Reed Howes

Hermon Reed Howes (July 5, 1900  August 6, 1964) was an American model who later became an actor in silent and sound films.

Reed Howes
Howes and Clara Bow in the film Rough House Rosie (1927)
Born
Hermon Reed Howes

(1900-07-05)July 5, 1900
DiedAugust 6, 1964(1964-08-06) (aged 64)
Resting placeFort Rosencrans National Cemetery San Diego
Other namesReed Howe
OccupationActor, model
Years activec.1923–1964
Spouse(s)Lillian Pechin
Catherine Tabor
Mary Howard

Early life

Howes was born in Washington, D.C. in 1900, the only child of Edwin Luther Howes and Grace LaForest Howes (née Meserve).[1] He spent the beginning of his childhood in Washington, D.C. before moving with his parents to Ogden, Utah. He served in the US Navy in the closing stages of World War I and was the Pacific Fleet Swim Team's captain.[2] After the war, Howes attended the University of Utah where he graduated. He later went to Graduate School at Harvard University and then entered show business appearing in vaudeville in stock roles. In 1919, while attending Harvard, he saved the lives of a young woman and another man after they nearly drowned in the ocean at York Beach, Maine.[3]

Howes married three times in his life: to Lillian Pechin in 1923,[4] Catherine Tabor in 1932,[5] and Mary Donovan Howard in 1937.[6]

Arrow Collar Man

In the early 1920s Howes began modeling shirts and detachable collars produced by Cluett Peabody & Company. Howes was one of several men known as Arrow Collar Men[2] (others were Neil Hamilton, Fredric March, Brian Donlevy, Jack Mulhall, and possibly Ralph Forbes) who were the models seen in the Cluett Peabody company's advertisements for the apparel drawn by illustrator J. C. Leyendecker. A 1924 advertisement by film company FBO capitalizing on Howes Arrow Collar popularity has Howes: "Acknowledged and acclaimed America's handsomest man To be starred in a series of Eight Productions" .[7]

Hollywood Stardom

Howes began making silent pictures in Hollywood in 1923. At this stage of his career his youthful good looks led to him supporting or co-starring with many of filmdoms well-known and beautiful female stars of the time, i.e., Marie Prevost, Clara Bow, Mildred Harris, Marjorie Daw, Viola Dana, Louise Fazenda and Virginia Brown Faire. He also appeared in low budget pictures with lesser known female stars, i.e., Gladys Hulette, Ruth Dwyer, Carmelita Geraghty, Ethel Shannon and Alice Calhoun.

Indeed, many of Howes's silent pictures are 'racing car-romance' movies, the kind Wallace Reid made popular before his untimely death in 1923. Howes seems to have picked up where Wally Reid left off and in fact Howes resembles Wally in looks or more precisely a cross between Wallace Reid and Neil Hamilton. The majority of Howes silents were produced by Harry Joe Brown (who also directed) and released through the Rayart company. Al Rogell directed a lot of them.[8] The studios Howes worked for in the silent era were FBO, Warner Brothers, Fox, Paramount and Universal.

Sound

Howes made his sound film debut in Warner's The Singing Fool starring Al Jolson. He closed out the silent era in a programmer production of longtime colleague Harry Joe Brown. In the talking era Howes shifted to playing heavies (villains), first in crime films and then in Westerns, with which he would be associated for the remainder of his career.[9] He continued in these roles throughout the 1940s and 1950s before retiring due to ill health. His health declined further, and he died in 1964 at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital, where he had been confined for months. He was 64.

Selected filmography

References

  1. Edwin Luther Howes at findagrave.com (father of Reed Howes)
  2. Freese, Gene Scott (2014). Hollywood Stunt Performers, 1910s-1970s: A Biographical Dictionary, 2d ed. McFarland. p. 135. ISBN 9780786476435. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  3. "Salt Lake Tribune | 1919-09-01 | Ogden Boy Thrills Colony by Heroic Rescue in Surf". newspapers.lib.utah.edu. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  4. "Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JV98-9XY : 25 September 2017), Howes and Lillian M Pechin, 1923; citing license number 473778, Clerk of the Orphan's Court. City Hall.
  5. "New York, County Marriages, 1847-1848; 1908-1936," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZ9N-Y1Y : 27 September 2017), Hermon R Howes and Catherine R Tabor, 07 Oct 1932, Putnam, New York, United States; citing ref. ID, county clerk’s office,; FHL microfilm 930,513.
  6. "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8J1-HLD : 8 December 2017), Hermon R Howes and Mary Howard, 18 Jun 1937; citing Los Angeles, California, United States, county courthouses, California; FHL microfilm 2,114,023.
  7. Pictorial History of the Silent Screen c.1953 by Daniel Blum p. 268
  8. Reed Howes, IMDb.com Howes complete filmography
  9. IMDb filmography
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