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who appeared with Lon Chaney Jr. on screen:
Lon Chaney Jr.
Birthday: February 10, 1906
Place: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Height: 6' 2"
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American character actor whose career was influenced (and often overshadowed) by that of his father, silent film star Lon Chaney. The younger Chaney was born while his parents were on a theatrical tour, and he joined them onstage for the first time at the age of six months. However, as a young man, even during the time of his father's growing fame, Creighton Chaney worked menial jobs to support himself without calling upon his father. He was at various times a plumber, a meatcutter's apprentice, a metal worker, and a farm worker. Always, however, there was the desire to follow in his father's footsteps. He studied makeup at his father's side, learning many of the techniques that had made his father famous. And he took stage roles in stock companies. It was not until after his father's death in 1930 that Chaney went to work in films. His first appearances were under his real name (he had been named for his mother, singer Cleva Creighton). He played number of supporting parts before a producer in 1935 insisted on changing his name to Lon Chaney Jr. as a marketing ploy. Chaney was uncomfortable with the ploy and always hated the "Jr". addendum. But he was also aware that the famous name could help his career, and so he kept it. Most of the parts he played were unmemorable, often bits, until 1939 when he was given the role of the simple-minded Lennie in the film adaptation of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men (1939). Chaney's performance was spectacularly touching; indeed, it became one of the two roles for which he would always be best remembered. The other came within the next year, when Universal, in hopes of reviving their horror film franchise as well as memories of their great silent star, Chaney Sr., cast Chaney as the tortured Lawrence Talbot in The Wolf Man (1941). With this film and the slew of horror films that followed it, Chaney achieved a kind of stardom, though he was never able to achieve his goal of surpassing his father. By the 1950s, he was established as a star in low-budget horror films and as a reliable character actor in more prestigious, big-budget films such as High Noon (1952). Never as versatile as his father, he fell more and more into cheap and mundane productions which traded primarily on his name and those of other fading horror stars. His later years were bedeviled by illness and problems with alcohol. When he died from a variety of causes in 1973, it was as an actor who had spent his life chasing the fame of his father, but who was much beloved by a generation of filmgoers who had never seen his father.
- Son of Lon Chaney.
- His career suffered in his later years due to alcoholism.
- Son: Ronald Chaney.
- Attempted an early career as a songwriter.
- He is the only person to have played all four of the classic movie monsters: The Wolf Man (1941) (Larry Talbot/Wolf Man); The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) (The Frankenstein Monster); The Mummy's Tomb (1942) (Kharis, the mummy); Son of Dracula (1943) (Count Anthony Alucard, Dracula's son).
- Pictured on one of a set of five 32¢ US commemorative postage stamps, issued 30 September 1997, celebrating "Famous Movie Monsters". He is shown as the title character in The Wolf Man (1941). Other actors honored in this set of stamps, and the classic monsters they portray, are Lon Chaney as The Phantom of the Opera (1925); Bela Lugosi as _Dracula (1931/I)_ ; and Boris Karloff on two stamps as The Mummy (1932) and the monster in Frankenstein (1931).
- Broderick Crawford, who had played Chaney's role of Lennie in "Of Mice and Men" on Broadway in 1937, worked with Chaney at one time and shared a dressing room with him. Apparently, both men were such heavy drinkers that they'd get drunk together and take turns beating each other up.
- Well-known character actor William Smith started out as a child actor, and in an interview with a horror-film magazine stated that during breaks on the set of The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), Chaney treated all of the children on the set to ice cream.
- Father of two sons, Lon and Ron.
- From his father he developed skills as a makeup artist. He was not able to make much use of these skills due to strict union rules.
- 2 sons with Dorothy Hinckley: Lon Ralph Chaney born July 3, 1928 and Ronald Creighton Chaney born March 18, 1930
- His father told him he was too tall for a successful career in film.
- His favorite role was that of Lennie Small in Of Mice and Men (1939). After a few drinks at parties, he would recite scenes from that film.
- Like his father, he refused requests for autographs.
- Was possibly not as tall as is often reported. According to Calvin Thomas Beck in "Heroes of the Horrors" (Macmillan, 1975), Chaney wore special shoes in Of Mice and Men (1939) to increase his height by six inches. "In reality," Beck writes, "he was just six feet tall." Chaney said, according to Beck, that "from that film on, people thought I was much taller" (Beck, p. 235). Early publicity accounts from the 1930s describe Chaney as a strapping six-footer. In Gregory William Mank's books, Chaney is described as being 6'2" (though Mank reproduces press material for The Wolf Man (1941) which describes Chaney as being five inches taller than Claude Rains, who was 5'7").
- He was born prematurely, and the illnesses he suffered at the end of his life may have been partially the result of this. In fact, he was born, in his own words, "black and dead." His father took him outside to a ice covered lake, broke the ice and put him into the ice cold water to jump-start his breathing. However, according to his son Lon Ralph Chaney as well as Cleva's daughter by her second marriage, Stella George, the story is complete fiction.
- In 1930, lived at 735 N. Laurel Avenue, Los Angeles, while working as an advertising manager for a water-heater company.
- Is mentioned in the Warren Zevon song "Werewolves of London".
Naked Photos of Lon Chaney Jr. are available at MaleStars.com. They
currently feature over 65,000 Nude Pics, Biographies, Video Clips,
Articles, and Movie Reviews of famous stars.