The Peculiar Cinematic and Plastic Immortality
of Ramesses III

    In 1942, Universal Studios released The Mummy's Tomb, the second offering in their popular series featuring Kharis the mummy. Starting with this film, famous horror actor Lon Chaney, Jr., played Kharis, and make-up artist Jack Pierce designed a make-up for him based on the mummy of Ramesses III. The photo from the movie (below left) shows Chaney with actors George Zucco (on right) and Turhan Bey (on left.) Chaney's appearance closely resembles the mummified features of the great 20'th Dynasty pharaoh (below right.)


In the 1960's, during a resurgence of popular interest in horror films,  the Aurora Plastics Company produced a mummy plastic model kit. Based on the Chaney, Jr., version of Kharis, few young builders of this model realized that its appearance ultimately derived from that of an actual royal mummy.