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Ben Chapman
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    (October 29, 1928-February 21, 2008)
    Born in Oakland, California
    Portrayed the Gill-Man in 'The Creature from the Black Lagoon' (1954)
    Also appeared in 'Pagan Love Song' (1950), 'Hawaiian Nights' (1954), 'Ma and Pa Kettle in Waikiki' (1955) and 'Jungle Moon Men' (1955)
    In his most famous movie, he went uncredited and was hidden under a latex mask.
    He was cast as the Gill-Man mainly because of his height (6'5).
    He was one of two actors to portray the Gill-Man (swimmer Ricou Browning did the underwater scenes), but he was the only one asked to make promotional appearances for the film.
    He said any pictures of the Creature on land autographed by Browning were 'worthless.'
    His companion, Merrilee Kazarian, called herself 'Mrs. Creature.'
    During the Korean War, he earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.
    He was fluent in French, Chinese and Tahitian as well as English.
    He was a popular participant at monster film conventions.
    His son said, 'His Creature fans kept him going.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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