A standout as star of Alfred Hitchcock's suspense masterpiece "Strangers on a Train" (1951), the smooth, handsome, masterfully evil man proposing a malevolent scheme was portrayed by Robert Walker and that role represented a major comeback for him after a period of personal crisis that would ultimately lead to his premature end. As a member of the MGM contract player stable, Walker graced features like "Bataan" (1943), but his promising career began to unravel once the more powerful über-producer David O. Selznick effectively stole his wife, actress Jennifer Jones, from him, sending him into a tailspin. Although pictures like "Thirty Seconds over Tokyo" (1944) and "The Clock" (1945) confirmed the public's admiration for the sensitive Walker, excessive drinking and disruptive behavior became commonplace . When he was finally on the road to recovery, but still harboring some problems, Hitchcock's faith in the actor proved wholly justified. "Strangers on a Train" featured what was arguably Walker's finest performance and the movie ranked high amongst its director's accomplishments. Unfortunately, the personal issues continued and a doctor's attempt to deal with his mood disorder inadvertently brought about Walker's premature death at age 32. The actor's troubled life and tragic death became inextricably part of his legend, but he did leave behind a solid body of work and was cherished by Golden Age aficionados as one of the most thrilling villains in the Hitchcock oeuvre.