Back to Silent Stars Who Transitioned to Talkies
'The Great Profile' was one of America's most legendary stage and screen actors, not to mention a member of the acting dynasty that included his siblings Lionel and Ethel and his granddaughter Drew. After years of success in the theater, he entered films in 1913. He played the lead in such hits as 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' (1920), 'Sherlock Holmes' (1922), and 'Beau Brummel' (1924) and 'Don Juan,' opposite Mary Astor. The sound era brought him leading roles in such films as 1930's 'Moby Dick' (reprising his role as Captain Ahab from the 1926 silent 'The Sea Beast'), 'Svengali' (1931), and the comedy 'Twentieth Century' (1934). He also had prominent roles in ensemble films 'Grand Hotel' (opposite fellow silent-film alumni Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, and his brother Lionel) and 'Dinner at Eight.' Alcoholism marred his late career, though he continued to display his old thunder in such films as 1936's 'Romeo and Juliet' (where he played Mercutio) and 1938's 'Marie Antoinette' (as King Louis XV). He died in 1942 at age 60.