Barry Norton

Active - 1926 - 1955  |   Born - Jun 16, 1905   |   Died - Aug 24, 1956   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy, Horror, Adventure

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The scion of a wealthy Argentine family, boyishly handsome Barry Norton came to Hollywood in 1926, where he was promptly signed to a Fox Studios contract. Stardom came fairly rapidly for Norton with his poignant performance as "mama's boy" Private Lewisohn in the 1927 WWI drama What Price Glory? He followed this triumph with excellent performances in such films as Legion of the Condemned and Four Devils (1928). He had difficulty weathering the change to talking pictures, not because his voice was inadequate, but because he'd never truly mastered the English language. In the early talkie era, Norton starred in Spanish-language versions of Hollywood films (he played the David Manners part in the Spanish Dracula), occasionally doubling as director. His last important screen role was the South American fiancé of ingénue Jean Parker in Frank Capra's Lady for a Night (1933). In 1935, he was given a comeback opportunity as the romantic lead in Laurel and Hardy's Bonnie Scotland (1935), but he was replaced during rehearsals, reportedly because he couldn't keep apace of Stan and Ollie's improvisations. Norton spent the remainder of his Hollywood career as a bit player and extra, taking whatever job came his way without complaint or regret. An excellent dancer, he frequently showed up in nightclub and ballroom scenes, occasionally giving between-takes dance lessons to such male stars as Humphrey Bogart. One of Barry Norton's last screen appearances was as a priest in the 1952 remake of What Price Glory?

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