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 c. 1896 until the first full-length sound feature or "talkie" The Jazz Singer, was released in 1927[1]and the silent film era ended about 1929 in American cinema and later in other countries.[2] All of the surviving silent actors on this list were child actors.

Living silent film actors - 5 people[edit]

Name Date of birth and age Notes
Don Marion Davis (1917-10-09) October 9, 1917 (age 102) American child actor who appeared in silent films from 1919 to 1925. He was often billed as Don Marion or John Henry Jr.[3][4]
Silas Hathaway (1919-03-09) March 9, 1919 (age 101) American child actor who appeared in Charlie Chaplin's The Kid (1921), playing the title character as a baby.[5]
Billy Watson (1923-12-25) December 25, 1923 (age 96) American child actor who debuted in 1925.[6] Along with younger brother Garry (born 1928), he is one of the last of nine siblings, dubbed "Hollywood's first family", The Watsons.
Mildred Kornman (1925-07-10) July 10, 1925 (age 95) American child actress who appeared in 18 silent Our Gang films as an extra (the series also starred her younger sister Mary Kornman). She later became an adult extra at 20th Century Fox, and was later known professionally as Ricki VanDusen[7]
Garry Watson (1928-09-27) September 27, 1928 (age 91) American child actor who debuted in 1929.[8] Along with elder brother Billy (born 1923), he is one of 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.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rothman, Lily (October 6, 2014). "Why Contemporary Commentators Missed the Point With 'The Jazz Singer'".
  2. ^ Pierce, David. The Survival of American Silent Feature Films, 1896–1929. Library of Congress, 2005. ISBN 978-1932326390
  3. ^ "Two Sennett Comedies". Los Angeles Times. November 9, 1919. p. 43. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "Tucson's centenarians are an optimistic, active and growing group". May 5, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  5. ^ "Time with Charlie Chaplin". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Billy (Bill) Watson". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  7. ^ Villecco, Tony (29 January 2001). "Silent Stars Speak: Interviews with Twelve Cinema Pioneers". McFarland. Retrieved 9 October 2018 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ "Garry Watson". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Love, Live and Laugh". Retrieved 9 October 2018.