Only One True Wolfman
Lon Chaney Jr WAS Wolfman! Other actors may have played similiar roles but the son of the legendary Lon “Man Of 1,000″ Faces” Chaney Sr was the definitive motion picture monster. Lon was born Creighton Tull Chaney on February 10, 1906 in Oklahoma City, OK. His early screen name was Creighton Chaney. His first Jr credit came in 1935.
No Photographic Evidence
Strangely, no film or photographs seem to exist of the two Chaneys together in the same frame as adults which is remarkable since the senior Chaney had attained a career level of global fame exceeded only by Charlie Chaplin.
Acting Beckons After Death Of Father
When his father passed away Lon had an uncredited role in the 1932 Girl Crazy. He appeared in films under his real name until 1935 when he began to be billed as Lon Chaney Jr. Lon tested for the role of Quasimodo for the 1939 remake of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The role went to Charles Laughton. Lon would get a brief chance to play Quasimodo.
Monsters Travel Route 66
Lon returned to the roles of Mummy and Wolfman in the 1960s television series Route 66 along friends Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre. The actor achieved stardom and critical acclaim in the 1939 film version of Of Mice and Men. Lon portrayed Lennie Small. He was Wolfman in the 1941 Frankenstein Meets Wolfman. His signature role as Wolfman was that same year.
Other Horrific Performances
Lon appeared in House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Ghost of Frankenstein, Mummy’s Tomb, Mummy’s Ghost and Mummy’s Curse. He also portrayed the offspring of Count Dracula in Son of Dracula. Lon is the only actor to portray all four major Universal monsters with roles as Wolfman, Frankenstein Monster, Mummy and vampire son of Dracula. His voice was featured on the Inner Sanctum radio series. His final feature film was in 1971.
Monstrous Guest Star
Lon was also prominent with Gary Cooper in the 1952 High Noon, Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra in the 1955 Not As A Stranger and Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis in the 1958 Defiant Ones. His likeness as Wolfman appeared on a postage stamp. Stamps were also issued for Frankenstein and Mummy (Boris Karloff), Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and Phantom (Lon Chaney Sr). He was Chingachgook in Hawkeye & Last of the Mohicans. That series ended after 39 episodes.