Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Born Today August 9: Benjamin Chapin

Chapin was known for his resemblance to Abraham Lincoln.


Silent film actor Benjamin Chapin, best known for his portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln, was born on this day in Bristolville, Ohio.  Chapin never played any other role in films other than that of Lincoln--all of which he made himself.  He rented out studio space especially for the projects.  The first of these was The Lincoln Cycle in 1917 (a film that he also wrote).  His first actual foray into the world of motion pictures had come earlier than this though; in 1913 he was a producer on the Tom Ince/Allan Dwan film In Love and War.  Starting in 1918, he began to direct his Lincoln film projects himself; the first of these was A Call To Arms.   Paramount would go on to release part of his Lincoln series under the title The Son Of Democracy, which is also the last film title in his project as well, but I do not believe that all of his films were ever released in the first place.  This would all be cut short when Chapin died from tuberculosis at the age of 45 on the 2nd of June 1918 in Liberty, New York.  There is no information as to his interment.  Chapin also played Lincoln on the Broadway stage as well.

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