Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 12, 1881 - Charles Albert "Tod" Browning

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Charles Albert ("Tod") Browning, the so-called Edgar Allen Poe of the cinema, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on July 12, 1881. His parents were Charles and Lydia J. (Fitzgerald) Browning. He attended Louisville Boys High School, and for several years worked as a stockboy and clerk at a wholesale saddlery. In late 1899 or early 1900, Browning left home to join a circus. Performing as a clown and contortionist, he later joined the World of Mirth vaudeville troupe. In 1913 Browning began working as an actor for cinema director D.W. Griffith in New York. In October 1913 Browning followed Griffith to Hollywood, where he continued to act and began to write scripts and direct two-reelers. He played a crook in " The Modern Story" section of Griffith's Intolerance (1916), and was also one of Griffith's assistant directors on Intolerance.
In 1917 Browning and Wilfred Lucas codirected the feature film Jim Bludso. The following year Browning married Alice Houghton. In 1919 Browning, as director and screenwriter, collaborated with Lon Chaney, Sr., the actor, on The Wicked Darling. Working with Chaney on a total of ten films, including The Unholy Three (1925) and The Unknown (1927), Browning found his niche in atmospheric horror films. Browning was best known for directing Dracula (1931), starring Bela Lugosi, a classic of early horror films, and Freaks (1932). Now a cult classic, Freaks aroused such controversy after its original release that the studio withdrew it from general circulation, and it was rarely seen until it was honored at the 1962 Venice Festival.
After the commercial failure of Freaks, Browning made only four more films before he retired in 1939. Following his wife's death in 1944, he lived alone in their Malibu Colony home until his death on October 6, 1962. He was buried in Los Angeles.
THOMAS M. HOUSE, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Skal, Browning, Ford, Baclanova, Hyams, Ates, . . . Warner Brother's Company. (2004). Freaks. United States]: Turner Entertainment and Warner Brothers Entertainment.
AV-D3898, Young Media Library

Laemmle, C., Browning, T., Lugosi, B., Chandler, H., Manners, D., Frye, D., . . . Universal Pictures. (1999).Dracula (Full frame version. ed., Classic monster collection). Universal City, CA: Universal.
AV-D4404, Young Media Library

Riley, P., & Browning, T. (1985). London after midnight. New York: Cornwall Books.
PN1997 .L67 1985, Young Library - 5th Floor

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