detective Erickson Eugene Forde
1937 Secret Agent X-9 Maroni Clifford Smith
1937 That I May Live Engineer Allan Dwan uncredited
1937 This Is My Affair Federal Agent in Baltimore Bank William A. Seiter uncredited
1937 Angel's Holiday Eddie James Tinling
1937 Slave Ship Laborer Killed at Launching Tay Garnett uncredited
1937 Born Reckless Garage Mechanic Gustav Machatý uncredited
1937 Wild and Woolly Dutch Alfred L. Werker
1937 The Lady Escapes Reporter Eugene Forde uncredited
1937 One Mile From Heaven Policeman at Woodman's Hall Allan Dwan uncredited
1937 Wife, Doctor and Nurse Chauffeur Scott Walter Lang
1937 Charlie Chan on Broadway Desk Reporter Eugene Forde uncredited
1937 Life Begins in College Gilks William A. Seiter
1937 Second Honeymoon Reporter Walter Lang uncredited
1937 Checkers Man at Racetrack H. Bruce Humberstone uncredited
1937 Love and Hisses Attendant Sidney Lanfield uncredited
1938 City Girl Gangster Alfred L. Werker uncredited
1938 Happy Landing Newspaper Reporter Roy Del Ruth uncredited
1938 Sally, Irene and Mary Policeman with Club Edmund Goulding uncredited
1938 Walking Down Broadway Delivery Man Norman Foster uncredited
1938 Mr. Moto's Gamble JoeyJames Tinling
1938 Alexander's Ragtime Band Photographer on Stage Henry King uncredited
1938 Josette Boatman Allan Dwan
1938 Speed to Burn Racetrack Mug Otto Brower
1938 Passport Husband Bull James Tinling
1938 Straight Place and Show Martin David Butler uncredited
1938 Submarine Patrol Marine Sentry John Ford uncredited
1938 Road Demon Bud Casey Otto Brower
1939 Jesse James One of James Gang Henry King
1939 Union Pacific Dollarhide Cecil B. DeMille
1939 Frontier Marshal Pringle Allan Dwan
1939 Charlie Chan in City in Darkness Pierre Herbert I. Leeds
1939 Of Mice and Men Lennie Small Lewis Milestone
1940 One Million B.C. Akhoba Hal Roach Jr.
1940 North West Mounted Police Shorty Cecil B. DeMille
1941 Man-Made Monster Dan McCormick George Waggner
1941 Too Many Blondes Marvin Gimble Thornton Freeland
1941 Billy the Kid 'Spike' Hudson David Miller
1941 San Antonio Rose Jigsaw Kennedy Charles Lamont
1941 Riders of Death Valley Henchman Butch Ray Taylor
1941 Badlands of Dakota Jack McCall Alfred E. Green
1941 The Wolf Man Larry Talbot - The Wolf Man George Waggner
1941 North to the Klondike Nate Carson
1942 The Ghost of Frankenstein The Monster Erle C. Kenton
1942 Overland Mail Jim Lane John Rawlins
1942 Eyes of the Underworld Benny Roy William Neill
1942 The Mummy's Tomb Kharis Harold Young
1942 Keeping Fit Factory Worker Arthur Lubin Short
1943 Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man Lawrence Talbot Roy William Neill
1943 What We Are Fighting For Bill WallaceShort
1943 Frontier Badmen Chango Ford Beebe
1943 Crazy House Himself Edward F. Cline uncredited
1943 Son of Dracula Count Alucard / Dracula Robert Siodmak
1943 Calling Dr. Death Doctor Mark Steele Reginald LeBorg
1944 Weird Woman Norman Reed Reginald Le Borg
1944 Follow the Boys Himself A. Edward Sutherland uncredited
1944 Cobra Woman Hava Robert Siodmak
1944 Ghost Catchers Bear Edward F. Cline
1944 The Mummy's Ghost Kharis Reginald Le Borg
1944 Dead Man's Eyes Dave Stuart Reginald Le Borg
1944 House of Frankenstein Larry Talbot Erle C. Kenton
1944 The Mummy's Curse Mummy Leslie Goodwins
1945 Here Come The Co-Eds Johnson Jean Yarbrough
1945 The Frozen Ghost Alex Gregor / Gregor the Great Harold Young
1945 Strange Confession Jeff John Hoffman
1945 The Daltons Ride Again Grat Dalton Ray Taylor
1945 House of Dracula Lawrence Talbot / The Wolf Man Erle C. Kenton
