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The son of prosperous Mexican dentist, Ramon moved to Los
Angeles with his family to escape the Mexican revolution. After
several jobs including Ballet, piano teacher, and singing waiter,
Ramon became a film extra in 1917. For 5 years, he remained an
extra until Director Rex Ingram cast him as Rupert in 'The
er of Zenda (1922)'. He was cast with Lewis Stone and Rex
Ingram's wife, Alice Terry. Ingram was also the person who
suggested that he change his name to Novarro. Ramon would
continue to work with Ingram in his next four films and would
again be teamed with Alice Terry in the successful 1923 movie
'Scaramouche'. Being that he was now very popular, especially
with the women, he was being billed as the "New Valantino". In
1926, he would appear in his most famous role as Ben Hur in the
movie of the same name. In 1927, he would star with Norma Shearer
in 'The Student Prince'. His first talking picture was 'Call of
the Flesh (1930)', where Ramon sang and danced the Tango. He
continued to appear in a number of musicals, but his popularity
was slipping. After he appeared with Garbo in the successful
'Mata Hari (1932)', his career faded fast. In 1935, he would
leave MGM and appear on , in a show that quickly flopped.
His later career, when he was able to find work in films,
consisted mostly of cameos. In 1968, he was brutally beaten to
death by a pair of teenage thieves.
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