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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
Died in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA  (road accident)
Birth NameEzra Chaim Feinstone

Mini Bio (1)

An an actor, producer, director, writer, teacher and lecturer who covered all of the important mediums in one way or another during his lifetime, Ezra Stone will still be forever known for introducing quintessential late 30s and 40s teen Henry Aldrich to both radio and the stage. Stone's pitchy, cracking voice would become a familiar sound in living rooms for well over a decade.

He was born Ezra Chaim Feinstone on December 2, 1917, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The son of Solomon Feinstone, a chemist, teacher and philanthropist, and the former Rose Meadow, Stone made his debut at age 6 in a play entitled "Phosphorus and Suppressed Desires" for the YMHA players in Philadelphia. He later went on to tour with the National Junior Theatre of Washington, DC, in 1931-1932 before graduating from the Oak Lane Country Day School of Temple University in 1934.

Stone studied for the stage at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and made his New York debut playing seven roles in the musical revue "Parade" in 1935. Although the ebullient teen built up his young marquee name with such popular comedies as "Room Service," "Three Men on a Horse" and "Brother Rat," he found his pot of gold winning the stage role of Henry Aldrich in "What a Life" in 1938. More riches came his way on Broadway with the role of Dromio in "The Boys from Syracuse" and as Arthur Lee in "See My Lawyer."

Twenty years old at the time he started playing the teenage Henry on radio, Stone enjoyed a healthy 13 years (1939-1953) as the disaster-prone youth who was summoned into millions of homes to the eternal lament of his long-suffering mother: "Hen-reeee! Henry Aldrich!" -- which was invariably followed by Henry's anguished reply: "Coming Mother!" By 1941 "The Aldrich Family" was rated among the "top ten" programs alongside Jack Benny and Bob Hope's popular shows.

As for films, Stone never got it into gear. He can only be witnessed in a support role in the "B" movie Those Were the Days! (1940) as Allie Bang. He also played a cameo as himself, Sgt. Ezra Stone, in This Is the Army (1943), the feature film version of the hit Broadway play he appeared in the year before.

WWII intervened in 1942 but Stone managed to incorporate his life's passion into his military duties by directing and appearing in a number of US Army Special Services productions. On October 5, 1942, Ezra married actress/director/teacher Sara Seegar. They went on to have two children, Josef and Francine.

Following the war Stone focused on writing and directing. During TV's "Golden Age" he not only wrote sketches for the sitcom The Aldrich Family (1949), which ran for four seasons, but also for shows that starred some of TV's funniest: Danny Thomas, Milton Berle, Fred Allen and Martha Raye. At around the same time he directed a number of Broadway productions including "Me and Molly," the farcical "At War with the Army," which also featured wife Sara, and "Wake Up, Darling." In the 1960s Stone started directed TV sitcoms and adventures, making the rounds on such sets as Petticoat Junction (1963), The Munsters (1964), Lost in Space (1965) and The Flying Nun (1967).

Ezra and Sara were married for 48 years until her death in 1990. Four years later, the icon of "old-time" radio was fatally injured in a one-vehicle road accident in New Jersey at age 76.

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

Spouse (1)

Sara Seegar (5 October 1942 - 12 August 1990) ( her death) ( 2 children)

Trivia (5)

Trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he later was the founder and executive director of the postgraduate professional center of the AADA and taught at the American Theatre Wing's Professional Training Program from 1946 to 1958.
During Stone's WWII military duty, which started in 1942, the role of teenage Henry Aldrich on the popular 1939-1953 radio serial was played by another actor--Norman Tokar, who later spent many years as a director at Disney--who actually was a teenager (19) and who had been Stone's longtime understudy. After a few others voiced the role, Stone resumed the voice in 1945 following his discharge and continued until 1952, when Robert Ellis finished out the role into 1953.
Profiled in "Old Time Radio Memories" by Mel Simons (BearManor Media).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at 1634 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
Alumnus of the AADA (American Academy of Dramatic Arts), Class of 1935.

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