Lester Cuneo

Handsome American silent western star Lester Cuneo, the self-proclaimed "Smiling Daredevil of the Screen," began his film career in early Selig westerns starring Tom Mix. By the early 1920s, Cuneo had formed his own ... Read more »
Born: 10/24/1888 in Chicago, IL

Filmography

other (2)

Graustark 1915 (Movie)

Prince Gabriel (Actor)

The Masked Rider (Movie)

Squid Archer (Actor)

Biography

Handsome American silent western star Lester Cuneo, the self-proclaimed "Smiling Daredevil of the Screen," began his film career in early Selig westerns starring Tom Mix. By the early 1920s, Cuneo had formed his own production company to take up direct competition with Mix, a nemesis, reportedly, both on and off the screen. Unfortunately, although well-mounted, Cuneo's westerns received scant attention outside of small towns, and penny-pinching Ward Lascelles took over the production reins in 1924. By then Cuneo's popularity had all but evaporated and, reviewing Range Vultures in 1925, the trade paper Moving Picture World echoed the diminished Cuneo fan-club with a heartfelt "poor Lester!" In April of 1925, Cuneo was arrested on a charge of drunk driving on Hollywood Boulevard; that, and the fact that his wife and frequent co-star, Francelia Billington, was in the process of suing for divorce, proved to much for the "Smiling Daredevil," who, smiling no more, ended it all with a bullet through the heart.

~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

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