Fleeting fame swept onetime carpenter Karl Dane to the heights as a motion picture comedian for his work in "The Big Parade."
Born Rasmus Karl Therkelsen Gottlieb in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Oct. 12, 1886, he got his break in 1926 when the world applauded his antics as Slim, the gangling, tobacco-chewing doughboy in "The Big Parade." Later he appeared in other comedies and became a featured player.
At the peak of his career, he worked alongside Rudolph Valentino, John Gilbert and King Vidor. In 1926, he teamed up with George K. Arthur to form the successful comedy duo Dane & Arthur.
During the peak of his success, sound pictures began. Dane became one of the army of film actors seeking jobs. He was never able to make the transition from silent to sound films and committed suicide after struggling to operate a sandwich cart near the studio that launched him as a star.