Snitz Edwards

Active - 1915 - 1931  |   Born - Jan 1, 1862   |   Died - May 1, 1937   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Crime, Adventure

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Biography by Janiss Garza

In Sunset Boulevard, when Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) explains that dialogue wasn't needed in the days of silent film because "we had faces," she probably wasn't thinking of Snitz Edwards -- but she should have. Edwards is one of the most memorable supporting actors of the silent era. His mobile, monkey-like face enhanced such classic pictures as Buster Keaton's Battling Butler, Seven Chances, and College; Lon Chaney's Phantom of the Opera; and Mary Pickford's Rosita. Once anyone saw Edwards' face, they never forgot it. The Hungarian-born actor began his career on stage in light comedy, and then became a German dialect comedian in vaudeville. He was already in his fifties and his theatrical career had spanned over 30 years when he first began appearing in motion pictures. His first films were for Kleine and it wasn't long before his diminutive frame (he was said to weigh just 102 pounds) and funny face were noticed by some of the era's biggest stars. In 1917, he appeared in The Price She Paid which starred Clara Kimball Young and after that he supported many stars such as Lois Wilson, Leatrice Joy, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., and Marion Davies. He is probably best remembered for his work with Buster Keaton. Edwards was one of the comic genius' favorite sidemen -- in fact, he's far more visible in Battling Butler than Sally O'Neil, the film's love interest. By the time talkies came in, Edwards was often ill with crippling arthritis. He only appeared in three sound films, the most important of which was The Public Enemy. He spent his last few years as an invalid before dying in 1937.

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