Old Movie Teams

Weren’t they also in that other movie?

Lewis Stone & Ramon Novarro

Lewis Stone and Ramon Novarro started appearing together in movies when the movie industry was still in its silent era. Their first movie together was the 1921 silent feature The Concert, in which Mr. Novarro had only a bit part to play to Mr. Stone’s lead. In the next two years, they shared the screen, and similar status in their roles, on three different occasions: The Prisoner of Zenda (1922), Trifling Women (1922), and Scaramouche (1923). Their careers continued to thrive separately after 1923, but they did reunite on screen in the 1931 Greta Garbo vehicle, Mata Hari. A year later, they joined forces for the last time in the cast of The Son-Daughter (1932), a vehicle for Helen Hayes. After 1932, Mr. Novarro’s career began a long slide into less and less prominent roles. Mr. Stone’s career slipped somewhat, too, but only in so far as he joined the ranks of the ubiquitous character actor. It was in this stage of his career that he assumed the role he is perhaps best known for: Judge James K. Hardy of Mickey Rooney’s Andy Hardy fame.

Lewis Stone and Ramon Novarro share one other distinction, and a rather cruel one. Each died victims of social ill. In 1953, Lewis Stone collapsed on the street and died of heart failure while chasing away teenage would-be vandals. He was attempting to protect his flower garden, which the teenagers were pummeling with stones. In 1968, Ramon Novarro was brutally and fatally beaten in his own home by two thugs intent on stealing what they believed to be a huge sum of money secreted away somewhere in the house. As it turned out, there was no treasure in cash. Thwarted in that theft, the thieves instead set upon stealing Mr. Novarro’s real treasure: his life.

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