No news that has come from the seat of the great war has affected the picture-loving public more than the reports that Max Linder, the Pathé comedian, was killed in the battle of the Aisne. Though one of the highest salaried men on the stage, still under 30 years of age, with everything to live for, when the call came to fight, like the hundreds of thousands of his fellow-countrymen, rich and poor, famous and humble, the great comedian dropped his work and entered the ranks. It is told that he came to the Pathé studio in Vincennes, clad in his uniform and ready for service, to say a last goodbye. When hopes were expressed that he would return he shrugged his shoulders and replied, "I am a fatalist. What is to be will be. When I am to die I will die, whether on the battlefield or in my bed at home." That expresses his philosophy which was apparent in his work in pictures. He never hesitated to take a chance, whether in an aeroplane, automobile, or bull ring. He was a man without fear.
The comedian was born at Bordeaux, France, 29 years ago. While in his early teens he won first prize in a declamation contest in his school, and felt that fate was opening up the way for him. When, several years later, he met at Biarritz Charles le Bargy, Secretary of the Comédie Française, he at once proceeded to besiege the famous man for a chance to prove his ability. "My child, what do you know about acting?" he was asked. Linder proceeded to give an exhibition of his art, regardless of the fact that they were on a boulevard with throngs of fashionably dressed persons passing by who were intensely amused at the eager youngster. Through le Bargy's aid he got a chance at the Théâtre des Variétés in a very minor part. He was astounded one day to receive a letter from Pathé Frères, offering him a large sum to appear exclusively in their pictures. That was some eight or nine years ago, in the very infancy of the motion-picture business. This year his contract with Pathé was for $70,000 per year. In addition, he received some $30,000 a year for work on the legitimate stage. To illustrate his popularity it is only necessary to say that two years ago he had a two months' engagement in Russia at $600 per day. Last year he received $24,000 for a one month's engagement in that country.
Linder was not only the leading cinematograph player of Europe, but he wrote his own scenarios and directed his own productions. His popularity was unbounded. He was known by picture fans in almost every country of the globe. His irrepressible spirits and strong magnetism made him the life of every film in which he appeared. (The New York Times, Oct. 11th 1914)