Noah Young (1887-1958) was an American actor who made a significant impact on the world of silent and early sound cinema.
Known for his imposing physical presence and versatility as an actor, Young’s career spanned several decades, and he left a lasting legacy in the entertainment industry.
Born on February 2, 1887, in North Park, Colorado, Noah Young began his acting career during the early years of the film industry. His distinctive appearance, characterized by his towering stature and rugged features, made him a memorable figure on screen. His ability to portray a wide range of characters, from antagonists to comedic figures, showcased his versatility as an actor.
One of the highlights of Noah Young’s career came with his role in the classic silent comedy “ Safety Last!” (1923). Directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, the film starred Harold Lloyd as its lead character, who embarks on a series of humorous and perilous adventures in the pursuit of success in the city. Young played the role of the “policeman,” a key character in the film’s comedic and suspenseful sequences.
In “ Safety Last!,” Young’s character is introduced as a relentless and persistent law enforcement figure. Throughout the film, he pursues Harold Lloyd’s character in a series of comedic chases and mishaps. His unwavering pursuit adds to the tension and humor of the film, making him both an antagonist and a source of laughter.
The film is best known for its climactic and iconic sequence in which Harold Lloyd’s character climbs the exterior of a tall building, ultimately hanging from the hands of a clock high above the bustling city streets. Noah Young’s character, the policeman, becomes entangled in the building’s exterior during the suspenseful ascent, adding to the comedic and suspenseful dynamic.
“ Safety Last!” remains celebrated for its combination of humor, suspense, and physical comedy, and Noah Young’s portrayal of the policeman plays a pivotal role in the film’s success. His imposing presence and humorous pursuit of Harold Lloyd’s character contribute to the film’s enduring popularity.
Noah Young’s career extended beyond “ Safety Last!” and his antagonistic roles. He appeared in a diverse range of films, spanning different genres and themes. His versatility allowed him to tackle various characters, from Westerns to comedies and dramas, adding depth and entertainment value to the films in which he appeared.
As the film industry transitioned from silent cinema to sound, Young adapted to the evolving medium, continuing to work in early sound films. His ability to adjust to new cinematic trends and styles demonstrated his flexibility as an actor.
While Noah Young may not be as widely recognized as some of his contemporaries, his contributions to the world of silent and early sound cinema remain significant. His role in “ Safety Last!” and his capacity to take on a variety of characters ensured his place in the history of film.
Noah Young passed away on April 18, 1958, leaving behind a legacy as a versatile character actor who added humor and excitement to the silent film era. His work in “ Safety Last!” and his adaptability to changing film trends cement his position in the annals of film history.