Conrad Nagel (1897-1970)

Conrad Nagel, Silent and Sound Movie Star

Conrad Nagel (sometimes spelled Nagle) was born in Keokuk, Iowa on March 16th, 1897 into a musical family. He began acting in theater by 1914, and in films by 1918. Suave and sophisticated, handsome Conrad became a popular star of many drawing-room and historical dramas and romantic comedies. His first film production on the West Coast was “The Fighting Chance”, opposite Anna Q. Nilsson. He made an impression in popular silent films of the time, such as “What Every Woman Knows,” (1921), “Fool’s Paradise” (1921), and “Bella Donna” (1923), opposite Pola Negri. With the advent of sound Conrad’s career continued full steam. The phrase heard around the studios in those days was: “Get Nagel. He can talk.”

Conrad continued making a presence in films until the 1950’s, gradually doing more and more character roles as he aged. However, he inspired the animosity of Louis B. Mayer (never a good thing to do if you wanted to work) when he helped to establish the Screen Actors’ Guild. Thereafter the quality of the parts given to him began to suffer, but Conrad kept working in films, on radio, on Broadway and later on television. Conrad was co-founder and past president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and one of the creators of the Oscars. He was married and divorced three times and had two children, a boy and a girl. A son-in-law of Nagel’s was chief executive for the defense giant Northrop Corporation. Conrad Nagel died in New York City on February 24th, 1970; he was cremated, and his ashes given to his family. ~ Copyright © 2004

Vintage Bio from “Who’s Who On The Screen” (1920): “Conrad Nagel, Paramount featured player, was born in Des Moines, Iowa. He received a liberal arts education at Highland Park College, Des Moines, and obtained his first stage experience in Experience, playing later in  The Man Who Came Back. Forever After was his next legitimate medium and soon after he caught the screen fever and obtained a part in William A Bradys Little Women. His next part was with Alice Joyce in The Lion And The Mouse. This was a Vitagraph production. Following this period he worked with Alice Brady in Famous Players-Lasky productions and won general recognition for his clever and dependable work. Mr. Nagel is a six footer and weighs a hundred and sixty-five pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes.”

Vintage Bio from “Stars of the Photoplay” (1930): “Conrad Nagel’s first stage appearance was as a member of a college glee club. Then, fortified with a degree of Bachelor of Oratory, he worked his way to Broadway via stock and vaudeville engagements. After the World War, during which he served on an Admiral’s staff, he made his screen debut in “Little Women.” He is married to Ruth Helms and has one daughter. Born in Keokuk, Iowa, March 16, 1897, Nagel is 6 feet tall, weighs 160 pounds and has blonde hair and blue eyes.”

Conrad Nagel’s Silent Films

Kiss, The (1929)…. André Dubail
Kid Gloves (1929) …. Kid Gloves
Redeeming Sin, The (1929) …. Dr. Raoul de Boise
Red Wine (1928) …. Charles H. Cook
… aka Let’s Make Whoopee (1928)
Terror, The (1928/II) (uncredited) …. Narrator
Caught in the Fog (1928) …. Bob Vickers
State Street Sadie (1928) …. Ralph Blake
… aka Girl from State Street, The (1928) (UK)
Mysterious Lady, The (1928) …. Captain Karl von Raden

Conrad Nagel giving his beaming smile

Conrad Nagel giving his beaming smile ~ he was actress Betty Davis’ first onscreen crush

Michigan Kid, The (1928) …. Jimmy Cowan, the Michigan Kid
Diamond Handcuffs (1928) …. John
Glorious Betsy (1928) …. Jérôme Bonaparte
Crimson City, The (1928) …. Ralph Blake
Tenderloin (1928) …. Chuck White
If I Were Single (1927) …. Ted Howard
London After Midnight (1927) …. Arthur Hibbs
Girl from Chicago, The (1927) …. Handsome Joe
Quality Street (1927) …. Dr. Valentine Brown
Slightly Used (1927) …. Masjor John Smith
Heaven on Earth (1927) …. Edmond Durand
Dance Madness (1926)
There You Are! (1926) …. George Fenwick
Tin Hats (1926) …. Jack Benson
Waning Sex, The (1926) …. Philip Barry
Memory Lane (1926) …. Jimmy Holt

Scene from Conrad Nagel film

“Conrad Nagel registers affection. Edith Roberts is the subject.”
~ from The Blue Book Of The Screen (1924)

Lights of Old Broadway (1925) …. Dirk de Rhonde
Only Thing, The (1925) …. Duke of Chevenix
… aka Four Flaming Days (1925) (USA)
Sun-Up (1925) …. Rufe
Pretty Ladies (1925) …. Dream Lover
Cheaper to Marry (1925) …. Dick Tyler
Excuse Me (1925) …. Harry Mallory
So This Is Marriage? (1924) …. Peter Marsh
Snob, The (1924) …. Herrick Appleton
Married Flirts (1924) …. Perley Rex
Sinners in Silk (1924) …. Brock Farley
Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1924) …. Angel Clare
Rejected Woman, The (1924) …. John Leslie
Three Weeks (1924) …. Paul Verdayne
… aka Romance of a Queen, The (1924) (UK)
Name the Man (1924) …. Victor Stowell
Rendezvous, The (1923) …. Walter Stanford
Lawful Larceny (1923) …. Andrew Dorsey
Bella Donna (1923) …. Nigel Armine
Grumpy (1923) …. Ernest Heron
Singed Wings (1922) …. Peter Gordon
Impossible Mrs. Bellew, The (1922) …. John Helstan
Nice People (1922) …. Scotty White
Ordeal, The (1922) …. Dr. Robert Acton
Hate (1922) …. Dick Talbot
Saturday Night (1922) …. Richard Prentiss
Fool’s Paradise (1921) …. Arthur Phelps
Sacred and Profane Love (1921) …. Emilie Diaz, a pianist
Lost Romance, The (1921) …. Allen Erskine, M.D
What Every Woman Knows (1921) …. John Shand
Midsummer Madness (1920) …. Julian Osborne
Unseen Forces (1920) …. Clyde Brunton
Fighting Chance, The (1920) …. Stephen Siward
Romeo’s Dad (1919)
Redhead, The (1919) …. Matthew Thurlow
Lion and the Mouse, The (1919) …. Jefferson Ryder
Little Women (1918) …. Laurie Laurence

To learn more about Conrad Nagel visit his profile on The Internet Movie Database

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