Peter Sellers Autograph

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Which of the many actors of the past, would you most like to own their autograph? Let me give you one example of an inspiring movie legend.

During the glorious days of the silent movies, a lot of the stories we love and watch to this day had their first adaptation to the big screen. For example, long before the days of Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Phantom of the Opera, being a classic book of the same name, was produced as the horror story that it was. It stared Lon Chaney as it’s star and villain. During the absence of speech, came a sense of suspense and horror, tension and nail-biting parts, that required first rate acting to achieve. This is what Lon Chaney became famous for.

His dedication to the stage and to the production and creation of a believable character, is well documented. He is shown in various photoshoots with his own makeup artistry case, that allowed him to transform into the character and become this counterpart. Chaney even earned himself a nickname, based of his ability to transform and adapt. Chaney was known as ‘The man of a thousand faces’.

He also became known for his characterizing often tortured, and afflicted subjects such as Quasimodo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Fagan in Oliver twist. This and many of his other brilliant renditions, also earned him the status amongst the famous, that created a demand and desire for his autograph.

Due to the time period in which Chaney performed, he and other actors like him, were expected to do their own makeup and create their own costume art. The skill and lengths Chaney took to offer a first rate service in this regard, can be clearly seen in his rendition and characterisation of a gangster he plays in The penalty, where he is done up to appear to of had both his legs amputated up to the knee. Because of his talent using makeup, Chaney sometimes played more than one character in his films and theatre parts. If you wanted his autograph back then, he could sign too photographs from the same production.

To own a piece of writing from the hand of the artist himself would be inspiring to any who enjoy this type of art and talent. To have his autograph would be exciting. Today, makeup and special effects in the movie world has taken on a branch and level of it’s own, no doubt inspired and encouraged by legends such as Chaney. In fact it would be laughable, if you ever heard that an actor of today was asked to bring their own costume and makeup on set! Their artistry is kept to the acting and, in todays world, the speaking parts.

So inspiring was Lon Chaney, that his son, Creighton Tull Chaney followed in his footsteps, acting in horror films and called himself Lon Chaney Jr. I wonder if he ever owned his fathers autograph?

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