1945 Pillow of Death Wayne Fletcher Wallace Fox
1946 Desert Command Lt. Armand Cordayin footage from The Three Musketeers (1933 serial)
1947 Laguna U.S.A. Himselfuncredited
1947 My Favorite Brunette Willie Elliott Nugent
1948 Albuquerque Steve Murkill Ray Enright
1948 The Counterfeiters Louie Struber Sam Newfield
1948 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Lawrence Talbot Charles Barton
1948 16 Fathoms Deep Mr. Demitri Irving Allen
1950 There's a Girl in My Heart Johnny Colton Arthur Dreifuss
1950 Captain China Red Lynch Lewis R. Foster
1950 Once a Thief Gus W. Lee Wilder
1951 Inside Straight Shocker / Schockovitz Ninkovitch Gerald Mayer
1951 Only the Valiant Trooper Kebussyan Gordon Douglas
1951 Behave Yourself! Pinky George Beck
1951 The Bushwhackers Artemus Taylor Rod Amateau
1951 Bride of the Gorilla Police Commissioner Taro Curt Siodmak
1951 Flame of Araby Borka Barbarossa Charles Lamont
1952 Thief of Damascus Sinbad Will Jason
1952 High Noon Martin Howe Fred Zinnemann
1952 Springfield Rifle Pete Elm Andre DeToth
1952 The Black Castle Gargon Nathan H. Juran
1952 Battles of Chief Pontiac Chief Pontiac Felix E. Feist
1953 Bandit Island KipShort
1953 Raiders of the Seven Seas Peg Leg Sidney Salkow
1953 A Lion Is in the Streets Spurge McManamee Raoul Walsh
1954 Jivaro Pedro Martines Edward Ludwig
1954 The Boy from Oklahoma Crazy Charlie Michael Curtiz
1954 Casanova's Big Night Emo the Murderer Norman Z. McLeod
1954 The Big Chase Kip Robert L. Lippert Jr.
1954 Passion Castro Allan Dwan
1954 The Black Pirates Padre Felipe Allen H. Miner
1955 Big House, U.S.A. Alamo Smith Howard W. Koch
1955 The Silver Star John W. Harmon Richard Bartlett
1955 Not as a Stranger Job Marsh Stanley Kramer
1955 I Died a Thousand Times Big Mac Stuart Heisler
1955 The Indian Fighter Chivington Andre de Toth
1956 Manfish 'Swede' W. Lee Wilder
1956 Indestructible Man Charles 'Butcher' Benton Jack Pollexfen
1956 The Black Sleep Mungo Reginald Le Borg
1956 Pardners Whitey Norman Taurog
1956 Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer Blackfish Ismael Rodríguez
1957 The Cyclops Martin 'Marty' Melville Bert I. Gordon
1958 The Defiant Ones Big Sam Stanley Kramer
1958 Money, Women and Guns Art Birdwell Richard Bartlett
1959 The Alligator People Manon Roy Del Ruth
1960 House of Terror La Momia / El Hombre Lobo Gilberto Martínez Solares
1961 Rebellion in Cuba Gordo
1961 The Phantom JedTV movie
1961 The Devil's Messenger Satan Herbert L. Strock
1963 The Haunted Palace Simon Orne Roger Corman
1964 Law of the Lawless Tiny William F. Claxton
1964 Witchcraft Morgan Whitlock Don Sharp
1964 Stage to Thunder Rock Henry Parker William F. Claxton
1964 Face of the Screaming Werewolf The Mummified Werewolf Rafael PortilloJerry Warren
1965 Young Fury Bartender, Ace Christian Nyby
1965 Black Spurs Gus Kile R. G. Springsteen
1965 Town Tamer Mayor Charlie Leach Lesley Selander
1965 Apache Uprising Charlie Russell R. G. Springsteen
1965 House of the Black Death Belial Desard Jerry Warren
1966 Johnny Reno Sheriff Hodges R.G. Springsteen
1967 Dr. Terror's Gallery of Horrors Dr. Mendell David L. Hewitt
1967 The Far Out West Chief Eagle Shadow in archive footage
1967 Hillbillys in a Haunted House Maximillian Jean Yarbrough
1967 Welcome to Hard Times Avery Burt Kennedy
1968 Spider Baby Bruno Jack Hill
1968 Buckskin Sheriff Tangley Michael D. Moore
1968 Fireball Jungle Sammy
1969 A Stranger in Town Doc WhitakerTV movie
1971 The Female Bunch Monti Al Adamson
1971 Dracula vs. Frankenstein Groton Al Adamson

