Friday, June 17, 2011

Best Supporting Actors Of 1917

Eric Campbell (The Chaplin Mutuals)

Sam De Grasse (Wild and Woolly)

Buster Keaton (The Roscoe Arbuckle Comedy Shorts)


Yvette said...

Honest to goodness, M.M. I thought the pix at the top of the post was of Zero Mostel.

Then I wondered did the wonderful Zero do silent films??In 1917?

Maybe he was a time-traveller. :)

Mythical Monkey said...

Eric Campbell is actually an interesting, if sad, story. He was in the same British comedy troupe that brought Chaplin and Stan Laurel to the America. Because Campbell was such a physical contrast to Chaplin -- 6'5" to the Tramp's 5'5" -- and because they were good friends, Chaplin cast him as his nemesis in eleven of the twelve comedies Chaplin did at Mutual (the only one he wasn't in was One A.M., which but for a taxi driver at the beginning is a solo act).

After the last of the Mutuals was finished in late 1917, Campbell got drunk, climbed into his car and died in an accident. Afterwards, he was cremated, but his ashes went unclaimed and they were tucked away in a closet and there they remained until 1938 when they mortuary sent them on to the cemetery where the original service had taken place. There the urn remained until 1952 when an office worker finally buried it. Unfortunately, he forgot to record where he buried it, so to this day, no one is sure where he's buried.

In 1996, while filming a documentary about Campbell's life, a Scottish film company had a plaque put up somewhere in the cemetery.

You can see him in my favorite of his efforts, Behind the Screen, here.

Jason Kessler said...

Eric was also, in stark contrast to the characters he played on film, a fairly gentle, some say shy, man.