Men in silence

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks was born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman in Denver, Colorado, to Ella Adelaide (Marsh) and Hezekiah Charles Ullman, an attorney. His paternal grandparents were German Jewish immigrants, while his mother was from an Anglo family from the South. He was raised by his mother, who had separated from his father when he was five...
 
2.
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...
 
3.
William S. Hart
A storybook hero, the original screen cowboy, ever forthright and honest, even when (as was often the case) he played a villain, William S. Hart lived for a while in the Dakota Territory, then worked as a postal clerk in New York City. In 1888 he began to study acting. In 1899 he created the role of Messala in "Ben-Hur"...
 
4.
Rudolph Valentino
Actor, The Eagle
Born in 1895 to a French mother and Italian father Rudolph Valentino grew up in Italy. His father died while he was young, and his mother spoiled him. He did poorly in school, and eventually ended up studying agriculture. After a stint in Paris he returned to Italy broke. Many times Valentino referenced something he did being the cause of being sent away...
 
5.
Ramon Novarro
Ramon Novarro was born José Ramón Gil Samaniego on February 6, 1899 in Durango, Mexico, to Leonor (Gavilan) and Dr. Mariano N. Samaniego Siqueiros, a prosperous dentist. Ramon and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1913, as refugees from the Mexican Revolution. After stints as a ballet dancer, piano teacher and singing waiter...
 
6.
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)...
 
7.
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 Jealousy (aka Variety) in 1925...
 
8.
Wallace Reid
The son of writer-theater producer-director-actor Hal Reid, Wallace was on stage by the age of four in the act with his parents. He spent most of his early years, not on the stage, but in private schools where he excelled in music and athletics. In 1910, his father went to the Chicago studio of "Selig Polyscope Company" and Wallace decided that he wanted to be a cameraman...
 
9.
Maurice Chevalier
Actor, Gigi
His heavy French accent, melodic voice and Gallic charm made Maurice Chevalier the prototype of the gallant French monsieur in the American cinema of the 1930s. Before he went to Hollywood he worked as a farmer, circus acrobat, cabaret singer and, starting in 1908, a comical actor in French films, a few times even with the celebrated Max Linder...
 
10.
John Gilbert
John Gilbert was born into a show-business family - his father was a comic with the Pringle Stock Company. By 1915 John was an extra with Thomas H. Ince's company and a lead player by 1917. In those days he was assistant director, actor or screenwriter. He also tried his hand at directing. By 1919 he was being noticed in films and getting better roles...
 
11.
Charles Farrell
Popular Hollywood leading man of late silents and early talkies. He is best remembered for his teaming with Janet Gaynor in 12 screen romances between 1927 and 1934. He retired from films in the early 1940's, but TV audiences of the 1950's would see him as Gale Storm's widower dad in the popular television series My Little Margie.
 
12.
Tom Mix
The son of a lumberman, Tom Mix joined the army as a young man and was an artillery sergeant during the Philippine campaign from 1898 to 1901, though he never saw action. In fact, Mix deserted from the army and carefully kept the facts about his military service a closely guarded secret. About 1903 he was drum major with the Oklahoma Cavalry Band...
 
13.
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...
 
14.
Ronald Colman
British leading man of primarily American films, one of the great stars of the Golden Age. Raised in Ealing, the son of a successful silk merchant, he attended boarding school in Sussex, where he first discovered amateur theatre. He intended to attend Cambridge and become an engineer, but his father's death cost him the financial support necessary...
 
15.
Adolphe Menjou
The words "suave" and "debonair" became synonymous with the name Adolphe Menjou in Hollywood, both on- and off-camera. The epitome of knavish, continental charm and sartorial opulence, Menjou, complete with trademark waxy black mustache, evolved into one of Hollywood's most distinguished of artists and fashion plates...
 
16.
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...
 