Selected television appearances

Select radio credits

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<i>Frankenstein</i> (1931 film) 1931 film by Carl Laemmle

Frankenstein is a 1931 American pre-Code science fiction horror film directed by James Whale, produced by Carl Laemmle Jr., and adapted from a 1927 play by Peggy Webling, which in turn was based on Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The Webling play was adapted by John L. Balderston and the screenplay written by Francis Edward Faragoh and Garrett Fort, with uncredited contributions from Robert Florey and John Russell.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glenn Strange</span> American actor (1899–1973)

George Glenn Strange was an American actor who mostly appeared in Western films and was billed as Glenn Strange. He is best remembered for playing Frankenstein's monster in three Universal films during the 1940s and for his role as Sam Noonan, the bartender on CBS's Gunsmoke television series.

<i>The Wolf Man</i> (1941 film) 1941 film by George Waggner

The Wolf Man is a 1941 American horror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner. The film stars Lon Chaney Jr. in the title role. Claude Rains, Warren William, Ralph Bellamy, Patric Knowles, Bela Lugosi, Evelyn Ankers, and Maria Ouspenskaya star in supporting roles. The title character has had a great deal of influence on Hollywood's depictions of the legend of the werewolf. The film is the second Universal Pictures werewolf film, preceded six years earlier by the less commercially successful Werewolf of London (1935). This film is part of the Universal Monsters movies and is of great cinematic acclaim for its production.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jack Pierce (make-up artist)</span>

Jack Pierce was a Hollywood make-up artist best remembered for creating the iconic makeup worn by Boris Karloff in Frankenstein (1931), along with various other classic monster make-ups for Universal Studios.

<i>Son of Frankenstein</i> 1939 film by Rowland V. Lee

Son of Frankenstein is a 1939 American horror film that was directed by Rowland V. Lee and stars Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. The film is the third in Universal Pictures' Frankenstein series and is the follow-up to the 1935 film Bride of Frankenstein. Son of Frankenstein stars Rathbone as Baron Wolf von Frankenstein who, with his wife Elsa and son Peter, return to his late father's estate. Near the castle lives Ygor, a crazed blacksmith whose neck was broken in an unsuccessful hanging attempt. Among the castle's remains, Frankenstein discovers the remains of the monster and decides to try to save his family name by resurrecting the creature to prove his father was correct. He finds, however, the monster only responds to Ygor's commands.

<i>The Ghost of Frankenstein</i> 1942 film by Erle C. Kenton

The Ghost of Frankenstein is a 1942 American horror film directed by Erle C. Kenton and starring Cedric Hardwicke, Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi. It is the fourth film in the Frankenstein series by Universal Pictures, and the follow-up to Son of Frankenstein (1939). The film's plot follows the previous film's: Frankenstein's Monster and his companion Ygor are chased out of town. They go to another small town to encourage the younger son of Henry Frankenstein to continue his father's experiments, so that Ygor can have revenge against his enemies and his brain transplanted into the Monster's skull.

<i>Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man</i> 1943 US horror film directed by Roy William Neill

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is a 1943 American horror film directed by Roy William Neill and starring Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's monster. This was the first of a series of later called "monster rallies" combining characters from several film series. This film's script written by Curt Siodmak follows The Ghost of Frankenstein and The Wolf Man. The film involves Larry Talbot who is brought back to life. Seeking a way to return to his death to escape his werewolf curse, he meets with gypsy Maleva who advises him that the only way to stay dead is to confer with Dr. Frankenstein. The doctor is long dead but his equipment is in working condition, leading Talbot to seek the help of scientist Dr. Mannering and Frankenstein descendant Baroness Elsa Frankenstein. Talbot then attempts to have his life sucked from his body and transferred into Frankenstein's monster.

