Brought to Hollywood via a beauty contest sponsored by Universal Pictures, Mary Philbin was a gorgeous child of 17 when she made her first screen appearance. She rose to stardom under the tutelage of Erich Von Stroheim in the 1923 melodrama Merry-Go-Round. Her best-known screen role was as Christine Daas, the terrified heroine in Lon Chaney's Phantom of the Opera (1925). Even more effective was her thoughtful performance as a blind girl in The Man Who Laughs (1928), in which she co-starred with Conrad Veidt. Mary Philbin retired from films when talkies came in, briefly returning to dub in her voice for the 1930 reissue of Phantom of the Opera.