SYMHC Live at SLCC: Lon Chaney, Man of a Thousand Faces

Lon Chaney Sr. and Mary Philbin on the set of "The Phantom of the Opera," based on the novel by Gaston Leroux and directed by Rupert Julian. Photo by Universal Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Not only was he a star as an actor, he was famed for his use of makeup. He was passionate about completely transforming himself for each role, and was determined to keep his life off screen as private as possible.

Holly's Research:

  • Editors. “Lon Chaney.” Dec. 16, 2015.
  • “LON CHANEY DIES AFTER BRAVE FIGHT.” New York Times. August 27, 1930. Accessed online:
  • “CHANEY LEFT $550,000, MOST OF IT TO WIDOW; $1 Bequeathed to Divorced Wife to Prevent Contest on Will of Movie Star.” New York Times. Sept. 5, 1930. Accessed online:
  • “LON CHANEY BETTER AFTER A TRANSFUSION.” New York Times. Aug. 24, 1930. Accessed online:
  • “LON CHANEY'S FIVE VOICES; Chaney's Firm Deposition. Not His First Effort.” New York Times. July 6, 1930.“Lon Chaney – Biography.” Chaney Entertainment.
  • “CHANEY TO BE BURIED IN CALIFORNIA TODAY.” New York Times. August 28, 1930.
  • “CHANEY REPORTED ILL HERE; Motion Picture Actor Is Said to Be Patient in Hospital.” New York Times. July 8, 1930.
  • “CHANEY SLOWLY IMPROVES.; Film Star Resting Well In Fight Against Pernicious Anemia.” New York Times. Aug. 26, 1930.
  • “Lon Chaney Has Influenza.” New York Times. May 2, 1929.
  • Blake, Michael F. “Lon Chaney: The Man Behind the Thousand Faces.” 1997.
  • The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Lon Chaney.” Encyclopædia Britannica. December 10, 2013.
  • “Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces.” (Documentary.) TCM. 2000
  • “Warts and All.” The Guardian. Nov. 20, 2000.
  • Turan, Kenneth. “The Most Fiendish Face in Movies.” Los Angeles Times. Feb. 19, 2006.

Topics in this Podcast: Halloween episodes, film history, 20th century, entertainment history, theater