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Hi, I'm Tamera, a professional wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer in Colorado Springs. But this blog isn't about my professional work; no, it's a daily love note to my beautiful city, where I've lived for most of my life. I love it here and I hope you enjoy seeing Colorado Springs through my eyes and lens!

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06 July 2009

Famous Colorado Springs residents: Lon Chaney

The famous silent film actor Lon Chaney was a native of Colorado Springs. Born to deaf parents, his maternal grandparents founded the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, just a few blocks west of my house (and only about a block west of Nikola Tesla's laboratory -- see yesterday's post).

Lon Chaney got his start on the stage, but the sensationalism surrounding a bitter divorce from his vaudevillian wife caused him to make the leap to the silver screen, where he eventually became known as one of Hollywood's most famous early character actors. He is best known for his groundbreaking roles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (as Quasimodo) and The Phantom of the Opera (as the Phantom, of course). Nicknamed "the man of a thousand faces", Chaney's skill with makeup and characterization made him the "go to" guy for horror roles.

I remember watching The Phantom of the Opera as a kid and being scared to death of Lon Chaney! As an adolescent, I learned that he used paper clips or some such to make his nostrils look so grotesque. Funny! Here in Colorado Springs there is a small theater named after him. It's located in the City Auditorium downtown. I have only been to his namesake theater a couple of times, most memorably to view some silent films featuring, you guessed it, Mr. Lon Chaney.


Lois said...

I love Lon Chaney movies! This is a great idea for a series of posts Tamera.

L. F. Chaney said...

Yours is a WONDERFUL photograph. Thank you for posting it. I love black and white!


L. C.