Max Linder Reported Killed.
Berlin Dispatch Says Noted Pathe Star Comedian Met
His Death in Battle of the Aisne.
A CABLE dispatch from Berlin by way of Rome reports the death of Max Linder. He is said to have been killed in the battle of the Aisne, which at the time of writing (October 1) is in its twentieth day. While Mr. Linder was serving with the French forces, in the first line reserve, it is not necessarily unusual that his death should be reported from the German capital, although, of course, had it come from a French source there would have been less liability of error. There is the hope on the part of his many friends that it may be a case of mistaken identity. Mr. Linder has always been known as a man absolutely fearless. The quality he has on numberless occasions displayed in his pictures easily may have contributed to his death on the field of battle.
Max Linder literally had made millions laugh. He was the first of the screen's great comedians, and he had maintained his position down to the present time. He was born forty-nine years ago, and his age at his death indicates that his entrance into active service in the French army was from choice, not from necessity.
Linder as a boy of a dozen years old took a prize in declamation at school. His talents came to the attention of George Bargy, of the Comedie Francaise, and through his influence the lad was given a chance in the Varieties. He made good from the start. Before he was out of his teens he went to the Comedie Francaise. Here it was that Charles Pathe noted his work, and about ten years ago offered him work in the pictures. Mr. Pathe made Mr. Linder a proposition that would net him about $12,000 a year, which was accepted. Mr. Linder had been with Pathe Freres up to the time of his departure for the war.
Mr. Linder's income had steadily increased from the first. Two years ago he went to Russia on a picture-making tour, and his two months' stay netted him $600 a day. Last year he made another and similar visit to Russia, and his one month's work yielded him 124,000. His income had reached the point of $70,000 a year, making him the best-paid star in pictures; and it is doubtful if there are many who on the legitimate stage exceeded him in earning capacity. Mr. Linder used no scenario in his work of directing his own pictures. He had been especially valuable to his employers, because in the early days of picture-making he had taken all sorts of chances. If it were necessary for him to run an automobile and he had no knowledge of the machine a few lessons would suffice; he would be ready to enter a race. Recently he operated a hydroaeroplane after one day's instruction.
On the morning following the report of Mr. Linder's death telegrams were received at the offices of Pathe Freres from all over the country, testifying to the remarkable popularity of the man and the player. His friends will await the confirmation of the sad news, in the slim hope that a mistake has been made. There are few men in the zone of war who are so well known and whose death will be more regretted than will that of Max Linder. (Moving Picture World, Oct. 10, 1914)