Tod Browning (born Charles AlbertBrowning, Jr. ; July 12, 1880 - October 6, 1962) was an Americanmotion picture actor, director and screenwriter.Browning's careerspanned the… silent and talkie eras. Best known as the director of Dracula (1931), the cult classic Freaks (1932) andclassic silent film collaborations with Lon Chaney, Browningdirected many movies in a wide range of genres. .
Browning was born as Charles Albert Browning, Jr., inLouisville, Kentucky, the second son of Charles Albert and LydiaBrowning, and the nephew of baseball star Pete Browning. As a youngboy, he put on amateur plays in his backyard. He was fascinated bythe circus and carnival life, and at the age of 16 he ran away fromhis well-to-do family to become a performer. .
Changing his name to "Tod", he traveled extensively withsideshows, carnivals, and circuses. His jobs included working as atalker (barker, as the term is also known, is not correct) for theWild Man of Borneo, performing a live burial act in which he wasbilled as "The Living Corpse", and performing as a clown with theRingling Brothers Circus. He would draw on this experience asinspiration for some of his film work. .
He performed in vaudeville as an actor, magician and dancer. Heappeared in the Mutt and Jeff and The Lizard and theCoon acts, and in a blackface act titled The Wheel ofMirth alongside comedian Charles Murray. . (MORE)