17.
Will Rogers
World-famous, widely popular American humorist of the vaudeville stage and of silent and sound films, Will Rogers graduated from military school, but his first real job was in the livestock business in Argentina, of all places. He transported pack animals across the South Atlantic from Buenos Aires to South Africa for use in the Boer War (1899-1902)...
 
18.
Warner Baxter
Warner Baxter claimed to have an early pre-disposition toward show business: "I discovered a boy a block away who would eat worms and swallow flies for a penny. For one-third of the profits, I exhibited him in a tent." When he was age 9, his widowed mother moved to San Francisco where, following the earthquake of 1906...
 
19.
William Boyd
The son of a day laborer, William Boyd moved with his family to Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he was seven. His parents died while he was in his early teens, forcing him to quit school and take such jobs as a grocery clerk, surveyor and oil field worker. He went to Hollywood in 1919, already gray-haired. His first role was as an extra in Cecil B. DeMille's Why Change Your Wife?...
 
20.
William Haines
Born in Staunton, Virginia, William Haines ran off to live life on his own terms while still in his teens, moving to New York City and becoming friends with such later Hollywood luminaries as designer Orry-Kelly and Cary Grant. His film career started slowly, but by the end of the silent era he was regularly named as the #1 male box-office draw...
 
21.
Wallace Beery
In 1902, 16-year-old Wallace Beery joined the Ringling Brothers Circus as an assistant to the elephant trainer. He left two years later after a leopard clawed his arm. Beery next went to New York, where he found work in musical variety shows. He became a leading man in musicals and appeared on Broadway and in traveling stock companies...
 
22.
Rod La Rocque
Rod La Rocque was born Roderick Ross LaRocque on November 29, 1898 in Chicago to a French father and an Irish mother. Stage-struck in his early teen years, he spent his summers with local stock companies, playing juvenile roles for $1.00 per performance. By the time he was 16, while he was appearing in vaudeville...
 
24.
William Farnum
William Farnum was born the son of G.D. Farnum and Adela Le Gros, actors who trained their William and his two brothers, Dustin Farnum and Marshall Farnum, in their profession. William made his stage debut at the age of 10 in Richmond, Virginia, in a production of "Julius Caesar" starring Edwin Booth...
 
25.
Harrison Ford
Silent screen leading man in films from 1915-1932. He left films in 1932 due to the arrival of sound. He was hit by a car on September 13, 1951, never fully recovered from his injuries and died on December 2, 1957.
 
26.
Donald Crisp
Donald Crisp was born George William Crisp at the family home in Bow, London. Donald's parents were James Crisp and Elizabeth Crisp, his birth was registered by his mother on 4th September 1882. Donald's sisters were Elizabeth, Ann, Alice (known as Louisa) and Eliza and his brothers were James, John and Mark...
 
27.
Irving Cummings
Director, Curly Top
New York-born Irving Cummings began his career as an actor on the Broadway stage in his late teens, and appeared with the legendary Lillian Russell's company. He entered films in 1909 as an actor, and became a very popular leading man in the early 1920s. He began directing at around that time, turning out mostly action films and an occasional comedy...
 
28.
George Irving
George Irving was born in New York City in 1874. Beginning his film career in 1914, he was initially an Actor-director, until he switched exclusively to acting in the mid-20s and became a character actor until the later 40s. He died from a heart attack in Hollywood in 1961.
 
29.
Richard Dix
Actor, Cimarron
Richard Dix was a major leading man at RKO Radio Pictures from 1929 through 1943. He was born Ernest Carlton Brimmer July 18, 1893, in St. Paul, Minnesota. There he was educated, and at the desires of his father, studied to be a surgeon. His obvious acting talent in his school dramatic club led him to leading roles in most of the school plays...
 
30.
George Bancroft
Actor, Stagecoach
George Bancroft was raised in Philadelphia and attended high school at Tomes Institute (Philadelphia). He won an impressive appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and graduated as a commissioned officer. He served in the Navy for the prescribed period of required service but no more...
 
