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John Bunny

John Bunny, born September 21, 1863 in New York City, United States – died April 26, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York, was the first comic star of the American silent film era.

John Bunny

John Bunny attended High School in Brooklyn and worked as a grocery clerk before joining a small minstrel show touring the East Coast. He went on to jobs as stage manager for various stock companies and performed in vaudeville before being drawn to the fledgling motion picture business. By 1910, Bunny was working at Vitagraph Studios where the happy-go-lucky, rotund man quickly became an international star of silent film comedies.

John Bunny had only been acting in films for five years when he passed away from Bright's disease and was interred in the Cemetery of the Evergreens in Brooklyn, New York. Because silent film had no language barrier, Bunny's popularity was such that his death was front-page news in Europe as well as the United States.

Following his passing, advances in technology and in stunts brought great new comedic stars to silent film that relegated John Bunny to the status of an almost completely-forgotten actor. However, John Bunny was eventually honored for his contribution to the motion picture industry with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1715 Vine Street in Hollywood.


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However, John Bunny was eventually honored for his contribution to the motion picture industry with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1715 Vine Street in Hollywood. Lon Chaney has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 1994, he was honored with his image on a United States postage stamp designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. Following his passing, advances in technology and in stunts brought great new comedic stars to silent film that relegated John Bunny to the status of an almost completely-forgotten actor. The cause of death was lung cancer, and he was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, California. Because silent film had no language barrier, Bunny's popularity was such that his death was front-page news in Europe as well as the United States. This earned both of them a mention in Warren Zevon's popular song, Werewolves of London. John Bunny had only been acting in films for five years when he passed away from Bright's disease and was interred in the Cemetery of the Evergreens in Brooklyn, New York. His son, Lon Chaney, Jr., was also known for his acting in horror movies.

By 1910, Bunny was working at Vitagraph Studios where the happy-go-lucky, rotund man quickly became an international star of silent film comedies. In the 1957 biography Man of a Thousand Faces, James Cagney portrayed Chaney. He went on to jobs as stage manager for various stock companies and performed in vaudeville before being drawn to the fledgling motion picture business. His ability to transform himself without sophisticated make-up techniques earned him the nickname of "Man of a Thousand Faces". John Bunny attended High School in Brooklyn and worked as a grocery clerk before joining a small minstrel show touring the East Coast. Born to deaf parents in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Leonidas Frank Chaney, skilled in pantomime, made his silent movie debut in 1912 and is chiefly remembered as a forerunner in such horror films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. John Bunny, born September 21, 1863 in New York City, United States – died April 26, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York, was the first comic star of the American silent film era. Lon Chaney, Sr. (April 1, 1883 - August 26, 1930) was an American actor.

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