In 1920, photo by Witzel.
February 16, 1876|
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
|Died||August 25, 1935
Tacoma, Washington, USA
|Spouse(s)||Cora Claire King (1899-1935)|
He was born Moroni Swain on February 16, 1876 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.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1500 Vine Street.
- "Mack Swain Dead. Pioneer Film Actor. Appeared With Charlie Chaplin in Keystone Comedies Before Days of 'Stars'". New York Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 2015-03-09.
Mack Swain, stage and screen actor, died here late last night after a few hours' illness. He had suffered an internal hemorrhage in the afternoon. ...
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With Charles Chaplin and Mabel Normand in Gentlemen of Nerve (1914)