With his piercing eyes and shock of white hair, Fritz Leiber seemed every inch the priests, professors, musical professors and religious fanatics that he was frequently called upon to play in films. A highly respected Shakespearean actor, Leiber made his film bow in 1916, playing Mercutio in the Francis X. Bushman version of Romeo and Juliet. His many silent-era portrayals included Caesar in Theda Bara's 1917 Cleopatra and Solomon in the mammoth 1921 Betty Blythe vehicle Solomon and Sheba. He thrived as a character actor in talkies, usually in historical roles; one of his larger assignments of the 1940s was as Franz Liszt in the Claude Rains remake of The Phantom of the Opera (1943). Fritz Leiber was the father of the famous science-fiction author of the same name.