Beetle-browed character actor Robert Middleton was known for his distinctive features and deep booming voice, a voice that paved his way in the performing arts. After studying music at the University of Cincinnati's Conservatory of Music and at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, his bombastic timbre garnered him work in radio, which sparked his interest in acting. Theater work led to Broadway, after which Middleton made his way onto screen, where his hefty build and dramatic brows led to many villainous roles. Middleton first appeared on television in the early 1950s, steadily building his résumé with a string of one-offs and guest spots on anthology series and comedy programs. While he made his feature film debut in 1954 in the epic Holy Grail adventure "The Silver Chalice," his breakthrough came the next year as the dastardly antagonist of Humphrey Bogart's beleaguered ex-con in the noir-thriller "The Desperate Hours." This proved to be the first in a string of memorable villains, including the darkly ambitious knight who jousts "The Court Jester," played by Danny Kaye in the medieval musical comedy, and a wicked politician in the 1977 alternate history drama "The Lincoln Conspiracy," which supposes the president's assassin escaped to Canada. In between these was a long line of scowling, surly heavies, often chomping on cigars or inspiring lynch mobs. "The Lincoln Conspiracy" was Middleton's 106th production and proved to be his last as the respected character actor died from congestive heart failure at the age of 66.