Who was Tony Stark originally based on?
Howard Hughes as a young man, that is, from at least a decade prior to the introduction of Anthony Stark in 1963, by which time Hughes was well into his phase as a neurotic, paranoid, deranged recluse. Definitely not a good model for a Silver Age superhero and not even in good enough physical or mental health to make for a good villain.
In the 1960s it wasn't general knowledge that Hughes was a paranoid recluse. It came to public attention after the 1972 fake autobiography was published.
I'm pretty sure Stan Lee has gone on record specifying Howard Hughes as the model for Tony Stark, and in his younger days Hughes was not only very rich, but also an inventor, movie producer, aviator, and ladies man, among other things. Probably the sort Stan Lee himself might have idolized when he was a young man. While Stan never got to be quite as rich as Howard, he has done a much better job of holding on to his physical health and sanity. Hughes was only 71 years old when he died, but looked much older, while Stan is 95, and while he's had a few troubles of late and lost his wife last year after nearly 70 years of marriage, but otherwise seems to be doing pretty well for himself.
I wouldn't be surprised if there was a little Errol Flynn or David Niven in the mix for Lee's Tony Stark, as well. The current version of Tony seems to draw from other influences, with the Howard Hughes bit pushed back to his father. Agent Carter's Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) seemed to be almost all Howard Hughes, but the movie version of Howard (John Slattery) seemed to be a mix of Howard Hughes and Walt Disney.
This is a good site about the the works of Zane Grey and movies based thereupon.
'Saga': Brian K. Vaughn on the Big Cliffhanger and Yearlong Hiatus
It looks like it may be Murphy Anderson.
Looks like Anderson to me as well.
Thanks, gents. I wouldn't have thought of him.
The transparent thingy is a torture device. It's a bell, and its ringing is unbearable to the person inside.
Horst Buchholz played Marco Polo.