31.
J. Warren Kerrigan
Very popular American star of silent films who left the business at the height of his career. While barely in his teens, he worked as a warehouse clerk until a chance arrived to appear in a vaudeville production. He continued to act in traveling stock productions, though he took a brief time away from the stage to attend the University of Illinois...
 
32.
Robert Harron
Today screen actor Robert (Bobby) Harron is one of Hollywood's forgotten souls, although he was a huge celebrity in his time and graced some of the silent screen's most enduring masterpieces. A talented, charismatic star in his heyday, Bobby had everything going for him but died far too young to make the longstanding impression he certainly deserved...
 
33.
H.B. Warner
Henry Byron Warner was the definitive cinematic Jesus Christ in Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings. He was born into a prominent theatrical family on October 26, 1875 in London. His father was Charles Warner, and his grandfather was James Warner, both prominent English actors. He replaced J.B. Warner as Jesus in The King of Kings when J.B...
 
34.
Milton Sills
American leading man of silent pictures. Born into affluence in Chicago, he attended the University of Chicago on scholarship and remained there as a professor of psychology and philosophy. A chance visit to the school by actor- manager Donald Robertson led to Sills abandoning his career and joining Robertson's stock company as an actor in 1905...
 
35.
Harry Carey
Born in New York City to a Judge of Special Sessions who was also president of a sewing machine company. Grew up on City Island, New York. Attended Hamilton Military Academy and turned down an appointment to West Point to attend New York Law School, where his law school classmates included future New York City mayor James J...
 
36.
Lewis Stone
By the time that he was 20, Lewis Stone had turned prematurely grey. He enlisted to fight in the Spanish American War and when he returned, he returned to be a writer. This turned to acting and he began to appear in films during the middle teens. His career was again interrupted by war as he served in the cavalry during World War I...
 
38.
George O'Brien
Actor, Sunrise
Handsome American leading man of classic silent films who became a different kind of star in B-Western talkies. The son of a policeman who later became police chief of San Francisco and then California Director of Penology, O'Brien was raised around police stables and quickly became adept at horsemanship...
 
40.
Gilbert Roland
Luis Antonio Damaso de Alonso, later known as Gilbert Roland, was born in 1905 in Mexico. Following his parents to the USA, he did not become the bullfighter he had dreamed of being but became an actor instead. His Mexican roots, his half macho half romantic ways, his handsome virile figure helped him land roles in movies from the early twenties to 1982...
 
41.
Arthur Hoyt
Extremely prolific actor/director of the silent screen, on Broadway from 1905. Hoyt joined the acting fraternity through the recommendations of an uncle, who worked as dramatic editor for a Cleveland tabloid. Signed by theatrical producer George C. Tyler (1868-1946), he began on stage (earning $10 per week)...
 
42.
Bobby Vernon
Bobby Vernon was born in the U.S. in 1897, was trained in Vaudeville and became a talented comic in the silent era. He began working in 1913, appearing in Lon Chaney's Almost an Actress and later worked for Mack Sennett, who teamed him up with young Gloria Swanson in 9 comedies between 1916 and 1917...
 
43.
Montagu Love
Montague Love - certainly an intriguing name - but his own - started his working life as a newspaper man in London. His primary expertise centered on being a field illustrator and cartoonist who covered the Boer War (1899-1902). His realistic battle sketches gained him popularity among readers, but he was bound for a different career...
 
44.
Herbert Rawlinson
Leading man in Hollywood silents. In sound films thereafter, he was a character player until the year he died.
 
45.
Richard Arlen
Actor, Wings
During World War I, Richard Arlen served in the Royal Canadian Flying Corps as a pilot, but he never saw combat. After the war he drifted round and eventually wound up in Los Angeles, where he got a job as a motorcycle messenger at a film laboratory. When he crashed into the gates of Paramount Pictures and suffered a broken leg...
 
