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 first sound film, The Jazz Singer, was released in 1927 and the silent film era ended about 1929.[1] All of the surviving silent actors were child actors.

Living silent film actors[edit]

11 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 John Henry, Jr.[2][3]
Fay McKenzie (1918-02-19) February 19, 1918 (age 100) American actress who appeared in her first film in 1918, at the age of ten weeks. Was in five more silent films from the age of 3 to 8.[4]
Diana Serra Cary (1918-10-29) October 29, 1918 (age 99) 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.[5] Had a less successful career as an adult actor.[6]
Dorothy Morrison Green (1919-01-03) January 3, 1919 (age 99) American child actress who appeared in three Our Gang silent films, and one Charley Chase short. Her first movie was in 1923.[7]
Silas Hathaway (1919-03-09) March 9, 1919 (age 99) American child actor who appeared in Charlie Chaplin's The Kid (1921), playing the title character as a baby[8]
Billy Watson (1923-12-25) December 25, 1923 (age 94) American child actor who debuted in 1925.[9] Along with younger brother Garry (born 1928), he is one of the last of the nine Watson siblings.
Kathleen O'Malley (1924-03-31) March 31, 1924 (age 94) American actress who made her screen debut as an infant in the 1926 film My Old Dutch.[10]
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 93) Hungarian German actress who appeared in the 1929 film Napoleon at Saint Helena.
Mildred Kornman (1925-07-10) July 10, 1925 (age 93) American child actress who appeared in eighteen silent Our Gang films as an extra.[11]
Garry Watson (1928-09-27) September 27, 1928 (age 90) American child actor who debuted in 1929.[12] Along with elder brother Billy, (born in 1925), 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.[13]

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. ^ Magers, Donna. "Fay McKenzie Interview". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Era of child stars is returning". Reading Eagle. June 20, 1978. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  7. ^ "Dorothy Morrison Green, silent film actress". NBC Los Angeles. December 9, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  8. ^ "Time with Charlie Chaplin". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Billy (Bill) Watson". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  10. ^ My Old Dutch. The American Film Institute. 1997. ISBN 9780520209695. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  11. ^ Villecco, Tony (29 January 2001). "Silent Stars Speak: Interviews with Twelve Cinema Pioneers". McFarland. Retrieved 9 October 2018 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ "Garry Watson". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Love, Live and Laugh". Retrieved 9 October 2018.

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