Husky actor Mitchell Lewis attended Annapolis and Syracus University before making his stage debut in 1902. Lewis went on tour with such theatrical heavyweights as William Collier, Dustin Farnum and Alla Nazimova. He made his film bow in 1914 at the old Thanhouser Company. Specializing in ethnic roles, Lewis spent both the silent and talkie era playing menacing gypsies (The Cuckoos, The Bohemina Girl), Arab potentates (he was horse-loving Sheik Iderim in the 1926 version of Ben-Hur), East Indian warriors and Native American chiefs. He even donned blackface to portray "Tambo" in Al Jolson's Big Boy (1930). In 1937, Lewis was signed to an MGM lifetime contract, which assured him steady if not always stellar work for the next eighteen years. One of his many MGM bit-part assignments was the green-skinned Winkie Captain ("You've killed her! She's dead! Long live Dorothy!") in The Wizard of Oz (1939). Active throughout his career in charitable pursuits, Mitchell Lewis served on the original board of the Motion Picture Relief Fund.