Harold J. Stone

Harold J. Stone

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.--Emmy®-nominated character actor Harold Stone, whose chiseled, imposing visage helped get him movie, TV and stage roles for more than three decades, died here Nov. 18 of natural causes. He was 92. MSTies will remember him as mob boss Tony Gallano in the movie in episode 512- MITCHELL.

Born Harold Hochstein in New York City, he was a third-generation actor who made his stage debut at age 6 in Yiddish Theater. But young Harold had higher aspirations: After high school he attended New York University where he took some pre-med courses, and later moved to the University of Buffalo Medical School where he received a B.A. But as the Great Depression deepened, he was forced to drop out to support his mother and soon he returned to the family business: acting.

He started in radio, then moved to the stage, making his Broadway debut in 1939 in "The World We Make." He continued to work on the stage before moving to California after World War II. His film debut was an uncredited role in "The Blue Dahlia" (1946). He went on from there to hundreds of roles in film and then in TV, often as a menacing presence in crime and police dramas. His film credits include Alfred Hitchcock's "The Wrong Man" (1956), "Spartacus" (1960), "X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes" (1963) and "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965). After working with Humphrey Bogart in "The Harder They Fall" (1956), Bogart was so impressed with Stone that he talked up Stone's abilities in Hollywood, with the result that Stone seldom had a problem finding roles after that.

Comedian Jerry Lewis found Stone a perfect comic foil and used him in several of his films, including "The Big Mouth" (1967) and "Hardly Working" (1980).

His TV roles began almost as soon as the medium did, with regular roles in "The Goldbergs" (1949-54) "I Spy" (1965-68) and "My World and Welcome to It" (1969-70). His Emmy nomination came in 1964 for a performance in the CBS drama "The Nurses." He was also nominated for a Golden Globe. Baby Boomers probably remember him best as Sam Steinberg, the father of David Birney's character on the well-remembered early-'70s CBS comedy-drama "Bridget Loves Bernie." He also made countless guest appearances on such series as "You Are There"; "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"; "Gunsmoke"; "The Rifleman"; "Zorro"; "77 Sunset Strip"; "Naked City"; "The Untouchables"; "Rawhide"; "Twilight Zone"; "Ben Casey"; "Dr. Kildare"; "The Defenders"; "Bonanza"; "Gilligan's Island"; "Get Smart"; "The Virginian"; "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."; "Mannix"; "Hogan's Heroes"; "The F.B.I."; "Mission: Impossible"; "The Rockford Files"; "Kojak"; "Barney Miller" and "Highway to Heaven." He retired in the mid-1980s.

In 1960, his first wife, Jean, died; he remarried in 1962. He is survived by his second wife, Miriam, two children from his first marriage, one from his second marriage and four grandchildren.