Ramon Novarro

1899 - 1968

Ramon Novarro (real Samaniego) was born as the oldest of 14 children. He attended the Mascarones College and took singing lessons. About 1916 he arrived at the USA where he soon got first small roles in different movies. When his father died he took over many jobs in order to support his family.

His career began with tiniest roles in 1916, he was e.g. together with his sister Carmen one of the dancers in the background of Rudolph Valentino's famous tango in "The Four Horsemen".

After a fruitless audition for the legendary director D.W. Griffiths he was engaged as a dancer by Mack Sennett for the comedy "A Small Town Idol" (21), only dressed with a turban and a lion coat. With this role they became aware of the young actor for the first time. 
But only when he met the author Mary O'Hara his future career took shape. She got him a talk with director Rex Ingram. The result was a contract which granted to the not very successful actor until then a salary of $ 125.-- per week.

With his new pseudonym Ramon Novarro he appeared in five movies of Rex Ingram - "Trifling Woman" (22) , "Where the Pavement Ends" (22), "The Prisoner of Zenda" (22), "Scaramouche" (23) and "The Arab" (24) and became an international star.
After Rex Ingram's leaving to Europe, he signed at MGM and his weekly salary rose from $ 500.-- to incredible $ 10'000.--.

The year 1925 was the year in which Ramon Novarro became a movie legend. He got he leading role in the monumental movie "Ben-Hur" and experienced the height of his career.
He concluded his silent movie career with movies like "Lovers?" (27), "The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg" (27) and "Forbidden Hours" (28).

The talkies didn't offer him the same challenge like the silent movies. He took part among others in "Daybreak" (31), "Mata Hari" (31) at Greta Garbo's side, "The Barbarian" (33) and "The Sheik Steps Out" (37). After that his film appearances became more and more seldom.

At the end of the 40's he had a short comeback with the movies "We Were Strangers" (49), "The Big Steal" (49), "Crisis" (50), "The Outriders" (50) and "Heller in Pink Tights" (60), after that he retired from the film business.

In October 1968 he was killed in his apartment by two young burglars.

Other movies with Ramon Novarro: 
The Goat (18) Mr. Barnes of New York (22) Thy Name Is Woman (24) The Red Lily (24) A Lover's Oath (25) The Midshipman (25) The Road to Romance (27) Across to Singapore (28) A Certain Young Man (28) The Flying Fleet (29) Devil-May-Care (29) The Pagan (29) In Gay Madrid (30) Call of the Flesh (30) Sevilla de mis amores (30) Le Chanteur de Séville (30) Wir schalten um auf Hollywoode (31) Son of India (31) The Son-Daughter (32) Huddle (32) The Cat and the Fiddle (34) Laughing Boy (34) The Night Is Young (35) A Desperate Adventure (38) La Comédie du bonheur (40) La virgen que forjo una patria (42)