Mary Philbin

Actor
Silent film star, almost exclusively with Universal, a beauty contest runner-up invited to Hollywood by studio boss Carl Laemmle (the winner, Gertrude Olmstead, also enjoyed success in film). After two years in ... Read more »
Born: 07/16/1903 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Actor (7)

Danger Ahead (Movie)

Tressie Harlow (Actor)

Drums of Love (Movie)

Princess Emanuella (Actor)

Penrod and Sam (Movie)

Margaret Schofield (Actor)

The Blazing Trail (Movie)

Talithy Millicuddy (Actor)

The Man Who Laughs (Movie)

Dea (Actor)

The Rose of Paris (Movie)

Mitsi (Actor)

The Shannons of Broadway (Movie)

Tessie Swanzey (Actor)

Biography

Silent film star, almost exclusively with Universal, a beauty contest runner-up invited to Hollywood by studio boss Carl Laemmle (the winner, Gertrude Olmstead, also enjoyed success in film). After two years in Hollywood Philbin played in her first important film, Erich von Stroheim's lavish "Merry-Go-Round" (1923), opposite Norman Kerry, with whom she would act in five films. Philbin's best-known role remains that of aspiring opera singer Christine Daae, tutored and beloved by the frightful "Phantom of the Opera" (1925), with Lon Chaney in the title role. She later gave a touching performance as the blind heroine who becomes enamored of another disfigured protagonist (Conrad Veidt) in Paul Leni's stunning adaptation of Victor Hugo's "The Man Who Laughs" (1928).

Milestones

1930

Last film, "After the Fog"

1929

Contract with Universal not renewed

1929

Played the leading role in the "5% talkie", "Girl Overboard"

1929

First all-talking film, "The Shannons of Broadway"

1929

Last silent film, "The Last Performance"

1928

Last film opposite Kerry, E.A. Dupont's "Love Me and the World Is Mine"

1923

First of five films opposite Norman Kerry, "Merry-Go-Round", directed by Erich von Stroheim; became established in leading roles

1923

First leading role, "Danger Ahead"

1921

Film debut, "The Blazing Trail"

1919

Was the runner-up in a beauty contest at age 16; attracted the attention of Universal Pictures head Carl Laemmle (the winner, Gertrude Olmstead, also enjoyed success as a leading lady in Hollywood) (date approximate)

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