Eddie Polo

Active - 1915 - 1954  |   Born - Feb 1, 1875   |   Died - Jun 1, 1961   |   Genres - Action, Comedy, Adventure, Drama, Romance

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One of the best stunt men of the silent era, diminutive Eddie Polo became known as the "Hercules of the Screen." The former circus acrobat joined Universal in 1914 where he doubled the serial team of Francis Ford and Grace Cunard before starring on his own in chapterplays, such as Lure of the Circus (1918). At one point, the egocentric Polo was almost as popular as he imagined himself to be and became arguably the only male star to threaten the supremacy of the renowned serial queens. A 1919 attempt to become a two-reel Western star was less successful, however, and by the time of the self-produced Captain Kidd (1922), Polo was clearly too old for swashbuckling. Abandoning Hollywood for Europe, the former serial ace made the German Der Teufelreporter (1930), but time had obviously passed him by and he did not resume his screen career until the 1940s, and then mostly in unbilled bits. Long in retirement, Polo died of a heart attack while playing poker with old friends at a Hollywood eatery. He was survived by his brother Sam Polo and daughter Malvina Polo, both of whom had appeared in silent films, with Malvina memorably appearing as the retarded girl in Erich von Stroheim's Foolish Wives (1922).

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