Harold “Hal” Frederick Stone, Jr. was born 10 June 1931 in Long Island, NY and died in a Phoenix Hospital 21 February 2007 following a heart operation. His father was Harold “Harry” Frederick Stone, Sr. and his mother was Helen Francis McKinley.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Dobson-Stone; his sister, Helen Stone Swartz of Casselberry, Florida; his daughter, Deborah Stone Breininger; his son, Harold Stone, both of the Atlanta, Georgia area. In addition, he was loved by a step-son, James Dobson, and two step-daughters, Cathleen Giardina and Carol Zubrin, all of California. He was the beloved grandfather of Samantha Breininger, Joseph Stone, Gabrielle Stone, Carina Giardina and Frankie Giardina.
At age 4, Hal began a modeling career in print advertising in New York, which led to becoming a child actor on the Broadway stage at age 7. His first role was “Harlan” in the long running hit “Life with Father”, starring the legendary actress Lillian Gish. They remained friends throughout her life.
Following that play, he had a succession of stage roles, along with performances on many of the radio programs of the 40’s and 50’s. His stage credits included “Tomorrow The Word”, with Elissa Landi, “Lady in the Dark”, with Gertrude Lawrence, “This Rock” with Billy Burke and Zachary Scott, as well as, “Watch on the Rhine”, “Peter Pan”, “and Star Spangled Family”, etc. On radio, he performed on most of the NBC and CBS programs originating from New York. Shows such as “Theatre Guild of the Air”, “Dr. Christian”, “Big Town”, “U.S. Steel Hour”, “Let’s Pretend”, “Henry Aldrich”, and hundreds more, including all of the Soap Operas of the day. At the age of 13, he won the role of “Jughead” on NBC’s popular “Archie Andrews Show” and except for one year overseas in the Air Force during the Korean War, he portrayed that comic character every Saturday for almost 10 years. After his retirement, Hal wrote a book about these early days of his career entitled, “Aw…Relax, Archie! Re-lax!” which was loved by all of his fans.
After discharge fro the Air Force in 1952, he attended Hofstra and Columbia Universities and graduated with a BA in Speech, Drama, and TV Production, pursuing a career “Behind the Camera” as a Director and Producer. After working at TV stations in Michigan and Florida, he became the principal staff Director at Videotape Productions of New York for 7 years. He eventually formed his own company, Centrex Productions, which, for over 10 years, became one of the major producers of TV commercials in the industry. He did many “spots” for major clients like Goodyear, Buick, IBM, General Foods, Ford, Avon, Vitalis, Alpo, Texaco, McDonalds, and numerous others while working with many of the top names in the entertainment and sports industry. Bob Hope, Farrah Fawcett, Pat Carrol, Joe E. Brown, Joe Namath, Sammy Davis, Robert Kennedy, Jonathan Winters, George Plimpton, Edward G. Robinson, James Michener, and Norman Rockwell are just a few in the long list he worked with over his 21 years Directorial career.
In 1980, at age 50, after 43 years in “Show Biz” Hal retired to Florida and began to pursue his “second love” of painting and sculpting. His passion for history and western works of art depicted the Indian Wars, eventually led him to Sedona, Arizona in 1990 where he later met and married Dorothy Marker Dobson in 1999.
Early in 1990 he became interested in organizations throughout the United States that preserve and encourage radio dramas. “SPERDVAC” in Los Angeles, California (Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety and Comedy), made him an honorary member in 1991. Since that time he was invited to make appearances as actor and director for many other radio recreations throughout the United States appearing at reunions of those who still love “old time radio”: The Old Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention in Cincinnati, Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound (REPS) in Seattle, Washington, and The Friends of Old Time Radio (FOTR) in New York and New Jersey. In recognition of his continuing exemplary efforts in supporting the preservation and enjoyment of Radio History, FOTR presented him with awards in 1992 and 2003. In 2004, he received both the Ezra Stone / Willard Waterman award from the Old Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention in Cincinnati. He cherished those awards until his untimely death in February, 2007. Gone too soon. Loved by many.
No local services are planned.
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