One of several male models to achieve some success in action films of the '20s, Hermon Reed Howes was forever saddled with the tag "Arrow Collar Man," despite the fact that he had been only one of several future luminaries to have posed for famed artist J.C. Leyenecker's memorable Arrow ads. (Future screen actors Fredric March and Brian Donlevy also did yeoman duty for the company.)
A graduate of the University of Utah and the Harvard Graduate School, Howes had served two and a half years in the navy prior to entering onto the stage. He became a leading man for the likes of Peggy Wood and Billie Burke, and entered films in 1923, courtesy of low-budget producer Ben Wilson, who cast the handsome newcomer as the lead in a series of breathless melodramas released by Rayart. Howes reached a silent screen pinnacle of sorts as Clara Bow's leading man in Rough House Rosie (1927), but his starring days were over with the advent of sound. There was nothing inherently wrong with Howes voice, but it didn't do anything for him either. His acting before the microphone seemed too stiff. He was still as handsome as ever, but his good looks were often hidden behind a scruffy beard or mustache. The veteran actor then drifted into supporting roles in B-Westerns and serials, his appearances sometimes devoid of dialogue, and more often than not, he was unbilled. Howes did his fair share of television in the '50s as well, but ill health forced him to retire after playing a police inspector in Edward D. Wood Jr.'s The Sinister Urge, filmed in July of 1960 and a guest spot on television's Mr. Ed. He died of cancer at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, CA.