Ramon Novarro was a swashbuckling star of silent films and early talkies who later became a television character actor.
The Mexican-born actor was, with Rudolph Valentino, one of the Latin lover types who soared to stardom and instant wealth in the films of the 1920s. Novarro starred in the first film versions of "Prisoner of Zenda," "Scaramouche" and "Ben Hur."
He survived both Valentino, who died at 31 in 1926, and the silent screen, going on to star in several big movies of the early '30s.
But he had two handicaps he couldn't cure: an unshakable accent and an unslakable thirst.
The only big roles he got in post-sound days — as in "The Pagan," "Laughing Boy" and "The Student Prince" — were those in which the hero had an accent. Unable to find good roles, he quit films in 1934, lived off his investments, then returned to character roles in the late '40s. He was playing intermittent roles up to his death.