Harold Stone, Character Actor of Stage and Film, Is Dead at 92

Obituaries   Harold Stone, Character Actor of Stage and Film, Is Dead at 92 Harold Stone, a character actor who both acted and directed on Broadway and gave support in countless films and television shows, died Nov. 18 of natural causes at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Los Angeles, the AP reported.

With a square jaw, Roman nose and steely gaze, he played tough businessmen and criminals for decades. Born into a Yiddish stage family (his birth name was Harold Hochstein), he began his career as a kid, later eschewing an alternate dream to become a doctor.

He made his Broadway debut at age 19 in the comedy Honeymoon. In 1939 he acted in Sidney Kingsley's The World We Make, which was directed by the author. He later acted in Morning Star (1940) and Counterattack (1943), directed by Margaret Webster. The Kurt Weill musical One Touch of Venus provided a change of pace and a hit.

Paul Osborn's 1944 Sicily-set drama, A Bell for Adano, marked his last Broadway appearance as an actor. He returned in 1964, however, as the director of Abraham Cochrane. The John Sherry drama was not lucky for him; it ran for a single performance. That bad luck persisted. A Way of Life, his second directorial effort, never officially opened, and a revival of Charley's Aunt (1970) and Ring Around the Bathtub (1972) ran a total of 10 performances.

In between his careers as a Broadway actor and Broadway director, Mr. Stone established himself as supporting actor in Hollywood, playing roles in "The Harder They Fall," "Somebody Up There Likes Me," "Spartacus" and "The Wrong Man." He went on to play Gen. Varus in "The Greatest Story Ever Told" and Frank Nitti in "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre."

On television, he guested on everything from "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "Rawhide" to "Barney Miller" and "Welcome Back, Kotter."