List of surviving silent film actors

This article lists the known surviving silent film actors, including those with uncredited roles. The first sound film was released in 1927 and the silent film era ended in about 1929.[1] All of the surviving silent actors were child actors.


Name Date of birth and age Notes
Mary Carlisle February 3, 1914 American actress who had a small role in the 1923 film Long Live the King with Jackie Coogan, her only silent film appearance.[2]
Shep Houghton (IMDb) June 4, 1914 American bit actor and dancer whose fifty-year career began with small uncredited roles in two high-profile, Oscar-winning silent films: Underworld (1927) and The Last Command (1928). He also appeared in the silent film Ramona (1928).[3]
Fay McKenzie February 19, 1918 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 October 29, 1918 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 January 3, 1919 American child actress who appeared in three Our Gang silent films, and one Charley Chase short. Her first movie was in 1923.[7]
Louise Watson November 22, 1919 American child actress who debuted in 1925 . Along with Billy and Garry, she is one of the last of nine Watson siblings.
Lassie Lou Ahern June 25, 1920 American child actress who appeared in 23 silent films, including seven Our Gang shorts.[8]
Jack C. Edwards (IMDb) September 26, 1920 American silent film actor who appeared in three silent films, two of them with Harold Lloyd[9]
Billy Watson December 25, 1923 American child actor who debuted in 1925 . Along with Louise and Garry, he is one of the last of nine Watson siblings.
Kathleen O'Malley March 31, 1924 American actress who made her screen debut as an infant in the 1926 film My Old Dutch.[10]
Donnie Smith (IMDb) September 17, 1924 American child actor who appeared in the silent Our Gang films Fair and Muddy (1928), Little Mother and Cat, Dog & Co.[11]
Petra Unkel March 3, 1925 German-Hungarian child actress who appeared in Napoleon at Saint Helena (1929) with Werner Krauss
Mildred Kornman July 10, 1925 American child actress who appeared in eighteen silent Our Gang films as an extra.[12]

Possibly living

See also


  1. Pierce, David. The Survival of American Silent Feature Films, 1896–1929. Library of Congress, 2005. ISBN 978-1932326390
  2. "Mary didn't need an agent". Eugene Register-Guard, June 11, 1939. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  3. Weinstock, Mike (June 4, 2014). "The 100-Year-Old Who Taught Garbo to Waltz". Los Angeles Review of Books.
  4. Western Clippings
  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. Hedler, Ken (2011-11-07). "Ariz. woman, 91, recalls child-acting career". Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-02-25.
  9. "'I spent most of my life as a nobody': the last of the silent movie stars". The Guardian. May 23, 2015. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  10. My Old Dutch. The American Film Institute. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  11. Donnie Smith at Lordheath
  12. Silent Stars Speak: Interviews with Twelve Cinema Pioneers
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