December Publication

Mexican heartthrob Ramon Novarro (1899—1968) was one of early Hollywood's leading romancers. He got his big break in 1923's Scaramouche, went on to play the title role in 1925's Ben-Hur and later appeared with Greta Garbo in 1932's Mata Hari. However, despite these sizeable roles, today Novarro is chiefly remembered for how he died: he was beaten to death by two thieves. Now screenwriter and translator Andre Soares offers the thoroughly researched biography Beyond Paradise: The Life of Roman Novarro. Soares skillfully covers the actor's Mexican upbringing, his ascent to fame, his relationship with publicist and entertainment journalist Herbert Howe and the difficulties he encountered as a gay man. This is a straightforward and insightful account of one star's difficult life. 16-page photo insert not seen by PW. (St. Martin's, $27.95 416p ISBN 0-312-28231-1; Dec. 10)