Stone was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1929 for The Patriot. After that, he appeared in several movies with Greta Garbo. His appearance in the highly-successful prison film The Big House furthered his career, and he starred with some of the biggest names in Hollywood in the 1930s, such stars as Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, Ramon Novarro and Jean Harlow.
In 1937, Stone assayed the role which would become his most famous, that of Judge Hardy in the Mickey Rooney Andy Hardy series. Stone appeared as the Judge in fifteen movies, beginning with You're Only Young Once.
Stone suffered a heart attack and died in Beverly Hills, California.
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6524 Hollywood Blvd.