Ben Turpin

Ben Turpin

1869 - 1940

The silent film comedian Ben Turpin was not as famous as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd or Laurel & Hardy but his face was at least as familiar as the comedians James Finlayson, Snub Pollard or Harry Langdon.
His unmistakable trade marke was his right cross-eyed and a noticable bushy mustache which predestined him for funny roles.

He began his career on stage and at the circus where he made many experiences. It is said that he became injured there which led to his squinting right eye. However his right eye soon turned out to be a bonanza for him.

Because Ben Turpin already appeared in 1907 in front of the camera for the first time he belongs to the film pioneers and to the first movie stars at all.
He appeared in numerous short movies in the next few years like "An Awful Skate or The Hobo on Rollers" (07), "A Free Lunch" (07), "Breaking Into Society" (08), "The Neighbors' Kid" (09), "The Haunted Lounge" (09), "A Hustling Advertiser" (09) and "Mr. Flip" (09). In the last mentioned movie there is a scene where an actor (Ben Turpin) gets a torte into his face and it is regarded as the first time demonstrated in a movie. This soon became a running gag and was repeated in many other film comedies since then.

The 10s marked a high in his cinematical career and Ben Turpin took part in countless short movies which were very popular at that time.
He also acted regular in some successful film serials, e.g. with the figure Sweedie, impersonated by Wallace Berry and with the figure Bronco Billy, impersonated by Gilbert M. Anderson.
He also often worked for Mack Sennett's movies.

To Ben Turpin's work of the 10s belong "The Hobble Skirt" (10), "The Usual Way" (13), "Sweedie the Swatter" (14), "Sweedie and the Double Exposure" (14), "Sweedie Learns to Swim" (14), "The Laundress" (14), "Countess Sweedie" (14), "Their Cheap Vacation" (14), "His New Job" (15), "A Night Out" (15), "The Champion" (15), "Curiosity" (15), "Sweedie in Vaudeville" (15), "Sophie and the Fakir" (15), "Snakeville's Twins" (15), "Broncho Billy Steps In" (15), "Broncho Billy and the Card Sharp" (15), "Snakeville's Hen Medic" (15), "Broncho Billy's Love Affair" (15), "Just for a Kid" (16), "Lost and Found" (16), "Ducking a Discord" (16), "Picture Pirates" (16), "His Bogus Boast" (17), "Bucking the Tiger" (17), "Pete's Pants" (17), "Watch Your Neighbor" (18), "The Battle Royal" (18), "Sleuths" (18), "Yankee Doodle in Berlin" (19), "The Foolish Age" (19) and "Uncle Tom Without a Cabin" (19).

He continued his film career successfully in the 20s and his popularity remained undiminished.
To his appearances in those years belong "The Close Shave" (20), "Married Life" (20), "A Small Town Idol" (21), "Bright Eyes" (21), "The Shriek of Araby" (23), "The Dare-Devil" (23), "Romeo and Juliet" (24), "A Harem Knight" (26), "The Wife's Relations" (28), "The Cockeyed Family" (28), "The Love Parade" (29) and "The Show of Shows" (29).

His film career came slowly to an end in the next years and his roles became smaller.
When the sound film came into being he only appeared occasionally in movies, among others in "Cracked Nuts" (31), "Our Wife" (31) with Laurel & Hardy, "Ambassador Bill" (31), "Million Dollar Legs" (32), "The Little Big Top" (35) and "Saps at Sea" (40), again with Laurel & Hardy.

Ben Turpin was among others married with the actress Carrie Lemieux.

