Lon Chaney as Quasimodo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)
Chaney would come to the set each morning four and a half hours before the usual call time, to make the painful transformation into Quasimodo. Chaney would harness a 72-lb. mound of heavy rubber to his back (this was before the age of lightweight plastics and latex foam rubber). He would also don a breastplate and shoulder pads similar to that worn by a football player. A leather harness resembling a corset would hold both the back “hump” and breastplate together, and over the top, he would wear a flesh-colored rubber suit. Utilizing his make-up mastery, he would apply modeling putty around the features of his face to achieve the disfigured countenance of Quasimodo. He used animal hair to fashion himself a wig. Tufts of more animal hair were glued to the rubber suit he wore. A protruding eye and a set of crooked false teeth were added to complete Chaney’s transformation into the hideously deformed hunchback. This transformation was not without a price however, as Chaney was hospitalized for three months after the film’s completion. His suffering had paid off in the end; the film was a box-office hit.