Friday, May 11, 2007

Genre Movie Image of the Day: The Wolf Man!

wolfman02

It's the penultimate Wolf Man photo today!

Let's see, I was talking about Lon Chaney, Junior. Well, most of you probably know this already, but he wasn't originally named Lon Chaney, Junior. His father, the master of make-up Lon Chaney, named him Creighton Chaney, and didn't especially approve of his son going into the movie business.

If I recall correctly, Creighton changed his name to Lon Chaney, Junior in order to get work in movies... and you know, as marketing, it definitely makes sense!

If you've ever seen the movie "The Man of a Thousand Faces," starring James Cagney as Lon Sr., you probably remember the last scene, in which the dying Chaney calls his son to his bedside, picks up his famous make-up kit, scrawls something on it, and then hands it to his son before he passes it away... and what he'd scrawled was the "Junior" after the embossed "Lon Chaney" name on the kit.

Obviously, that bit was complete fabrication.

Interestingly enough, in his later career, Lon Chaney, Jr. actually dropped the "Jr." from his stage name, being billed simply as "Lon Chaney"!

I suppose we should be thankful that there were no "Boris Karloff, Jr." or "Bela Lugosi, Jr." making their way into the movies. Not that I've got anything against Lon Jr. (he was actually a pretty good actor, and received quite some acclaim for "Of Mice and Men"), mind you!

Jon

2 comments:

  1. I heard that Tony Karloff, son of Boris, used to live in the Seattle area. I just found a web page that said that he was really the son of a friend of Boris--that he used that name with Mr. Karloff's permission.

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  2. Jon,
    IIRC, Lon Chaney Jr. said "they starved me into it." IMDB's lists indicate it was in 1935, between "The Marriage Bargain" and "Accent on Youth" (and that "they" must have been Paramount).
    Thanks!

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