List of surviving silent film actors

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This article lists the known surviving actors and actresses that started in or appeared in silent film, including those with uncredited roles. The silent era existed from the mid-1890s until the first sound feature or "talkie" The Jazz Singer, released in 1927 and the silent film era ended about 1929 in America and later in other countries.[1] All of the surviving silent actors on this list were child actors.

Living silent film actors[edit]

8 actors

Name Date of birth and age Notes
Don Marion Davis (1917-10-09) October 9, 1917 (age 101) American child actor who appeared in silent films between 1919 and 1925. He was often billed as Don Marion or John Henry Jr.[2][3]
Diana Serra Cary (1918-10-29) October 29, 1918 (age 100) American child star under the name "Baby Peggy". Her first movie was in 1921. One of the two most popular child actors of her era, along with Jackie Coogan.[4] Had a less successful career as an adult actor.[5]
Silas Hathaway (1919-03-09) March 9, 1919 (age 100) American child actor who appeared in Charlie Chaplin's The Kid (1921), playing the title character as a baby[6]
Billy Watson (1923-12-25) December 25, 1923 (age 95) American child actor who debuted in 1925.[7] Along with younger brother Garry (born 1928), he is one of the last of the nine Watson siblings.
Donnie 'Beezer' Smith (1924-09-17) September 17, 1924 (age 94) American child actor who debuted in 1928 and also appeared in several Our Gang films.
Petra Unkel (1925-03-03) March 3, 1925 (age 94) German actress and voice artist, born in Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary, she made her debut in the 1929 silent film Napoleon at Saint Helena, her last film was in 1958.
Mildred Kornman (1925-07-10) July 10, 1925 (age 93) American child actress who appeared in eighteen silent Our Gang films as an extra, later known professionally as Ricki VanDusen[8]
Garry Watson (1928-09-27) September 27, 1928 (age 90) American child actor who debuted in 1929.[9] Along with elder brother Billy, (born in 1923), is the last of the nine Watson siblings. He debuted in the film Drag. The film was long thought to be a lost film but was later rediscovered. The film originally had two versions, a sound version and a silent version. He had other silent film appearances in The Isle of Lost Ships and Love, Live and Laugh.[10]


Other actors not on the list are referenced, but are not included as their official status cannot be ascertained:
Helen Rowland (born c. 1919)
Yumeko Aizome (born (1915-12-25) 25 December 1915 (age 103)
Sumiko Mizukubo (born (1916-10-10) 10 October 1916 (age 102).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pierce, David. The Survival of American Silent Feature Films, 1896–1929. Library of Congress, 2005. ISBN 978-1932326390
  2. ^ "Two Sennett Comedies". Los Angeles Times. November 9, 1919. p. 43. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  3. ^ "Tucson's centenarians are an optimistic, active and growing group". May 5, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Era of child stars is returning". Reading Eagle. June 20, 1978. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "Time with Charlie Chaplin". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Billy (Bill) Watson". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  8. ^ Villecco, Tony (29 January 2001). "Silent Stars Speak: Interviews with Twelve Cinema Pioneers". McFarland. Retrieved 9 October 2018 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "Garry Watson". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Love, Live and Laugh". Retrieved 9 October 2018.

External links[edit]