Other movies with Ben Turpin:
Mr. Inqusitive (07) The Younger Brothers (08) Oh, What Lungs! (08) Tag Day (09) The Energetic Street Cleaner (09) Midnight Disturbance (09) The Rubes and the Bunco Men (09) A Mexican's Gratitude (09) The Sleeping Tonic (09) The New Cop (09) A Case of Seltzer (09) Ben Gets a Duck and Is Ducked (09) Their First Misunderstanding (11) Sweedie and the Lord (14) The Fable of the Busy Business Boy and the Droppers-In (14) Sweedie Springs a Surprise (14) The Joblot Recruits (14) Sweedie's Skate (14) Sweedie's Clean-Up (14) Golf Champion "Chick" Evans Links with Sweedie (14) The Fickleness of Sweedie (14) She Landed a Big One (14) Sweedie the Trouble Maker (14) Sweedie at the Fair (14) Sweedie and the Hypnotist (14) Madame Double X (14) Sweedie Collects for Charity (14) Sweedie and he Sultan's Present (15) Sweedie's Suicide (15) The Clubman's Wager (15) Sweedie and Her Dog (15) Two Hearts That Beat as Ten (15) Sweedie Goes to College (15) Sweedie's Hopeless Love (15) Love and Trouble (15) Sweedie Learns to Ride (15) Two Bold, Bad Men (15) A Coat Tale (15) The Undertaker's Uncle (15) How Slippery Slim Saw the Show (15) Sweedie's Hero (15) A Bunch of Matches (15) Sweedie's Finish (15) Others Started It, But Sophie Finished (15) The Bell-Hop (15) Versus Sledge Hammers (15) A Quiet Little Game (15) The Convict's Threat (15) When Snakeville Struck Oil (15) Too Much Turkey (15) It Happened in Snakeville (15) The Merry Models (15) The Escape of Broncho Billy (15) Snakeville's Champion (15) A Christmas Revenge (15) A Burlesque on Carmen (15) Snakeville's Debutantes (15) National Nuts (16) When Papa Died (16) Nailing on the Lid (16) Hos Blowout (16) Delinquent Bridegrooms (16) The Iron Mitt (16) Hired and Fired (16) A Deep Sea Liar (16) For Ten Thousand Bucks (16) Bungling Bill's Dress Suit (16) Some Liars (16) The Stolen Booking (16) Doctoring a Leak (16) Poultry la Mode (16) He Did and He Didn't (16) A Safe Proposition (16) Some Bravery (16) The Wicked City (16) A Wating Game (16) Shot in the Fracas (16) Taking the Count (16) Jalous Jolts (16) A Circus Cyclone (17) The Musical Marvel (179 The Butcher's Nightmare (17) A Studio Stampede (17) Frightened Flirts (17) When Ben Bolted (17) Masked Mirth (17) Caught in the End (17) A Clever Dummy (17) Two Laughs (17) Sole Mates (17) Lost: A Cook (17) The Pawnbroker's Heart (17) Caught in the End (17) A Bedroom Blunder (17) Roping Her Romeo (17) Are Waitresses Safe? (17) That Night (17) Taming Target Center (17) Sheriff Nell's Tussie (18) Saucy Madeline (18) His Smothered Love (18) Love Loops the Loop (18) Two Tough Tenderfeet (18) Her Screen Idol (18) She Loved Him Plenty (18) Whose Little Wife Are You? (18) Hide and Seek, Detectives (18) Cupid's Day Off (19) East Lynne with Variations (19) The Village Smithy (19) When Love Is Blind (19) Love's False Faces (19) No Mother to Guide Him (19) Trying to Get Along (19) Treating 'Em Rough (19) Up in Alf's Place (19) Salome vs. Shenandoah (19) A Lady's Tailor (19) The Nutcrackers (20) The Star Boarder (20) Down on the Farm (20) You Wouldn't Believe It (20) The Quack Doctor (20) Countess Bloggie (20) Bloggie's Vacation (20) She Sighed by the Seaside (21) Home Talent (21) Love's Outcast (21) Love and Doughnuts (21) Molly O' (21) Step Forward (22) Home Made Movies (22) Where's My Wanderin boy This Evening? (23) Pitfalls of a Big City (23) Asleep at the Switch (23) Ten Dollars or Ten Days (24) The Hollywood Kid (24) Yukon Jake (24) Three Foolish Weeks (24) The Reel Virginian (24) The Wild Goose Chaser (25) The Raspberry Romance (25) The Marriage Circus (25) Hogan's Alley (25) Steel Preferred (25) When a Man's a Prince (26) A Prodigal Bridegroom (26) A Blonde's Revenge (26) A Hollywood Hero (27) The Jolly Jilter (27) Broke in China (27) The Pride of Pikeville (27) Love's Languid Lure (27) The College Hero (27) Daddy Boy (27) A Woman's Way (28) Why Babies Leave Home (289 The Eyes Have It (28) She Said No (28) Seein' Things (28) Idle Eyes (28) Holding His Own (28) The Hollywood Dressmaker (29) Taking the Count (29) A Royal Romance (30) Swing High (30) A Hollywood Theme Song (30) Movie-Town (31) Running Hollywood (32) Lighthouse Love (32) Make Me a Star (32) Hollywood on Parade No. B-9 (34) The Law of the Wild (34) Bring 'Em Back a Lie (35) Keystone Hotel (35) Hollywood Cavalcade (39)