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Max Linder Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (16)  | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (5)

Born in Saint-Loubès, Gironde, France
Died in Paris, France  (suicide by veronal overdose)
Birth NameGabriel-Maximilien Leuvielle
Nickname Gentleman Max
Height 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Although all too frequently neglected by fans of silent comedy, Max Linder is in many ways as important a figure as Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd, not least because he predated (and influenced) them all by several years and was largely responsible for the creation of the classic style of silent slapstick comedy.

Linder started out as an actor in the French theatre, but after making his screen debut in 1905 he quickly became an enormously famous and successful film comedian on both sides of the Atlantic, thanks to his character "Max," a top-hatted dandy. By 1912 he was the highest-paid film star in the world, with an unprecedented salary of one million francs. He began to direct films in 1911 and showed equal facility behind the camera, but his career suffered an almost terminal blow when he was drafted into the French army to fight in World War I. He was gassed, and the illness that resulted would blight his career. Although offered a contract in America, recurring ill health meant that his US films had little of the sparkle of his early French work, and a brief attempt to revive his career by making films for the recently-formed United Artists (one of whose founders, of course, was Chaplin) in the early 1920s came to little, although these later films are now regarded as classics. He returned to France and killed himself in a suicide pact with his wife in 1925.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Spouse (1)

Jeanne Peters (1 August 1923 - 31 October 1925) ( her death) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Silk hat, stick and moustache

Trivia (16)

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume One, 1890-1945." Pages 671-677. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1987.
When Charles Chaplin, who called Linder "my professor," heard that Linder had committed suicide, he closed his studio for a day to show his deep respect.
Father of Maud Linder.
Earned 1 million francs a year in 1914.
Widely considered the very first International movie star.
The first actor in movies to be credited as director in the opening titles.
The "mirror routine," made famous in The Marx Brothers' Duck Soup (1933), was in fact first performed by Linder in Seven Years Bad Luck (1921).
At an early point in his career, while movies were still silent, Linder discovered the importance of adding the right music to films in order to put an audience in the perfect mood; he frequently sent notebooks with music he considered fitting for his films. The compositions could be amusing, dramatic or romantic.
Dropped out of school at 17 in order to become an actor in the theater and vaudeville, which did not please his parents.
Appeared in more than 400 films from 1905-25, most of which were short comedies; out of these, little more than 200 have been identified and, to date, less than 100 of them are known to still exist.
Made over 500 short films/movies. Only about 82 survive.
First time married, in Paris, at the age of 40 (1923) to his 20-year-old bride Hélène Peters.
In Nice, France, in 1923 he suffered minor injuries when thrown from his car after losing control at high speed on a bend.
Dressed as a matador in Barcelona's arena (Nov. 15, 1912) and "fought" with a calf with false horns while on tour in Spain with André Deed and Stacia Napierkowska. The event was filmed.
In 1910 he shot one comedy each week; they all revolved round the blameless bachelor Max who lives in luxury and gets into funny situations because he is after a well-behaved, pretty young lady.
It was incorrectly reported that he was killed in the Battle of the Aisne in World War I and his obituary was published in the The Moving Picture World, October 10, 1914.

Personal Quotes (4)

[on Charles Chaplin] He calls me his teacher, but I have been the happy one, to take lessons from his school.
I've always been an incurable romantic.
[In the early 1910s] When we do a film, I tell my story to my actors; I explain how I want them to behave; we rehearse once; and we shoot.
Yes, I have been on the stage. I started on the stage. But stage comedy and screen comedy are entirely different. One must think more to be successful on the screen. On the stage, one relies on the physical appearance, on the voice, on the wit and repartee of the play, as well as on personality. On the screen, you rely on your own action, on your own ability entirely, to express a thought or emotion. But it was hard for me to get on the stage. My parents were stage folk, but they did not want me to act. At twelve I was sent to a school in Bordeaux, where I was born, to be an artist. I did not like the work.

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