Mary Philbin, Star Of The Silent Film Era
Mary Philbin, who was best known for her role as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, opposite Lon Chaney, was an ethereal beauty of the silent era and lived out her own tragic romance. In a career which spanned from 1922-1929, she appeared in more than 30 films, including both full-length feature films and shorts.
Philbin, who was born in Chicago in 1902, was the daughter of an Irish immigrant. Her father took her to see plays at local theaters, and she studied classical dance, including ballet, as well as the piano and organ. At an early age, she also became friends with Carla Laemmle, and this friendship would come to be one of the most influential for Philbin and would last throughout her life.