Harold J. Stone (March 3, 1913 – November 18, 2005) was an American stage, radio, film, and television character actor. Born Harold Hochstein to a Jewish acting family, he began his career on Broadway in 1939 and appeared in five plays in the next six years, including One Touch of Venus and Stalag 17, following which he made his motion picture debut in the Alan Ladd film noir classic The Blue Dahlia (1946). In 1949, he co-starred on the short-lived live television sitcom The Hartmans. He then went on to work in small but memorable roles in such films as The Harder They Fall (1956) with Humphrey Bogart, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Wrong Man (1956), Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), The Garment Jungle (1957), The Invisible Boy (1957), Spartacus (1960), The Chapman Report (1962), X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes (1963), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), Girl Happy (1965), The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967, as Frank Nitti), The Big Mouth (1967), The Seven Minutes (1971), Mitchell (1975) and Hardly Working (1980).
Although Stone went on to perform secondary roles in a number of films, he became a recognizable face to television viewers for his more than 150 guest appearances on numerous shows dating from the 1950s to the early 1980s, including but not limited to the following: U.S. Marshal, Stagecoach West (the 1960 episode “Red Sand” with Dean Jones), The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, Cimarron City, The Restless Gun, The Alaskans, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Sugarfoot, The Islanders, The Tall Man, The Roaring 20’s, Empire, I Spy, The Virginian, The Untouchables, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Mr. Novak, The Twilight Zone, Route 66, Have Gun – Will Travel, The Big Valley, Trackdown (3 episodes), Going My Way, Gilligan’s Island, Hogan’s Heroes, Mannix, Get Smart, Griff, and Charlie’s Angels.
On January 14, 1958, he played the brutal Rafe Larkin, “The Last Comanchero”, in the ABC/Warner Brothers western television series, Cheyenne, with Clint Walker in the title role. In the story line, Larkin is captured in the New Mexico Territory and has been jailed by Cheyenne Bodie, acting as a marshal, to await trial for the murder of a couple and the burning of their ranch house. Edd Byrnes plays Benji Danton, the son of the slain couple whose girlfriend is being held hostage by Larkin’s only surviving son. The key to resolution of the story is illuminating material left by an itinerant photographer seeking to capture the spirit of the Old West. In the 1961–1962 season, Stone appeared three times in Stephen McNally’s ABC crime drama Target: The Corruptors!. In 1963, he appeared with Marsha Hunt in the ABC medical drama Breaking Point in an episode which was nominated for an Emmy Award for writing. In September 1964, he appeared in the Western series, Bonanza (“The Hostage”). Also in 1964, Stone appeared on Daniel Boone starring Fess Parker (in the episode entitled “The Fluellen Family” as Greenbriar). Stone was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his role in CBS’s The Nurses. In the 1960s and 1970s, while continuing to work in television, most notably as a regular on 1973’s short-lived Bridget Loves Bernie, Stone returned to the stage, directing several off-Broadway and Broadway productions, including Ernest in Love and Charley’s Aunt. Hochstein died at his home in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles at the age of 92, of natural causes.
- March, 03, 1913
- New York, New York
- November, 18, 2005
- Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California
Cause of Death
- natural causes
- Mount Sinai Memorial Park
- Los Angeles, California