The casualty: John Gilbert
The ever-eloquent Guru of Gang Starr said it best: "It's mostly the voice." However, the actors and actresses who achieved fame during the silent film era were lucky enough to avoid being judged by the vocal talents, namely John Gilbert, a box office champion nicknamed "the great lover."
When technological advances progressed cinema into the "talkies" phase, stars of Gilbert's caliber weren't able to avoid having to speak on camera for the first time, and when audiences heard the actor's voice in his first-ever talkie, 1929's His Glorious Night, the response was less than ecstatic.
More so than Gilbert's vocals, His Glorious Night's silly dialogue and overall shoddiness left the star reeling from the most poorly received film of his career. Today, he's regarded as one of the prime examples of a silent film heavyweight whose career was irrevocably damaged by the talkies.