The 15 best actors/actresses of silent cinema

The 15 best actors/actresses of silent cinema
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Conrad Veidt
Actor, Casablanca
Conrad Veidt attended the Sophiengymnasium (secondary school) in the Schoeneberg district of Berlin, and graduated without a diploma in 1912, last in his class of 13. Conrad liked animals, theater, cinema, fast cars, pastries, thunderstorms, gardening, swimming and golfing. He disliked heights, flying...
Emil Jannings
His real name was Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz, and in the early 1900s, he was already working in the theater under Max Reinhardt's company. Important movies where he defined himself as a convincing actor were Madame DuBarry and Quo Vadis?, followed by The Last Laugh(aka The Last Laugh) in 1924 and Variety (aka Variety) in 1925...
Ivan Mozzhukhin
Ivan Mozzhukhin was a legendary actor of Russian silent films, who escaped execution by the Soviet Red Army and had a stellar career in Europe. He was born Ivan Ilyich Mozzhukhin on September 26, 1889, in the village of Kondol, Saratov province, Russia (now Penza province, Russia). His father was general manager of the large estate of Prince Obolensky...
Buster Keaton
When at six months of age he tumbled down a flight of stairs unharmed, he was given the name "Buster" by Harry Houdini who, along with W.C. Fields, Bill Robinson ("Bojangles"), Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson shared headlines with "The Three Keatons": Buster, his father Joe Keaton and mother Myra Keaton...
Lillian Gish
Lillian Diana Gish was born on October 14, 1893 in Springfield, Ohio. Her father James Lee Gish was an alcoholic who caroused around, was rarely at home and left the family to more or less to fend for themselves. To help make ends meet, Lillian, her sister Dorothy Gish and their mother Mary Gish a.k.a...
John Barrymore
American stage and screen actor whose rise to superstardom and subsequent decline is one of the legendary tragedies of Hollywood. A member of the most famous generation of the most famous theatrical family in America, he was also its most acclaimed star. His father was Maurice Blyth (or Blythe; family spellings vary)...
Richard Barthelmess
Richard Barthelmess was born into a theatrical family in which his mother was an actress. While attending Trinity College in Connecticut, he began appearing in stage productions. While on vacation in 1916, a friend of his mother, actress Alla Nazimova, offered him a part in War Brides, and Richard never returned to college...
Brigitte Helm
Actress, Metropolis
After her role in Metropolis she made a string of movies in which she almost always had the starring role, easily making the transition to sound films. Her last film was Ein idealer Gatte (An Ideal Spouse) in 1935.
Louise Brooks
Actress, Pandora's Box
Mary Louise Brooks, also known by her childhood name of Brooksie, was born in the midwestern town of Cherryvale, Kansas, on November 14, 1906. She began dancing at an early age with the Denishawn Dancers (which was how she left Kansas and went to New York) and then with George White's Scandals before joining the Ziegfeld Follies...
Lon Chaney
Although his parents were deaf-mutes, Leonidas Chaney became an actor and also owner of a theatre company (together with his brother John). He made his debut at the movies in 1912, and his filmography is vast. Lon Chaney was especially famous for his horror parts in movies like e.g. Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame...
Mae Marsh
Like much of early Hollywood history, much of Mae Marsh's biography is shrouded in mystery and the creation of studio publicity people. The story of the Marsh children being taken to Hollywood by their aunt is often told, but according to the 1910 U.S. Census, the Marsh children were all living with their parents in Los Angeles...
Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim was born Erich Oswald Stroheim in 1885, in Vienna, Austria, to Johanna (Bondy), from Prague, and Benno Stroheim, a hatmaker from Gliwice, Poland. His family was Jewish. After spending some time working in his father's hat factory, he emigrated to America around 1909. Working in various jobs he arrived in Hollywood in 1914 and got work in D.W...