1994 29c Silent Screen Stars: Lon Chaney

# 2822 - 1994 29c Silent Screen Stars: Lon Chaney

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U.S. #2822
1994 Lon Chaney
 
  • Captures one of the “1000 faces” of character actor Lon Chaney
  • Designed by famed caricaturist Al Hirschfeld
 
Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Silent Screen Stars
Value:  29c
First Day of Issue:  April 27, 1994
First Day City:  San Francisco, California
Quantity Issued: 1,860,000
Printed By:  Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Format:  Vertical stamps issued se-tenant with nine other silent film stars in four panes of 40
Perforations: 11.2
 
Why the stamp was issued:  Issued as part of the Silent Screen Stars set of 10, honoring the great names of the early days of Hollywood movie making. 
 
About the stamp design:  The stamp was designed by renowned artist Al Hirschfeld.  Art direction and typographer was Howard Paine.  The artist’s caricature style was the same as his earlier work on the Comedians se-tenant booklet pane of five.  The 29c denomination is printed in drop-out type on a stylized torn ticket stub.  The red and purple give a vibrant touch of theatricality to the stamp. 
 
First Day Ceremony:  The Castro Theater in San Francisco was the site of the First Day Ceremony, with actor Karl Malden as the main speaker. 
 
About the Set:  Besides Charlie Chaplin, the Silent Screen Starsset includes nine other prominent stars of the Silent Screen era:  “The Sheik” Rudolf Valentino, “It Girl” Clara Bow, “Man of a Thousand Faces” Lon Chaney, “The Vamp” Theda Bara, plus John Gilbert, Zasu Pitts, Harold Lloyd, Keystone Cops, and Buster Keaton.
 
The artist was asked to work his daughter Nina’s name into his caricatures for the Silent Screen Stars, as he had often done in previous drawings.  So several of the images do include the artist’s familiar “Nina”.  But in Lon Chaney’s case, whether there is a “Nina” hidden in Chaney’s Quasimodo caricature, is anybody’s guess.   Perhaps in the hunchback’s hair? 
 
History behind the stamp:
Lon Chaney was born Leonidas Frank Chaney in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 1, 1883.
Called the “Man of a Thousand Faces,” Lon Chaney’s macabre characterizations have become classics of the silent screen.  Born of deaf-mute parents, Chaney learned pantomime at an early age, and later became a prop man, director, and actor in his brother’s traveling show.
 
Beginning his film career as an extra, he became an overnight success after starring in The Miracle Man (1919).  During the next ten years, Chaney earned a reputation as the finest character actor in films, playing such memorable roles as Quasimodo the hunchback in the Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and the dual role of police inspector/vampire in London After Midnight (1927).  But his greatest achievement was his characterization of Eric, the demented, acid-scarred musician who haunted the subterranean passages of the Paris Opera in The Phantom of the Opera (1925).
 
A versatile actor, Chaney also won acclaim for his realistic performances in Tell It to the Marines (1927), While the City Sleeps (1928), and Thunder (1929).
 
 
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U.S. #2822
1994 Lon Chaney
 
  • Captures one of the “1000 faces” of character actor Lon Chaney
  • Designed by famed caricaturist Al Hirschfeld
 
Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Silent Screen Stars
Value:  29c
First Day of Issue:  April 27, 1994
First Day City:  San Francisco, California
Quantity Issued: 1,860,000
Printed By:  Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Format:  Vertical stamps issued se-tenant with nine other silent film stars in four panes of 40
Perforations: 11.2
 
Why the stamp was issued:  Issued as part of the Silent Screen Stars set of 10, honoring the great names of the early days of Hollywood movie making. 
 
About the stamp design:  The stamp was designed by renowned artist Al Hirschfeld.  Art direction and typographer was Howard Paine.  The artist’s caricature style was the same as his earlier work on the Comedians se-tenant booklet pane of five.  The 29c denomination is printed in drop-out type on a stylized torn ticket stub.  The red and purple give a vibrant touch of theatricality to the stamp. 
 
First Day Ceremony:  The Castro Theater in San Francisco was the site of the First Day Ceremony, with actor Karl Malden as the main speaker. 
 
About the Set:  Besides Charlie Chaplin, the Silent Screen Starsset includes nine other prominent stars of the Silent Screen era:  “The Sheik” Rudolf Valentino, “It Girl” Clara Bow, “Man of a Thousand Faces” Lon Chaney, “The Vamp” Theda Bara, plus John Gilbert, Zasu Pitts, Harold Lloyd, Keystone Cops, and Buster Keaton.
 
The artist was asked to work his daughter Nina’s name into his caricatures for the Silent Screen Stars, as he had often done in previous drawings.  So several of the images do include the artist’s familiar “Nina”.  But in Lon Chaney’s case, whether there is a “Nina” hidden in Chaney’s Quasimodo caricature, is anybody’s guess.   Perhaps in the hunchback’s hair? 
 
History behind the stamp:
Lon Chaney was born Leonidas Frank Chaney in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 1, 1883.
Called the “Man of a Thousand Faces,” Lon Chaney’s macabre characterizations have become classics of the silent screen.  Born of deaf-mute parents, Chaney learned pantomime at an early age, and later became a prop man, director, and actor in his brother’s traveling show.
 
Beginning his film career as an extra, he became an overnight success after starring in The Miracle Man (1919).  During the next ten years, Chaney earned a reputation as the finest character actor in films, playing such memorable roles as Quasimodo the hunchback in the Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and the dual role of police inspector/vampire in London After Midnight (1927).  But his greatest achievement was his characterization of Eric, the demented, acid-scarred musician who haunted the subterranean passages of the Paris Opera in The Phantom of the Opera (1925).
 
A versatile actor, Chaney also won acclaim for his realistic performances in Tell It to the Marines (1927), While the City Sleeps (1928), and Thunder (1929).