Lewis Stone was a Hollywood figure for more than 35 years, appearing in hundreds of screen and stage roles. He was best known for his portrayal of Judge Hardy in the "Andy Hardy" film series, which starred Mickey Rooney.
A trouper to the last, the actor was preparing to accept a role in “Sabrina,” starring Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, when he died in 1953.
One of the most beloved members of the Hollywood community, Stone was especially kind to film beginners. His years of voice training and stage work before the days of talkies enabled him to give sound advice to many an aspiring screen actor.
A native of Worcester, Mass., he decided to make the stage his career after completing his college education. He had made considerable headway in the theater when the Spanish American War called him.
He served as a commissioned officer in that war. At its close he returned to Broadway with a role in "Sidetracked." His portrayal made him a star and a matinee idol within a matter of months.
Subsequent plays such as "The Girl of the Golden West" and "The Bird of Paradise," favorites of their day, gave him the opportunity to build a lasting foundation as a craftsman.
One of the first actors from the legitimate stage to see the possibilities in movies, he made his first screen appearance in 1915 in "Honor's Altar," directed by Thomas Ince.
Stone's popularity soared immediately in the new medium and he speedily won roles in other pictures. Among early credits were "Scaramouche," "The Girl from Montmartre" and "The Private Life of Helen of Troy."
It was after the advent of the talkies, however, that he reached his greatest popularity as a household name. In the "Andy Hardy" series, Stone became almost better known as Judge Hardy than as Lewis Stone.
He spent most of his years as a screen star with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, where his credits included "Stars in My Crown" and "Angels in the Outfield."
A strict disciplinarian, he was moderate in all activities and believed in the value of physical exercise. In his younger days he was an excellent rider and an able boxer and fencer. As a result of his fitness and strength, he appeared taller than his 5 feet 10 inches.
Stone was married three times and had two daughters, Virginia and Barbara. His first wife, Margaret Langham, died. In 1920 he married Florence Pryor, known on the stage as Florence Oakley, from whom he was divorced in 1939. At the time of his death, he was married to Hazel Elizabeth Wolf.
|1928||Best Actor||The Patriot||Nomination|