#29 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925)
is certainly one of the great actors of the early film era, and a
godfather of monster movies, but it's his work as one of the greatest
makeup magicians of all time that is is greatest legacy. The
shocking scene where he removes his mask in Phantom of The Opera is a
scene of horrific beauty. Chaney not only did his own makeup, but he
devised many clever face changing effects like pulling his nostrils
back with hair-pins. To audiences not yet used to something called a
monster movie, Phantom of the Opera was a chilling masterpiece.
Chaney's reappearance later in the film at a ball dressed as The
Masque of the Red Death is pretty damn spooky as well.
was the original choice for Tod Browning's Dracula, and only after
his death was the part given to Bela Lugosi instead!
Chaney mentored the young Boris Karloff extensively, helping him to
get his start in movies.
Chaney's parents were both deaf mutes, which may have helped him
learn skills to be such an expressive actor in silent movies.