Lewis Stone

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Lewis Shepard Stone (November 15, 1879 – September 12, 1953) was an American actor.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, son of Bertrand Stone and Philena Heald Ball. Stone's hair grew gray by the time he was twenty. He fought in the Spanish-American War, then returned to a career as a writer. He soon began acting. In 1912 Stone found great success in the popular play Bird of Paradise which starred Laurette Taylor. The play was later filmed in 1932 and 1951 respectively. Stone's career was interrupted by World War I. By then he had a white-haired, distinguished appearance, and began appearing in roles which matched his demeanor. He showed up in First National's 1920 Nomads of the North(a wonderfully preserved silent film) to good effect playing a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman. He portrayed the title role in the 1922 silent film version of The Prisoner of Zenda, as well as Rudolf Rassendyll.[1]

Stone was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1929 for The Patriot. After that, he appeared in movies with Greta Garbo, seven in all, spanning both the silent and sound periods. He played the role of Dr. Otternschlag in the Garbo film Grand Hotel, in which, completely unaware of all the high drama that has just occurred, he utters the famous closing line: "Grand Hotel. People come. People go. Nothing ever happens". He played a larger role in the 1933 Garbo film Queen Christina. His appearance in the highly-successful prison film The Big House furthered his career, and he starred with some of the biggest names in Hollywood in the 1930s, such stars as Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, Ramón Novarro, Clark Gable, and Jean Harlow. He played adventurers in the dinosaur epic The Lost World (1925) with Wallace Beery and The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) with Boris Karloff, and a police captain in Bureau of Missing Persons (1933).

In 1937, Stone essayed the role which would become his most famous, that of Judge James Hardy in the Mickey Rooney "Andy Hardy" series. Stone appeared as the judge in fifteen movies, beginning with You're Only Young Once (1937).

Stone died in Beverly Hills, California on September 12, 1953. Reportedly, he suffered a heart attack while chasing away some neighborhood kids who were throwing rocks at his garage. A photo published in Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon shows Stone's body immediately after the incident.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6524 Hollywood Blvd.

Partial filmography

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