Iconic Silent Film Stars That Shaped Cinema As We Know It

During the silent film era between the mid-1890s and the late 1920s, movies were almost always accompanied by live music. What made them truly “silent” was that there was no audible dialogue, with the plot usually being conveyed using title cards, and relying on the skill of the actors to portray emotion. It was during this time the first movie stars began to shape the film industry into what we know it as today. Take a look and see who these pioneers were.

Max Linder Is Considered One Of The First Movie Stars

Picture of Max Linder
Harlingue/Roger Viollet via Getty Images
Harlingue/Roger Viollet via Getty Images

Gabriel-Maximillien Leuvielle, known professionally as Max Linder, was a French actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and comedian. His onscreen personae “Max” became one of the first recognizable characters in film, leading to people calling him “the first international movie star” and “the first film star anywhere.”

He enlisted in the First World War, where he served as a dispatch driver and an entertainer. However, he was injured on several occasions and began experiencing serious bouts of depression. Upon coming to the United States, he saw little success, but with the help of Charlie Chaplin made the two successful films – Seven Years Bad Luck and The Three Must-Get-Theres.