Thursday, August 14, 2008
Ramon Novarro: The Brutal Murder of Gay Hollywood Leading Man.
Back in the 1920’s women around the World were madly in love with Hollywoods’ leading screen idol, Italian 'latin lover' Rudolph Valentino.
Enter Mexican actor Ramon Novarro, from Durango Mexico who moved to the Los Angeles area with his family in the early 1900‘s. Ramon had starred in bit parts back in 1917and was also known to be working as a singing waiter.
At the time, well known Hollywood director Rex Ingram saw Ramon and tried to promote Novarro as a rival to Rudy Valentino.
In 1923 Novarro landed leading Hollywood silent film roles such as in the film ‘Scaramouche’.
It was in 1925 that he achieved huge success as a serious actor in the movie ‘Ben Hur‘. When Valentino died suddenly in 1926, Novarro was ‘promoted’ and became one of Hollywoods’ new leading men.
Novarro began playing roles like that of the mysterious ‘latin lover’, he also enjoyed success in ‘swashbuckler’ roles, as well as playing other romantic leads. He was known as having been one of the best leading actors of his day.
His first ‘talkie’ was in 1929 in the role of a singer in ‘Devil May Care’.
He then appeared with the great Greta Garbo in ‘Mata Hari’ in 1932, and also with Hollywood legend Myrna Loy in ‘Barbarian’ in 1933. But then Novarro’s star began to fade. And in 1935, MGM decided not to renew his contract.
In the 1940’s Novarro played in a few more lead roles, but nothing like the roles at the height of his success. In the early 1960’s he tried his hand at a Broadway play that soon failed.
Also in the 60’s he appeared on several well know TV shows including the successful TV series ‘The High Chaparral‘.The peak of Novarro’s success came between the 1920’s and 1930’s. He was reportedly paid $100,000 or more per picture.
Having made a few wise investments’ at the height of his career, it now allowed him to live a very comfortable lifestyle.
But also at the height of his success it is believed that MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer tried to get Novarro to marry a female actress in a lavender marriage, in order to ward off leaking press that Novarro was a homosexual. Ramon had refused and that also lead to his contract being cancelled.
In October of 1968 Novarro picked up two male hustlers. The hustlers were brothers Tom and Paul Ferguson. Novarro had paid them to come to his home in Laurel Canyon.
It is believed that Novarro may have stated who he was and mentioned money to the Fergusons’.
According to reports, the two brothers believed that Novarro had large sums of cash hidden in the house. The brothers then tortured Novarro for several hours in an attempt to get him to disclose where the cash was hidden. They beat Novarro severely and left with only $20.
Novarro died from the brutal beating and torture and his cause of death was listed as asphyxiation. He died October 30, 1968 at age 69.
Tom and Paul Ferguson were later caught and both served prison sentences‘. They were later released, and are now back in prison serving longer sentences for various other crimes.
Ramón Novarro’s star is located on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame’. The star is located at 6350 Hollywood Boulevard.
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