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Richard Arlen was born Sylvanus Richard Van Mattimore in 1899 and was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Flying Corps in World War I, but he never saw action. After the war, it took him several years to find himself, and he was discovered by Hollywood in the early 1920s, but it still took him several years of very minor roles (many uncredited) before he got his big break as one of the leads in "Wings" in 1927. He became a lead star, and had no trouble with the transition to sound, but his career went downhill in the late 1930s. He became deaf at the end of the 1940s, but an operation restored his hearing, and he continued in movies into the 1960s. He passed away in 1976 at the age of 76.
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