The Rise & Fall of Max Linder: The First Cinema Celebrity (paperback)
The Rise & Fall of Max Linder: The First Cinema Celebrity
by Lisa Stein Haven, filmography by Catherine Cormon
ISBN softcover: 978-1-62933-712-8
Max Linder, born Gabriel Leuvielle in St. Loubes, France in 1883, started in films with the Pathe Brothers in Vincennes, just outside of Paris in 1905, making him one of the first film comedians that became world-renowned. In fact, there is evidence that Linder was the first screen celebrity to see his name in print. His comedy timing and gags (Linder started writing his own scenarios early on) have been copied and imitated by many of his followers, including Charlie Chaplin.
Linder's story is both a comedy and a tragedy. His meteoric rise to fame by 1907/8 hit a roadblock in 1914 with the onset of World War I, and was dealt a death blow by his attempts to revive his career in America and Austria. His marriage to a young wife was ill-fated and ill-timed, leading Linder to take the life of his wife and himself on the night of October 31, 1925, leaving a 16-month-old daughter behind, Maud, who would devote her life to restoring his film legacy.