Lon Chaney's Shadow: John Jeske and the Chaney Mystique reveals an unexplored and controversial side of the great silent film actor Lon Chaney's life by taking a close look at his relationship with friend, chauffeur, and make-up assistant, John Jeske. Books previously published of Chaney's life and career document his phenomenal talent in the art of motion picture make-up and acting, but the reader comes away without a full understanding of who Chaney was as a man. This book focuses on the human level of the relationship between Lon, his son Creighton (Lon, Jr.), second wife Hazel, and their "faithful servant", so the pieces of the emotional and psychological dynamics at work in this complex story can finally be appreciated for the significant impact they had on Chaney's career.
The John Jeske story is at its core a fascinating glimpse into a world which has until now been off limits to all but the most dedicated of researchers. The majority of evidence to link the two men has been purposely suppressed or destroyed--a great deal of it was destroyed by Chaney himself and his wife Hazel to keep alive the myth that Chaney did not need help of any kind. The story of Jeske's life and work with Lon Chaney is therefore fragmented at best, but I believe, through painstaking research, I have recovered enough to finally reveal the truth. This book fills the gap left behind by every other Lon Chaney biography and is an essential addition to the libraries of Chaney fans and film historians worldwide.
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