Norman Kerry

Active - 1917 - 1941  |   Born - Jun 16, 1889   |   Died - Jan 12, 1956   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by AllMovie

Of German descent, American silent screen actor Arnold Kaiser wisely changed his name to the less inflammatory Norman Kerry at the outset of World War I. With his waxed mustache and devilish smile, Kerry would become a popular leading man to such powerful female stars as Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, and Corinne Griffith. But the actor's lack of thespian qualities became painfully obvious when directorErich Von Stroheim surprisingly chose him to portray his alter ego in The Merry-Go-Round (1923). Much of Kerry's inadequacy could be blamed on Von Stroheim's replacement, Rupert Julian, and Kerry was equally unsatisfactory as the nominal leading man in Julian's later Phantom of the Opera (1925). An early talkie, Bachelor Apartment (1931), only proved that Kerry had little future in sound films. He did not have a good speaking voice, a fact he tended to hide by mumbling. Offscreen, Kerry earned the same kind of notoriety as the later Errol Flynn and he generated a great deal of publicity by stowing away on an ocean liner in an attempt to woo back an estranged wife. He later joined the French Foreign Legion, returning to the U.S. only when France was invaded by Nazi Germany.

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