Mack Swain

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Mack Swain
Mack Swain 1920.jpg
In 1920, photo by Witzel.
Born (1876-02-16)February 16, 1876
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Died August 25, 1935(1935-08-25) (aged 59)
Tacoma, Washington, USA
Occupation Actor, vaudevillian
Spouse(s) Cora Claire King (1877-1956)
With Charles Chaplin and Mabel Normand in Gentlemen of Nerve (1914)

Mack Swain (February 16, 1876 - August 25, 1935) was an American actor and vaudevillian, prolific throughout the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s.

Film career[edit]

Clockwise from top: Phyllis Allen, Mack Swain, Charles Chaplin and Mabel Normand in Getting Acquainted (1914)

Born Moroni Swain to Robert Henry Swain and Mary Ingeborg Jensen in Salt Lake City, Utah, he worked in vaudeville before starting in silent film at Keystone Studios under Mack Sennett. While with Keystone, he was teamed up with Chester Conklin to make a series of comedy films. With Swain as "Ambrose" and Conklin as the grand mustachioed "Walrus", they performed these roles in several films including The Battle of Ambrose and Walrus and Love, Speed and Thrills, both made in 1915. Besides these comedies, the two appeared together in a variety of other films, twenty-six all told, and they also appeared separately and/or together in films starring Mabel Normand, Charles Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle and most of the rest of the roster of Keystone players. He later took his Ambrose character with him to the now-obscure L-KO Kompany. Having already worked with Charles Chaplin at Keystone, Swain began working with Chaplin again at First National in 1921, appearing in The Idle Class, Pay Day and The Pilgrim. He is also remembered for his large supporting role as "Big Jim McKay"' in the 1925 film The Gold Rush, for United Artists, written by and starring Chaplin.

Swain died in Tacoma, Washington in 1935. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1500 Vine Street.

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