Silent film comedians

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  1. Charles Chaplin

    Charles Chaplin


    Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) was an English comic actor and film-maker who rose to fame in the silent film era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years, from childhood in the Victorian era until a year before his death in 1977, and encompassed both adulation and controversy.

  2. Buster Keaton

    Buster Keaton


    Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966) was an American actor, vaudevillian, comedian, filmmaker, stunt performer, and writer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face".

  3. Stan Laurel

    Stan Laurel


    Stan Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson; 16 June 1890 – 23 February 1965) was an English comic actor, writer and film director, most famous for his role in the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. With his comedy partner Oliver Hardy he appeared in 107 short films, feature films and cameo roles.

  4. Oliver Hardy

    Oliver Hardy


    Oliver "Ollie" Hardy (born Norvell Hardy) (January 18, 1892 – August 7, 1957) was an American comic actor famous as one half of Laurel and Hardy, the classic double act that began in the era of silent films and lasted 25 years, from 1927 to 1951. He was credited with his first film, Outwitting Dad, in 1914. In some of his early works, he was billed as Babe Hardy, using his nickname.

  5. Harold Lloyd

    Harold Lloyd


    Harold Clayton Lloyd, Sr. (April 20, 1893 – March 8, 1971) was an American actor, comedian, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and stunt performer who is most famous for his silent comedy films.

  6. Mabel Normand

    Mabel Normand


    Mabel Normand (November 9, 1892 – February 23, 1930) was an American silent film actress, screenwriter, director and producer. She was a popular star and collaborator of Mack Sennett's in his Keystone Studios films and at the height of her career in the late 1910s and early 1920s had her own movie studio and production company. Onscreen she appeared in a dozen successful films with Charles Chaplin and seventeen with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, sometimes writing and directing (or co-writing/directing) movies featuring Chaplin as her leading man. Throughout the 1920s her name was linked with widely publicized scandals including the 1922 murder of William Desmond Taylor and the 1924 shooting of Courtland S. Dines, who was shot by Normand's chauffeur using her pistol. She was not a suspect in either crime. Her film career declined, possibly due to both scandals and a recurrence of tuberculosis in 1923, which led to a decline in her health, retirement from films and her death in 1930 at age 37.

  7. Charley Chase

    Charley Chase


    Charley Chase (October 20, 1893 – June 20, 1940) was an American comedian, actor, screenwriter and film director, best known for his work in Hal Roach short film comedies. He was the older brother of comedian/director James Parrott.

  8. Harry Langdon

    Harry Langdon


    Harry Philmore Langdon (June 15, 1884 – December 22, 1944) was an American comedian who appeared in vaudeville, silent films (where he had his greatest fame), and talkies. He was briefly partnered with Oliver Hardy.

  9. Edna Purviance

    Edna Purviance


    Edna Purviance (/ˈɛdnə pərˈvəns/; October 21, 1895 – January 11, 1958) was an American actress during the silent movie era. She was the leading lady in many of Charlie Chaplin's early films and in a span of eight years, she appeared in over 30 films with him.

  10. Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle

    Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle


    Roscoe Conkling "Fatty" Arbuckle (March 24, 1887 – June 29, 1933) was an American silent film actor, comedian, director, and screenwriter. Starting at the Selig Polyscope Company he eventually moved to Keystone Studios where he worked with Mabel Normand and Harold Lloyd. He mentored Charlie Chaplin and discovered Buster Keaton and Bob Hope. Arbuckle was one of the most popular silent stars of the 1910s, and soon became one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, signing a contract in 1920 with Paramount Pictures for US$1 million (equivalent to approximately $13,222,015 in 2015 dollars).

  11. Anita Garvin

    Anita Garvin


    Anita Garvin (February 11, 1907 – July 7, 1994) was an American actress and comedian who appeared in both silent and sound films. She is best known for her work with comedians Laurel and Hardy and Charley Chase.

  12. James Finlayson

    James Finlayson


    James Henderson "Jimmy" Finlayson (27 August 1887 – 9 October 1953) was a Scottish actor who worked in both silent and sound comedies. Bald, with a fake moustache, Finlayson had many trademark comic mannerisms and is famous for his squinting, outraged, "double take and fade away" head reaction, and characteristic expression "d'ooooooh", and as the most famous comic foil of Laurel and Hardy.

  13. Ben Turpin

    Ben Turpin


    Bernard "Ben" Turpin (September 19, 1869 – July 1, 1940) was an American comedian and actor, best remembered for his work in silent films.

  14. Mae Laurel

    Mae Laurel


    Mae Dahlberg (b. Charlotte Mae Dahlberg 24 May 1888, Australia, d. 1969, New York), was a music hall and vaudeville performer and actress in several Hollywood silent movies.

  15. Lupino Lane

    Lupino Lane


    Lupino Lane (16 June 1892 – 10 November 1959) was an English actor and theatre manager, and a member of the famous Lupino family. Lane started out as a child performer, known as 'Little Nipper', and went on to appear in a wide range of theatrical, music hall and film performances. He is best known for playing Bill Snibson in the play and film Me and My Girl, which popularised The Lambeth Walk.

  16. Max Linder

    Max Linder


    Gabriel-Maximilien Leuvielle (16 December 1883 – 31 October 1925), better known by the stage name Max Linder was a French actor, director, screenwriter, producer and comedian of the silent film era. His onscreen persona "Max" was one of the first recognizable recurring characters in film. He has also been cited as the "first international movie star."

  17. Chester Conklin

    Chester Conklin


    Chester Cooper Conklin (January 11, 1886 – October 11, 1971) was an American comedic actor who appeared in over 280 films, about half of them in the silent film era.

  18. Igor Ilyinsky

    Igor Ilyinsky


    Igor Vladimirovich Ilyinsky (Russian: И́горь Влади́мирович Ильи́нский; 24 July 1901 – 13 January 1987) was a famous Russian film and stage actor, director and comedian.

  19. Raymond Griffith

    Raymond Griffith


    Raymond Griffith (January 23, 1895 – November 25, 1957) was one of the great silent movie comedians. Later in his career, he worked behind the camera as writer and producer.

  20. Larry Semon

    Larry Semon


    Lawrence "Larry" Semon (February 9, 1889 – October 8, 1928) was an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter during the silent film era. In his day, Semon was considered a major movie comedian, but he is now remembered mainly for working with both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy before they started working together.

  21. 'Snub' Pollard

    'Snub' Pollard


    Harry "Snub" Pollard (9 November 1889 – 19 January 1962) was a silent film comedian, popular in the 1920s. He was born Harold Fraser in Melbourne, Australia in 1889.

  22. Monty Banks

    Monty Banks


    Montague (Monty) Banks (15 July 1897 [registered on 18 July 1897] – 7 January 1950 born Mario Bianchi) was a comedian and film director.

  23. Lloyd Hamilton

    Lloyd Hamilton


    Lloyd Vernon Hamilton (August 19, 1891 – January 19, 1935) was a major American silent film comedian.

  24. Al St. John

    Al St. John


    Al St. John (September 10, 1892 – January 21, 1963) was an American film actor. In his persona of Fuzzy Q. Jones, St. John basically defined the role and concept of "comical sidekick" to cowboy heroes from 1930 to 1951.

  25. Mack Swain

    Mack Swain


    Mack Swain (February 16, 1876 - August 25, 1935) was an American actor and vaudevillian, prolific throughout the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s.

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