• 10 March 1884
  •  Chicago, Illinois, USA

Stuart Holmes


Stuart Holmes, born Joseph Liebchen, was a silent screen leading man (from 1909) who starred in Fox's first feature film, Life's Shop Window (1914), filmed on Staten Island for $4,500. Being of somewhat menacing demeanour, the cold-eyed, moustachioed Holmes quickly discovered his penchant for playing dastardly villains of French, Italian or Russian extraction. He was highly rated by critics for his Grand Duke Michael in The Prisoner of Zenda (1922) and for Alexander, nemesis of Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1924). His characters rarely ever survived the final reel. After leaving Fox, Holmes joined Metro for similar work and then segued into character parts after the coming of sound. He was signed as a Warner Brothers extra in the mid-30's and continued to amass uncredited or cameo bits until his retirement in 1964, by which time he had appeared in some 530 films. His wife, Blanche Maynard, was a well-known Hollywood astrologer and Holmes himself (when not busy on screen) spent his free time wood-carving. He was reputedly rather good at it.