Oscar Roles: Barthelmess, Richard–The Noose

Barthelmess was discovered in 1916 by a friend of the family, screen star Alla Nazimova.

Within several years he was one of Hollywood’s leading stars, the hero of several prominent D. W. Griffith productions, notably “Broken Blossoms” (1919) and “Way Down East” (1920).

Handsome and virile–he was described by co-star Lillian Gish as having the most beautiful face of any man who ever went before the camera–he proved to be an ideal Griffith hero. Their collaboration seemed to benefit both the director and the actor.

His popularity continued throughout the remainder of the silent era.

In 1927-1928, the first year of the Oscars, he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his appearances in two films, The Noose and The Patent Leather Kid.

Barthelmess remained popular in the early sound era, but his films and his roles were gradually diminishing in importance.

Eventually he began playing character roles, often as the heavy.

He quit films in 1942 to join the Naval Reserve, and never returned to Hollywood.

He lived in retirement on Long Island until his death of cancer at 68, on August 17, 1963.

Oscar Alert

Barthlemess competed for the Best Actor Oscar with Charlie Chaplin in “The Circus” and German actor Emil Jannings, who won for two films: “The Last Command” and “The Way of All Flesh,” both made at Paramount.