Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fans frightened meeting Character Actors in Person

Fans React to Meeting Actors who play Frightening Characters on Screen
Q: Who are these 1920s-30s baddies?

"If for instance you play a bad woman on the screen most of your public take
Boxer/Actor Jack Dempsey
married to actress
Estelle Taylor
it for granted that you're a worse woman off of it. ... 'Vampires, they are terrible,' wailed their portrayer. 

"Terrible on the screen and terrible in real life and if you play them on the screen people think you are one of them.

"No one stops to realize that theatrical life and real life are two opposite poles." Who is the Actress who made this statement in 1923?

In 1938, Edward G. Robinson said, "I'm getting tired of having little children faint when they see my face."

Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone
Robin Hood Original Photo
Actor A "went on to explain the social
repercussion of screen villainies. If he steps onto a department store elevator women cower against the rear wall of what he calls the lift and hide their affrighted children under their skirts. 

"He believes firmly that the only reason women are wearing longer skirts is because the abbreviated skirts did not permit them to hide their affrighted progeny. When he walks along the boulevards policemen trail him in radio cars. 

"Old men turn pale and cover their beards when they see him fearful that he will tweak their lush growths and perhaps sink a knife between their aged shoulder-blades." 1938

Would you like to meet a monster? Greet a gangster,
say Hi to a henchman?
Captain America serial 1940s
Dick Purcell, Lionel Atwill

Atwill played villainous
Dr Maldor / The Scarab
DVDs, posters

"'I have learned certain tricks of being dreadful. I have found them very useful in my private life." Actor B became before my eyes a frightful creature and just as I was preparing to leap through the French window he laughed I gasped and relaxed. 

"'It is a useful face to make at people who want me to buy expensive and useless advertising space in small periodicals,' he observed. 

"I thought that it might well be! ...  A banker friend brought his eleven-year-old son to call recently. He tried to engage the boy in conversation without success. The lad merely peered at him from a corner. Actor B, knowing that the youngster had a passion for tennis finally asked him to come and inspect his excellent courts.'

"The boy declined politely but with an emphatic firmness. At last the truth came out. The kid was not sure that Actor B would not turn into something vicious before his eyes. After the actor had gained the lad's trust and friendship, he opined that the boy was really disappointed to find him just a regular human being." 1935

William Castle introduces The Tingler

Actor C:
"Mothers have been known to hide children at his approach; young husbands to look belligerent when his blue eyes rest upon their blushing brides." 1930

William Powell scares
Thelma Todd in Nevada 1927
"Recently when he was making a personal appearance at a theater an urchin recognized Actor D as he entered the stage door one afternoon and when he emerged there were swarms of youngsters waiting for him. 

Bela Lugosi Dracula
"'Make bogyman faces for us!' they begged. Actor D explained to them that the management of the theater did not allow him to go about frightening people on the streets for nothing. 

"But since the enthusiasts obviously could not pay to see him in costume and make-up, he donated a few dreadful grimaces to their intense delight." 1935

Actor E is a little different and may be easier to guess for those who know actors of the era.

"'I never make personal appearances. I am never more uncomfortable than on the rare occasions when I am in public and someone pokes someone else and says, audibly, There goes Actor E! 

"'It is not policy - but my inclination is to shout back, 'Yes, and none of your
Lon Chaney in makeup 1917
***** business!' 

"'I am very much afraid of my own vanity. We all have some of it. We have to have. It is necessary. It is not necessary to have that vanity catered to and enlarged. It isn't success that kills us that spoils us. It isn't the having of a great deal of money. It is the parasitism that goes with success and money. 

"'It is the effect upon us of the yes-men and women. The effect of the men and women who fawn upon us and tell us we are greater than we really are or ever could be. I have seen more than one screen celebrity tumble from real ability to a sickening complacency and from there to failure and oblivion for no other reason but an inflated ego.'" 1930

Which actors do you think may have made these statements? Some actors wore such elaborate make-up and costumes they could walk down the street unnoticed. The years they were said follow each quote. 

** Who are the speakers above: the Actress and Actors A-E?

Doreen Lang as
'Mother who is
hysterical with fear'
The Birds
Related Pages of Interest:

1930s Fan Girls chase Clark Gable

Vamps Vampires Villains and Flappers

The William Castle Story - Scream for Relief

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