<i>Son of Dracula</i> (1943 film) 1943 film by Robert Siodmak

Son of Dracula is a 1943 American horror film directed by Robert Siodmak with a screenplay based on an original story by his brother Curt Siodmak. The film stars Lon Chaney, Jr., Louise Allbritton, Robert Paige, Evelyn Ankers, and Frank Craven. The film is set in the United States, where Count Alucard has just taken up residence. Katherine Caldwell (Allbritton), a student of the occult, becomes fascinated by Alucard and eventually marries him. Katherine begins to look and act strangely, leading her former romantic partner Frank Stanley (Paige) to suspect that something has happened to her. He gets help from Dr. Brewster (Craven) and psychologist Laszlo who come to the conclusion that Alucard is a vampire.

<i>House of Frankenstein</i> (film) 1944 film

House of Frankenstein is a 1944 American horror film starring Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr. and John Carradine. The film was directed by Erle C. Kenton based on a story by Curt Siodmak, and produced by Universal Pictures. The film is about Dr. Gustav Niemann who escapes from prison and promises to create a new body for his assistant Daniel. The two murder Professor Lampini and take over his sideshow that involves the corpse of Count Dracula. After disposing of the Count, the two move on to the ruins of Castle Frankenstein where they find the body of Frankenstein's monster and The Wolf Man Larry Talbot preserved in the castle. Niemann thaws them and promises to cure Talbot of his werewolf curse, but secretly plots to revive Frankenstein's monster instead.

<i>House of Dracula</i> 1945 film by Erle C. Kenton

House of Dracula is a 1945 American horror film released and distributed by Universal Pictures. Directed by Erle C. Kenton, the film features several Universal Horror properties meeting as they had done in the 1944 film House of Frankenstein. The film is set at the castle home of Dr. Franz Edelmann, who is visited first by Count Dracula and later by Larry Talbot, the Wolf Man, who are trying to cure their vampirism and lycanthropy, respectively. Talbot is eventually cured, which leads him to discover the body of Frankenstein's monster in a cave below the base of the castle. Edelemann takes the monster's body back to his laboratory but finds Count Dracula has awakened and by attacking his assistants, he captures Edelmann and forces a reverse blood transfusion, which gives Edelmann a split personality and makes him a killer.

<i>The Mummys Tomb</i> 1942 film by Harold Young

The Mummy's Tomb is a 1942 American horror film directed by Harold Young and starring Lon Chaney Jr. as Kharis the mummy. Taking place 30 years after the events of The Mummy's Hand, where Andoheb has survived and plans revenge on Stephen Banning and his entire family in Mapleton, Massachusetts. With the help of the high priest Mehemet Bey, Andoheb and the mummy Kharis Bey takes up a job as a caretaker of a graveyard. At the first full moon, the mummy is fed tanna leaves which allow him to break into the Banning residence and kill the now elderly Stephen. Banning's son then seeks assistance from Babe Hanson, one of the members of the original Banning expedition to Egypt to stop Andoheb and Kharis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Universal Classic Monsters</span> Horror and science fiction films made by Universal Studios (1930s–1950s)

Universal Classic Monsters is a home video line based on a series of horror films primarily produced by Universal Pictures from the 1930s to the 1950s. Although not initially conceived as a franchise, the enduring popularity and legacy of the films and the characters featured in them has led the studio to market them under the collective brand name of Universal Studios Monsters. Steve Jones of USA Today described Universal's most famous monsters as "pop culture icons", specifically Dracula, Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Mummy, and the Wolf Man.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kharis</span> Fictional character

Kharis is a character featured in Universal Studios's Mummy series in the 1940s following their original 1932 film The Mummy, which starred Boris Karloff as a different mummy character, Imhotep, though their backstories are practically identical. Universal's Mummy films were inspired by worldwide interest in Egyptian archeology during the first half of the 20th century.