46.
Sessue Hayakawa
Sessue Hayakawa was born in Chiba, Japan. His father was the provincial governor and his mother a member of an aristocratic family of the "samurai" class. The young Hayakawa wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a career officer in the Japanese navy, but he was turned down due to problems with his hearing...
 
47.
Charles Ray
Actor, The Busher
Ray portrayed simple unaffected country bumpkins in silent rural melodramas. Unfortunately, Ray let Hollywood turn him into a headstrong egotist. Alienating most producers, he put up his own money to finance a major feature called The Courtship of Myles Standish. The film was a miserable failure that wiped out Ray's fortune. Comeback attempts were hampered by the advent of the sound picture.
 
48.
William Powell
William Powell was on the New York stage by 1912, but it would be ten years before his film career would begin. In 1924 he went to Paramount Pictures, where he was employed for the next seven years. During that time, he played in a number of interesting films, but stardom was elusive. He did finally attract attention with The Last Command as Leo...
 
49.
 
51.
Clive Brook
Born in London, England to Charlotte Mary (opera singer) and George Alfred Brook. He was educated privately. Stage experience included: "Oliver Twist", "Voysey Inheritence", "If I were King", "Importance of Being Ernest", Fair and Warmer", "Over Sunday", "Clothes and the WOman", and many others. Screen experience with Graham-Cutts Company in London...
 
52.
Raoul Walsh
Director, White Heat
Raoul Walsh's 52-year directorial career made him a Hollywood legend. Walsh was also an actor: He appeared in the first version of W. Somerset Maugham's "Rain" renamed Sadie Thompson opposite Gloria Swanson in the title role. He would have played the Cisco Kid in his own film In Old Arizona if an errant jackrabbit hadn't cost him his right eye by leaping through the windshield of his automobile...
 
54.
Reginald Denny
Actor, Rebecca
Acting was in the blood for Reginald Denny. He came from an acting family, his father being stage actor/singer W.H. Denny, a member of the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company. The younger Denny had made his stage debut at 6 years old, but his future was not yet set in that direction. His schooling continued through attendance at St...
 
55.
Jack Holt
Actor, Cat People
Staunch, granite-jawed American leading man of silent and early talkie films, much associated with Westerns. A native of New York City, Holt often claimed to have been born in Winchester, Virginia, where he grew up. The son of an Episcopal minister, he attended Trinity School in Manhattan, then the Virginia Military Institute...
 
56.
Buck Jones
Buck Jones was one of the greatest of the "B" western stars. Although born in Indiana, Jones reportedly (but disputedly) grew up on a ranch near Red Rock in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), and there learned the riding and shooting skills that would stand him in good stead as a hero of Westerns. He...
 
57.
Hobart Bosworth
Hobart Bosworth--pioneering movie director, writer, producer and actor--was born Hobart Van Zandt Bosworth on August 11, 1867, in Marietta, OH. He was a direct descendant of Miles Standish and John and Priscilla Alden on his father's side and of New York's Van Zandt family, the first Dutch settlers to land in the New World, on his mother's side. Bosworth was always proud of his lineage...
 
58.
Eugene O'Brien
Eugene O'Brien, the silent screen matinée idol, was born Louis O'Brien in Boulder, Colorado in 1881, to police marshal John O'Brien and his wife Kate. He studied medicine at the University of Colorado in order to realize his family's ambition that he should become a physician. O'Brien's first love, however...
 
59.
Hoot Gibson
Actor, Action
A pioneering cowboy star of silent and early talking Westerns, Hoot Gibson was one of the 1920s' most popular children's matinée heroes. In his real life, however, he had a rather painful rags-to-riches-and-back-to-rags career, a problem that seemed to plague a number of big stars who fell victim to their high profile and wound up living too high on the hog...
 
