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Mary Philbin

Mary Philbin

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Also Known As: Died: May 7, 1993
Born: July 16, 1903 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: Cast ... actor
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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).

Although Philbin essayed the title role of "Stella Maris" (1926) in the remake of the 1918 Mary Pickford showcase, and worked with such important directors as William Beaudine, Frank Borzage, E.A. Dupont and D.W. Griffith, her career ran out of steam at the end of the silent era. Her standard ingenue role in her first all-talkie, "The Shannons of Broadway" (1929), was rather small, and after making a plodding low-budgeter, "After the Fog" (1930), she retired from the screen.

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