Photo of Lon Chaney Jr. Lon Chaney Jr.

Born in Oklahoma City on Feb. 10, 1906, Lon Chaney Jr. mastered the art of screen makeup techniques from his father, Lon Chaney Sr., a horror icon known as "the Man of a Thousand Faces." But even though the young Chaney made his onstage acting debut when he was just 6 months old, he was reluctant to follow in his father's footsteps, choosing instead to take jobs as a fruit picker, plumber and butcher boy.

In the wake of his father's death, Chaney began to appear in feature films, most notably as the tragically strong Lennie Small in the film version of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men (1939) and as The Wolf Man (1941) -- a role that would typecast him in monster movies for the rest of his life.

In fact, when he died on July 12, 1973, of liver failure, he was the only actor to have played all four of the classic movie monsters: the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, Dracula and the Mummy.

Lon Chaney Jr. in High Noon

High Noon

1952 NR

Retiring Marshal Will Kane insists on defending his town from a gang of hooligans who are due on the noon train -- but he faces the task alone as the cowardly townspeople flee like rats from a sinking ship.

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