The Witch's Dungeon Classic Movie Museum in Plainville, Connecticut, USA, is a collection of figures of classic movie monsters.

House of the Wolf Man is an American independent monster horror film produced in 2009 by My Way Pictures. The film was inspired by the Universal Monsters movies, and was shot in the same style. The film's star Ron Chaney is the great-grandson of Lon Chaney and the grandson of Lon Chaney, Jr., both of whom starred in numerous Universal Monsters films.

<i>Frankenstein</i> (Universal film series) American horror film series

Frankenstein is a film series of horror films from Universal Pictures based on the play version by Peggy Webling and the 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. The series follow the story of a monster created by Henry Frankenstein who is made from body parts of corpses and brought back to life. The rest of the series generally follows the monsters continuously being revived and eventually focuses on a series of cross overs with other Universal horror film characters such as The Wolf Man. The series consists of the following films: Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945) and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).

The Wolf Man is the title of several horror film series centered on Larry Talbot, a man who upon being bitten by a werewolf becomes one himself, and his subsequent attempts to cure himself of his murderous condition. The franchise was created by Curt Siodmak.

References

  1. 1 2 "Lon Chaney Jr., Actor, Is Dead at 67". The New York Times . Associated Press. July 14, 1973. p. 28. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
  2. Rogers, Ricky. "'Wolf Man' actor tells Nashville readers he was born 'dead'". The Tennessean.
  3. Smith, Frederick James (July 28, 1940). "Filler of Father's Footwear". Los Angeles Times. p. J6.
  4. Schallert, Edwin (September 7, 1935). "Mary Pickford Considers Leading Drive to Produce Pictures in England: British Films Would Use American Actors Cycle of Kipling Stories Looms Both Here and Abroad; Lon Chaney, Jr., Follows in Noted Parent's Footsteps". Los Angeles Times. p. 5.
  5. "Cash Given to Werners, Says Witness at Hearing: Board Vote Boast Cited by Woman, Owner of Cafe Takes Stand Weinblatt Asked $1000 in Liquor License Renewal, She Testifies". Los Angeles Times. June 18, 1936. p. 1.
  6. "Lon Chaney, Jr., Escapes Injury". The Washington Post. October 20, 1938. p. X7.
  7. "Chaney Jr. Nixes Horror Make-ups". Los Angeles Times. January 15, 1940. p. 9.
  8. Schallert, Edwin (January 4, 1941). "Young Chaney May Do 'He Who Gets Slapped': Preston 'Night' Star Fellows Subject Named Warners Sign Darwell Ink Spots, Faye Cast Bellamy Set for Comedy". Los Angeles Times. p. A9.
  9. "Lon Chaney Jr. Takes Too Many Sleeping Pills". Los Angeles Times. April 23, 1948. p. 1.
  10. Scheuer, Philip K. (January 18, 1949). "Kanin's 'Born Yesterday' Well Acted at Biltmore". Los Angeles Times. p. A7.
  11. Hallenbeck, Bruce G. (2009). Comedy-Horror Films: A Chronological History, 1914-2008 . McFarland & Company. pp. 86–87. ISBN   9780786453788.
  12. Weldon, Michael (1983). "The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film". Ballantine Books. ISBN   0-345-34345-X. Page 235
  13. "Interview with Ron Chaney, including references to Lon's book". Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved December 23, 2008.
  14. "Lon Chaney Jr. Is Sued for Divorce; Wed 10 Years". Chicago Daily Tribune. June 26, 1936. p. 23.
  15. Smith, Don G. (1996). Lon Chaney Jr.: Horror Film Star. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co. p. 91. ISBN   978-0786418138.
  16. Stack, Robert (1980). Straight Shooting. New York City: Macmillan Publishing. p. 64. ISBN   9780026133203.
  17. Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated Archived 2012-10-13 at the Wayback Machine
  18. Cumuseumofterror.com Archived October 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  19. Vest, Jason; Vest, Jason (May 31, 1993). "MEETING THE CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED". The Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  20. "Monster Bash: It's a Graveyard Smash". Geek Pittsburgh. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  21. "Lon Chaney Jr. On Air". Chicago Daily Tribune. April 4, 1943. p. W6.

Biography