All too often "life imitates art". This couldn't be truer than in the case of cinematic legend Lon Chaney, Jr. The character that Lon Chaney, Jr. made his own (Larry Talbot/Wolf Man) was also the character that he most identified with. The tragedy of a man who wanted to make it on his own and not live off the reputation of his legendary father. A man who had tremendous acting ability and range, but was rarely give the opportunity to show it. It was these personal demons that haunted Lon throughout his life, keeping him one step away from grabbing the golden ring of super stardom.
My first and strongest impression of Lon was not unlike many others....in Universal's "The Wolf Man." But where others would call it a good movies, I saw a masterpiece and an actor who firmly touched my heart. Lon Chaney's portrayal of Larry Talbot and the Wolf Man helped to draw me into horror, starting the fire that burns so bright today.
Until recently, my only exposure to Lon's work was that in the horror genre. I loved him in "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man", "House of Frankenstein", "Ghost of Frankenstein", "The Mummy's Tomb", and "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein". People don't realize that Lon was the only actor ever to play all four Universal monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and the Wolf Man). I spent many a Saturday afternoons during my youth glued to the TV watching all these movies over and over again.
It wasn't to my recent attendance at the Monster Bash, where I met Lon's grandson Ron that I began to see him in a new light. I was able to find out more about this great man and his life. About his dedication to his work and his drive to be his own man. I now have made it my mission to see anything and everything that Lon had done. Recently, I watched "SPIDER BABY" (a late, great Lon Chaney performance) and "Dracula vs. Frankenstein". Anyone that can make any suggestions where to go next let me know. I think I will pick up "The Inner Sanctum" and "Man-Made Monster."
This page is my own personal tribute to Lon Chaney, Jr. Anyone that can share a Lon Chaney, Jr. story with me, please do. I just want to find out more about the man. Hopefully, this page will help spread the gospel of Lon Chaney, Jr.
Looking to purchase some of Lon Chaney,
Jr.'s films, go here
Go to the Lon Chaney, Jr.'s Biography Go to Lon Chaney, Jr.'s Filmography
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05/14/05 02:32 AM
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