Fred Andrew Stone (19 August 1873 – 6 March 1959) was a stage and screen actor and dancer. Stone began his career as a performer in circuses and minstrel shows, went on to act on vaudeville, and became a star on Broadway and in feature films, which earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Stone was elected to The Lambs in 1909.
He was particularly famous for appearing on stage opposite Brother Lamb David C. Montgomery. They had a 22-year partnership until Montgomery’s death in 1917. They performed in shows such as The Wizard of Oz (1902), the Victor Herbert operetta The Red Mill (1906), and Chin Chin, A Modern Aladdin (1914).
In 1917, he appeared on Broadway in Jack O’Lantern, which, according to Vanity Fair theater critic P. G. Wodehouse “should be the greatest success he has ever had. Fred Stone is unique. In a profession where the man who can dance can’t sing and the man who can sing can’t act he stands alone as one who can do everything.”
Stone’s feature film career began in comedy westerns; his first, The Goat, was filmed in 1918. He starred in 19 feature films. In the 1935 film Alice Adams, as Mr. Adams, he was the third lead, following Katharine Hepburn and Fred McMurray. He made his home in Bayside, Queens, where he was a neighbor and friend of boxing champion-turned-actor James J. Corbett, who was also a Lamb. Around 1917, Stone built a small estate in Forest Hills Gardens. The excess grounds were sold off as building lots for two other homes. However, the original mansion still stands. In it are symbols of his acting career, including a theater in the basement and a separate room to store costumes.
Stone and his wife, Allene Crater, whom he met in the company of The Wizard of Oz, had three daughters, Dorothy, Paula, and Carol. Crater also appeared, in a small part, with Stone in Jack O’Lantern. A Vanity Fair review of the play said of Crater, “My only complaint is that the structure of the entertainment makes it impossible for Allene Crater, who in the little bit she does shows herself one of the most refreshing comediennes on the musical stage, to have a really good part.” As an adult, Dorothy became her father’s stage partner.
In 1929, Stone was critically injured in an airplane crash attempting a stunt. In addition to many other broken bones, his legs were crushed and he was told he would never again dance. His good friend Will Rogers filled in for Fred in Three Cheers, a stage show written for Fred and his daughter, Dorothy. Rogers was a hit, and Stone worked at therapy relentlessly until he proved his doctors wrong and returned to the stage in Ripples (1930).
He became ill and blind and was hospitalized in 1957, the year his wife died. He passed away on March 6, 1959 at his home in North Hollywood,and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.