1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

Ramon Novarro

After working as an usher in a movie house, he decided he liked movies and would give acting a try. He made his film debut in 1918 in “The Little American”, starring America’s Sweetheart, Mary Pickford. He continued to get work as an extra appearing in many films until he was cast in “The Prisoner of Zenda”. It was during this time that Rudolph Valentino’s popularity as “The Sheik” took off and Hollywood became wild over the Latin Lover type of hero. Ramon’s career took off after this with such films, but he got the role of a lifetime when he was chosen for the lead role in the original silent DeMille classic “Ben Hur”. Novarro was one of the lucky few who survived the revolution of talking pictures, thanks to his fine singing voice, and continued as he made many films throughout the 1930’s with leading ladies such as Greta Garbo and Myrna Loy, but by 1938 he was reduced to appearing in low budget features. Sadly, Novarro’s reputation as a screen idol was marred by his gruesome death. On Halloween, 1968, Novarro’s life ended when he was murdered by two brothers whom he had paid to come to his Laurel Canyon home for sex. The two young men believed that a large sum of money was hidden in Novarro’s house and evidently tortured him for hours to force him to reveal where the nonexistent money was hidden. They left with twenty dollars they took from his bathrobe pocket. Novarro died as a result of asphyxiation, choking to death on his own blood after being brutally beaten. He was buried in Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles.