Lon Chaney, The Phantom of the Opera During the silent era, Chaney was known as the Man of a Thousand Faces for an uncanny ability to transform himself into any character like Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the hideously deformed Erik in this landmark 1925 adaptation of the Gaston Leroux novel. Erik is described in the novel as having a skull-like face and thats exactly how Chaney looks. He used thin wires to pull his eyeballs out of their sockets so they looked like they were bulging, and for his terrifying nose, Chaney pulled the tip of his own nose up and kept it in place with a wire, and used black paint to enlarge his nostrils. The scene in which Christine pulls the mask away to reveal that face is still shocking.
Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times