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John Bunny
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    (September 21, 1863-April 26, 1915)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Vaudeville and silent film star
    Made over 100 silent short comedies for Vitagraph Studios
    He performed in blackface in minstrel shows.
    He insured his face for $100,000.
    He was disliked by other Vitagraph actors, who found him arrogant, bad tempered and difficult to work with.
    He is sometimes falsely credited with being the first person to play Santa Claus on screen.
    He said, 'I did not aim to be a comedian, but nature was against me. How could I hope to play Romeo with a figure like mine?'
    He was one of the first actors who was already successful on the stage to make the transition to films.
    He was the American cinema's first major comedian.
    He was called 'the most famous face in the world.'
    He was dubbed 'Monsieur Cinema' by the French.

Credit: C. Fishel

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