The Info List - Mary Philbin

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MARY LORETTA PHILBIN (July 16, 1902 – May 7, 1993) was an American film actress of the silent film era, who is best known for playing the roles of Christine Daaé in the 1925 film The Phantom of the Opera opposite Lon Chaney , and as Dea in The Man Who Laughs . Both roles cast her as the beauty in Beauty and the Beast -type stories.


* 1 Early life * 2 Career * 3 Later life and death * 4 Filmography

* 5 Notes and references

* 5.1 Notes * 5.2 References

* 6 External links


Philbin was born on July 16, 1902 Chicago, Illinois into a middle-class Irish American family and raised Roman Catholic . Her father, John Philbin, was born in Ballinrobe , County Mayo , Ireland .


Philbin began her acting career after winning a beauty contest sponsored by Universal Pictures in Chicago. Relocating to California, Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim
signed her to a contract with Universal, deeming her a "Universal Super Jewel."

She made her screen debut in 1921 and the following year was awarded at the first annual WAMPAS Baby Stars
WAMPAS Baby Stars
awards, a promotional campaign sponsored by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers in the United States
United States
, which honoured thirteen young women each year whom they believed to be on the threshold of movie stardom.

Over the course of 1920s, Philbin became a successful film actress and starred in a number of high-profile films, most notably in D. W. Griffith 's 1928 film Drums of Love . In 1927, she appeared in the horror film Surrender, though her most celebrated role was in the Universal horror film The Phantom of the Opera in 1925. Philbin's ethereal screen presence was noted in a 1924 edition of Motion Picture Classic, in which she was referred to as "one of the astonishing anomalies of motion pictures...Pat O\'Malley once said of her: "If I were superstitious I would think that the spirit of some great tragedienne of a forgotten past slipped into Mary's soul."

Philbin played a few parts during the early talkie era and most notably dubbed her own voice when The Phantom of the Opera was given sound and re-released. She retired from the screen in the early 1930s and devoted her life to care for her aging parents.


Philbin spent the remainder of her life after leaving the film industry as a recluse , living in the same home in Huntington Beach, California
. She never married and rarely made public appearances. One rare public appearance by Philbin occurred in her later years at the Los Angeles opening of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera .

She died of pneumonia at age 90 in 1993 and was buried at the Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, California



1921 The Blazing Trail Talithy Millicuddy

1921 Danger Ahead Tressie Harloow

1921 Twelve Hours to Live

Short film

1921 No Clothes to Guide Him

Short film

1921 Red Courage Eliza Fay

1921 Sure Fire

1921 False Kisses Mary

1922 Foolish Wives Crippled girl Uncredited

1922 The Trouper Mary Lee

1922 Human Hearts Ruth

1922 His First Job Jimmy's Sweetheart

1922 Once to Every Boy Jimmy's Sweetheart

1923 Penrod and Sam Margaret Schofield

1923 Merry-Go-Round Agnes Urban

1923 Where Is This West? Sallie Summers

1923 The Age of Desire Margy (age 18)

1923 The Temple of Venus Moira

1923 The Thrill Chaser Cameo appearance

1924 Fools' Highway Mamie Rose

1924 The Gaiety Girl Irene Tudor

1924 The Rose of Paris Mitsi

1925 Fifth Avenue Models Isoel Ludant

1925 The Phantom of the Opera Christine Daaé

1925 Stella Maris Stella Maris/Unity Blake

1927 Surrender Lea Lyon

1927 The Last Performance Julie

1927 Love Me and the World Is Mine Hannerl

1928 Drums of Love Princess Emanuella

1928 The Man Who Laughs Dea

1929 Port of Dreams Joan

1929 The Shannons of Broadway Tessie Swanzey

1929 After the Fog Faith Barker



* ^ " California
Death Index, 1940-1997," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VP2K-JTB : 26 November 2014), Mary Loretta Philbin, 07 May 1993; Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento. * ^ A B C Slide 2002 , p. 307. * ^ "Recently Noted". The Catholic Charities Review. 26–27: 70. * ^ A B Sanchez 1930 , p. 159. * ^ Beck 1978 , p. 63. * ^ Beck 1978 , p. 62. * ^ "Tears". Motion Picture Classic. 20–21: 41. 1924.


* Beck, Calvin Thomas (1978). Scream Queens: Heroines of the Horrors. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-020-12140-4 . * Sanchez, Nellie Van de Grift (1930). California
and Californians. 3. The Lewis Publishing Co. * Slide, Anthony (2002). Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-813-12249-6 .