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Reed Howes

Reed Howes

Hermon Reed Howes (1900 - 1964) American Actor. American silent-era leading man who became a familiar heavy in B-Westerns of the talkie period. Born Hermon (not Herman) Reed Howes in Washington, D.C., in 1900, he served as an apprentice seaman in the U.S. Navy during the last year of the First World War. After the war he graduated from the University of Utah and attended Harvard Graduate School, then appeared in small parts in stock and vaudeville shows. A strikingly handsome man, he was chosen to be a model for artist J.C. Leyendecker's famous Arrow Collar ads. Howes was only one of several models for the ads (others include John Barrymore, Fredric March, Brian Donlevy and Jack Mulhall), but alone of all the future actors who modeled for Leyendecker, he has been remembered as "the former Arrow Collar Man" (some sources have also claimed that Howes was Leyendecker's lover, but they have confused Howes with the original Arrow Collar model, Charles Beach). Actor-director-producer Ben F. Wilson noticed the handsome model and signed him up to appear in films. Howes quickly became a popular leading man and played opposite many of the most famous actresses of the day. With the coming of sound, it was apparent that neither Howes' voice nor his dramatic ability were as well suited to the new demands on a leading man, and he soon drifted into supporting roles, often as villains, in action films and B-Westerns. 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. His final appearance was in an episode of the TV series "Mister Ed" (1958). He is buried in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California. 


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