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Fred Stone Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (8)

Overview (4)

Born in Longmont, Colorado, USA
Died in North Hollywood, California, USA
Birth NameFred Andrew Stone
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Hardly remembered today, if at all, Fred Stone was once one of the most multi-faceted circus performers to hit turn-of-the century America. There seemed to be nothing he couldn't do--tightrope walking, acrobatics, clowning . . . you name it. This initial celebrity eventually led to his stellar headlining in vaudeville houses, stardom on the Broadway musical stage and character lead work in films.

He was born in a Valmont, Colorado, log cabin in the summer of 1873. Running away from home at the ripe old age of 11, he eventually joined a traveling circus show. By his teens he had taught himself the high-wire act and other athletic skills so well that he earned a name for himself under the big top. He met and teamed up with fellow circus performer David Craig Montgomery (1870-1917) in 1895. Billed as "Montgomery and Stone," they became a prominent song-and-dance duo in burlesque houses and minstrel shows. The toast of New York in the first decade of the 1900s, they appeared in a number of hit revues, including "The Red Mill" and "Chin Chin." One of their most famous pairings was in the 1903 Broadway musical version of L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz" in which Fred portrayed the Scarecrow to Montgomery's Tin Man. The agile duo also shared billing on various other circuits, including "Wild West" shows, with the likes of close friends Will Rogers and Annie Oakley.

After Montgomery's unexpected death on April 20, 1917, following an unsuccessful operation, Fred continued solo, often appearing with wife Allene Crater (later billed as Allene Stone or Mrs. Fred Stone) in such musical shows as "Criss Cross" and "Ripples." Fred also extended his talents to the movies. Although he didn't become a steady fixture (he dropped out of films by the early 1920s), he had wrangled a few of his own comedy and western vehicles to make a dent, with The Goat (1918), Under the Top (1919), Johnny Get Your Gun (1919), The Duke of Chimney Butte (1921) and Billy Jim (1922) being his best. He made an auspicious return to the movies in the sound era as Katharine Hepburn's beleaguered father in the seriocomic classic Alice Adams (1935), and as a feuding clan member in the tumbleweed western The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936). Given such a rousing reception, the 63-year-old was offered his own secondary feature, top-lining such comedy efforts as The Farmer in the Dell (1936), Grand Jury (1936), Quick Money (1937) and No Place to Go (1939), before ending his lucky streak with The Westerner (1940) starring Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan. In 1950 Fred retired completely from show business. During the final years of his life he suffered from advancing blindness and heart trouble. He died at his Los Angeles home in March of 1959 at age 85. The patriarch of a show-biz family, his daughters Dorothy Stone, Paula Stone and Carol Stone were also actresses who appeared with their father at various times on Broadway (he was also the uncle of Milburn Stone, veteran character actor and Gunsmoke (1955)'s "Doc Adams"). A long-overdue biography of Fred Stone was published by Armond Fields in 2002.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Allene Crater (actress) (1904 - 13 August 1957) ( her death) ( 3 children)

Trivia (8)

Father of actress Dorothy Stone.
Father of Paula Stone
Became famous as the Scarecrow in the 1902-1911 stage production of The Wizard of Oz, paired with David Craig Montgomery who played the Tin Woodsman. His performance inspired Ray Bolger, who based his performance on Stone's incredible physical performances.
A very close friend of both humorist Will Rogers and C.B. Irwin, of the C.B. Irwin Circus and Racing Stable fame. Fred served as an honorary pallbearer for Irwin. Fred and Rogers would sometimes appear on the same vaudeville bill and shared a mutual love of steer roping, polo, flying and even bulldogging. One of Will's children was named Fred Stone Rogers.
Father of actress Carol Stone
Uncle of Gunsmoke (1955) actor Milburn Stone ("Doc" Adams).
The black box theater on the Rollins College campus in Winter Park, Florida, is named for him. It is an "experimental" theater which features shows completely put on by the students.
Brother-in-law of author Rex Beach.

See also

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