Actor Ramon Novarro was born on February 6, 1899 in Durango, Mexico. He entered films in 1917 in bit parts; and was promoted as a rival to Rudolph Valentino and his first successful film was Scaramouche (1923). In 1925, he achieved his greatest success in Ben-Hur. With Valentino's death in 1926, Novarro became the silver screen's leading Latin actor and was considered one of the great romantic lead actors of his day. Novarro appeared in The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927), Across to Singapore (1928), Devil May Care (1929), The Pagan (1929), Mata Hari (1932) and The Barbarian (1933). When Novarro's contract with MGM Studios expired in 1935, the studio did not renew it and he continued to act sporadically, appearing in films and television.