Dinky Dean Riesner with Charlie Chaplin 1922
"Dinky" Dean Riesner
May 2000 - Chaplin Festival
For Chaplin fans it was a rare treat to meet a man who actually worked with Charlie Chaplin. At the time of his London visit, he was the last surviving member who worked on the First National Films . But he was a very young man when he did.
The film was 'The Pilgrim' and it was Charlie Chaplin's last film he did under the First National contract. It was Dean's first and last film with Chaplin.
'The Pilgrim' was filled with 'lasts'. The last Chaplin film for First National, Chaplin's last four reel film, the last film with his brother, Sydney Chaplin and the last film Charlie acted along side his leading lady, Edna Purviance.
"Dinky" Dean was the son of Chaplin's assistant director Charles Riesner. Charles Riesner was also an actor and in 'The Pilgrim' played 'the thief'. Dinky had the role as 'the horrid child' but he really was a kind hearted kid, who had to be coached by Charlie and Sydney Chaplin into thinking it was fine to slap them many times over. And if you have seen the film, you will see 'Dinky' played his role well.
I first learned about Dean's passing from fellow Chaplin Society member, Dominique Dugros, who has fond memories of meeting him at that 2000 Festival. Stephen Burstin, Chaplin Society Chairman, arranged the visit and it was greatly appreciated by the many members who attended the Festival on that May day in London.
Dean Riesner passed away on August 18, 2002, in his home in Encino, California. With "Dinky", the last of the First National players with Chaplin are now gone. But they will always live on in films like "The Pilgrim".
Linda Wada - September 2002 - 2011
Dean Riesner Passes Away
August 18, 2002
His career in his later years
Associated Press Story
Dirty Harry's screenwriter dies
AP - Dean Riesner, the screenwriter behind several of Clint Eastwood's early films, including "Dirty Harry and "The Enforcer," has died. He was 83.
Riesner died Aug. 18 of natural causes at his Encino home.
"He was able to bring an economy of language and make scenes come alive," said director and longtime friend Sean Cunningham. "He left room for the actors and the director to function, but he always drove the story forward."
Riesner's first film starring Eastwood was the 1968 detective feature "Coogan's Bluff." He also wrote "Play Misty for Me" (1971), the "Dirty Harry" (1971) screenplay and "The Enforcer" (1976), a sequel to the Dirty Harry saga about a San Francisco police officer.
In the 1970s, Riesner adapted Irwin Shaw's popular novel "Rich Man, Poor Man" for television, and Arthur Hailey's "The Moneychangers."
Riesner, born in New York, was the son of silent film director Charles Riesner. His film career started at age 5 when he played roles in his father's films. He appeared in the Charlie Chaplin film "The Pilgrim" (1923), under the name Dinky Riesner.
Riesner's first screen credit came in 1939 under the name Dean Franklin for "Code of the Secret Service, which starred a young Ronald Reagan.
Copyright 2002- 2011 © Associated Press
Watch for the Chaplin Library! The collection of Dominique Dugros.
Home1923 'The Pilgrim' Ad
This is 'Edna's' tribute to "Dinky" Dean Riesner.
Thank you for sharing your Chaplin memories on that spring day in London.
Dominique Dugros and 'Dinky' Dean Riesner
London - May 2000 Chaplin Festival
Click here or on photo above for a peek at a 1923 ad on 'The Pilgrim'
Special thanks to David Robinson, "Chaplin, His Life and Art' ,
Hooman Mehran "A Day's Pleasure", Chaplin Courier - Winter 1999/2000,
Stephen Burstin "In the Limelight" Chaplin Courier - Summer 2000,
and Dominique Dugros - Chaplin Society member.
Also special thanks to the Associated Press
and The Oregonian.
Linda Wada - ednapurviance.org
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