Gil Samaniego was born in Durango, Mexico
on February 6. 1899. The son of a prosperous
dentist and the eldest of thirteen children,
he was to become one of the great
actors of the early cinema.
1914 Ramon and his brother Mariano moved
to Los Angeles where Ramon found work as a stage manager and bit
player for the Los Angeles Majextic Theatre Stock Company, ushered for
the New York Philarmonic and auditioned.
After appearing in several
films as an extra and under the name Ramón Samaniego,
and while working on The Prisoner
of Zenda (1922), director, Rex Ingram,
convinced him to change his name to something
more pronounceable. "...Zenda"
thus gave rise to a new name "Novarro"
and a new Hollywood sensation. In 1924,
already a 'superstar,' he accepted a
lucrative contract with Metro-Goldwyn.
to his melodious voice, Mr. Novarro made
the transition to 'the talkies' without
too much difficulty. Unfortunately, the
studio system did not serve him well
and his talents were generally wasted.
optimistic and obliging, Novarro was
a favorite among cast and crew alike.
In addition to the 50 or so films he
acted in, directed or produced, he made
numerous television appearances. Incidentally, he was gay.
Novarro's life ended tragically when
he was murdered in Los Angeles on October
New York City, 2001
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