60.
Franklyn Farnum
Boston-born Franklyn Farnum was on the vaudeville stage at the age of 12 and was featured in a number of theatre and musical productions by the time he entered silent films near the age of 40. He appeared to be at his most comfortable in the saddle, his career dominated mostly by westerns. Some of his more famous films include the serial Vanishing Trails and features The Clock...
 
61.
Bert Lytell
Popular silent-screen star.
 
62.
Taylor Holmes
Taylor Holmes, the American stage and film actor, was born on May 16, 1878, in Newark, New Jersey. He made his Broadway debut in February 1900 in the controversial play "Sapho", which was closed down by the New York Police Department for immorality after 29 performances. In the April 1900 trial, the play was adjudged not obscene, and it reopened and ran for an additional 55 performances...
 
63.
Robert Warwick
A prominent matinée stage and silent-film star with handsome features offset only slightly by a prominent proboscis, Robert Warwick was born and raised in Sacramento, California, as Robert Taylor Bien. The gift of music was instilled at an early age (he sang in his church choir) and he initially prepared for an operatic career...
 
64.
John Bowers
Began working in films from 1916, becoming a a star within five years of his debut. His frequent co-star was was Marguerite de la Motte, whom he later married. The advent of sound effectively ended his career. Shortly after attending a party, the distraught 50-year-old Bowers committed suicide by rowing into the Pacific Ocean and drowning himself...
 
65.
Jack Curtis
Actor, Harvey
Jack was born in San Francisco in 1880 in to the well-known Curtis family. Chris Curtis was himself well-known in the financial circles. His uncle William was a lawyer in New York City in the early 1900s. Jack and Lil met on a ship heading to Hong Kong in 1904 and were married sometime in 1904. Both had toured with Vaudeville companies...
 
66.
Thomas Meighan
Sadly, this once-popular silent screen star and older matinée idol for Paramount Studios, is all but forgotten today. Thomas "Tommy" Meighan was one of the rulers of the Hollywood roost, between the years 1915 and 1928. He was born in Pittsburgh, his father a president of a major manufacturing company...
 
68.
Lowell Sherman
Lowell Sherman was one of the early cinema's first major stars who successfully made the transition from actor to director. Born in either 1885 or 1888, his parents were John Wm. Sherman, a theatrical producer (1855-1924), and Julia Gray Sherman, an actress and daughter of actress Kate Gray. In 1905...
 
70.
Jean Hersholt
Actor, Heidi
If ever there was a Great Dane in Hollywood it was Jean Hersholt - and one of its great hearts as well. He was from a well-known Danish stage and entertainment family that had toured throughout Europe performing with young Jean as an essential cast member. He graduated from the Copenhagen Art School...
 
71.
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...
 
74.
Ernest Torrence
He was the man you loved to hiss. This towering (6' 4"), highly imposing character star with cold, hollow, beady eyes and a huge, protruding snout would go on to become one of the silent screen's finest arch villains. Born Ernest Thayson Torrence-Thompson on June 26, 1878, in Edinburgh, Scotland, he was...
 
75.
Lloyd Hamilton
Actor, The Movies
Being one of numerous important comedians during the silent era whose popularity has turned into almost complete obscurity, Lloyd Hamilton has nevertheless earned a reputation as an original talent among film historians and enthusiasts. Born into a conservative middle-class family in California, presumably in 1891...
 
76.
Monte Blue
Actor, Key Largo
Stalwart, durable Monte Blue, a romantic leading man of the silent days, was born January 11, 1887, as Gerard Monte Blue (some sources indicate 1890, but his mother's application for his admission to the Soldier's and Sailor's Orphan's Home lists his birth date as January 11, 1887). Various sources have reported his first name as George or Gerald...
 
77.
Ben Lyon
Ben Lyon was your average boyish, easy-going, highly appealing film personality of the Depression-era 1930s. Although he never rose above second-tier stardom, he would enjoy enduring success both here and in England. Born Ben Lyon, Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia, the future singer/actor was the son of a pianist-turned-businessman and youngest of four...
 
78.
Edmund Lowe
Actor, Dillinger
Tall, athletic leading man, the son of a judge. Lowe was initially slated for the priesthood but switched career paths on several occasions, at one time studying law, then teaching English and elocution. The latter led to his involvement in the acting profession. After briefly appearing in vaudeville...
 
79.
Norman Kerry
Popular leading man or villain in the silent era. He often wore fancy wax mustaches. Made a sucessful transtion to sound. Retired from films in 1941 concluding a thirty five year career.
 
81.
Holmes Herbert
Holmes Herbert was a tall, intense English actor who made his first films after coming to America. He began in silent movies as a leading man but eventually was relegated to less important roles as a character actor when sound came in. He played in several of the Universal "Sherlock Holmes" movies, the title character of which was the initial inspiration for his stage name...
 
82.
Wheeler Oakman
Born in Washington, DC, in 1890, screen villain "par excellance" Wheeler Oakman got into films in 1912. He specialized in playing villains, but he wasn't just a one-note, mustache-twirling "bad guy"--a tall, solidly-built, distinguished-looking, almost patrician man, he could effectively play cold-blooded mob bosses...
 
85.
Raymond Hatton
The son of a physician, Raymond Hatton entered films in 1909, eventually appearing in almost 500 other pictures. In early silents he formed a comedy team with big, burly Wallace Beery. He was best known as the tobacco-chewing, rip-snorting Rusty Joslin in the Three Mesquiteers series. He was also in the Rough Riders series and appeared as Johnny Mack Brown's sidekick as well...
 
90.
Owen Moore
Born in 1886, virile and dashing silent screen idol Owen Moore, equipped with incredibly handsome reddish and ruddy features, came to America with his family from Ireland at age 11. After some stage work, he entered films at the Biograph Studio in 1908 and appeared in many of D.W. Griffith's early productions...
 
91.
Alan Hale
Alan Hale decided on a film career after his attempt at becoming an opera singer didn't pan out. He quickly became much in demand as a supporting actor, starred in several films for Cecil B. DeMille and directed others for him. With the advent of sound Hale played leads in a few films, but soon settled down into a career as one of the busiest character actors in the business...
 
92.
Randle Ayrton
Randle Ayrton born in Chester in 1869. Educated at Geneva University. became a highly well-known performer in classical theatre, making his acting debut at the Old Avenue Theatre in London in 1890, and has been successful in London's West End and in America until the late 1930's. sophisticated gentleman in English silent and sound films...
 
93.
Lewis Sargent
Lewis Sargent was born in Los Angeles August 19, 1903. He had 8 brothers and sisters. His father Lewis was a carpenter, and his older bother, Don Sargent, was a Cinematographer in Hollywood for over 40 years. He was an early friend of James Wong Howe. Lewis' ancestor, William Sargent, came to America at Agawam...
 
95.
 
97.
Burr McIntosh
Burr McIntosh born William Burr McIntosh in Ohio in 1862. Son of the President of public utility and Cleveland Gas Coal Company William Ambrose. Burr was educated at Lafayette College in Princeton where he became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity in 1884. became a star on Broadway stage, perhaps his best known stage role was in 'Trilby' in 1905...
 
99.
Alan Roscoe
Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1886 (some sources say 1887 or 1888, but U.S. Census records confirm 1886), he taught school. He became active in the theatre and was eventually signed by William Fox. Appearing in films for Fox as well as Samuel Goldwyn, Roscoe became best known as leading man opposite Theda Bara...
 
100.
Walter Long
Early in his career Walter Long was married to Luray Huntley, an actress for D.W. Griffith's stock company. Huntley and Long performed together in several of Griffith's films including Traffic in Souls, Let Katie Do It, and Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages. They remained married until her death in 1918 at age 28 due to the Spanish influenza epidemic.