Wolfman in Living Color

You can find plenty of photographs of Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolfman in color just by doing a quick google search. Most of the ones you’ll find, though, are original black-and-whites that have been colorized. According to legend—and Pinterest—there is only one extant color photograph of Chaney in the Wolfman makeup that was taken “live” so to speak, and that’s the photograph accompanying this article. I don’t know that I believe that it’s the only one. That seems like something of a stretch to me. But it’s a really cool photo, whatever the case.

I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that Jack Pierce is as responsible for just how over (wrestling jargon) the Universal Monsters are today as any of the actors to portray them, or any of the writers or directors who created the movies. If the Monsters hadn’t looked so iconic, would they have achieved such cultural immortality? I suspect not. In an age before advanced movie effects, and especially before CGI, Pierce had to bring the Monsters to life the old-fashioned way. In the case of the world’s most famous werewolf, the Wolfman, he did it with yak hair, a (sometimes?) patient Lon Chaney Jr. (the process of transforming Chaney into the Wolfman reportedly took nine hours!), and meticulous craftsmanship. Everything else brought to the table was a result of Pierce’s creative genius.

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763 MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!

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