Robert Walker

Actor
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 ... Read more »
Born: 10/13/1918 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Filmography

Actor (15)

Strangers On a Train 1951 (Movie)

Bruno Antony (Actor)

What Next, Corporal Hargrove? 1945 (Movie)

(Actor)

Bataan (Movie)

Leonard Purckett (Actor)

Her Highness and the Bellboy (Movie)

Jimmy Dobson (Actor)

Madame Curie (Movie)

David LeGros (Actor)

My Son, John (Movie)

John Jefferson (Actor)

One Touch of Venus (Movie)

Eddie Hatch (Actor)

See Here, Private Hargrove (Movie)

Pvt. Marion Hargrove (Actor)

Since You Went Away (Movie)

Cpl. William G. Smollett II (Actor)

The Beginning or the End (Movie)

Col. Jeff Nixon (Actor)

The Clock (Movie)

Cpl. Joe Allen (Actor)

The Sailor Takes a Wife (Movie)

John (Actor)

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (Movie)

David Thatcher (Actor)

Till the Clouds Roll By (Movie)

Jerome Kern (Actor)

Vengeance Valley (Movie)

Lee Strobie (Actor)

Biography

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.

Relationships

Barbara Ford

Wife
director John Ford's daughter, married in July 1948 separated after five weeks marriage annulled

Jennifer Jones Actor

Wife
Met in 1938 when they were fellow students at AADA

Jennifer Jones

Wife
married on January 2, 1939 divorced in March 1944

Hortense Odlum

Aunt
maternal aunt president of Bonwit Teller, 1934-38 paid for Walker's tuition at San Diego Army and Navy Academy

Horace Walker

Father

Michael Walker

Son
born on March 13, 1941 mother, Jennifer Jones

Robert Walker

Son
born April 15, 1940 mother, Jennifer Jones

EDUCATION

San Diego Army and Naval Academy

Carlsbad-by-the-Sea , California

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

New York , New York 1938
co-starred with Phyllis Isley (Jennifer Jones) in "The Barretts of Wimpole Street"

Pasadena Playhouse

Pasadena , California

Milestones

1952

Final film, "My Son John"

1948

Arrested after fleeing the Menninger Clinic and smashing the local police station when arrested for drunkenness (December)

1942

First major film role, "Bataan"

1939

Film debut, "Winter Carnival" (bit part)

Earned fifty cents a performance at the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village

Worked on radio with Isley in Tulsa, OK, and later on "Myrt and Marge" in NY

Worked on a freighter

Bonus Trivia

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"MGM had no difficulty in promoting Walker as the nice loser since, at an early age, the actor had accepted life's reversals as the ultimate conclusion and finalized it as an alcoholic. He served his purpose to the studio as the clean-cut "lost generation" symbol of the World War II era, emoting in comedy, melodrama, Westerns and period pieces with that wateryeyed look that indicated he could calmly accept any and all adversities that the scriptwriters had worked into their scenarios." ("The MGM Stock Company")

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