Jun. 8, 1918 Newton Middlesex County Massachusetts, USA
Mar. 21, 1987 Santa Barbara Santa Barbara County California, USA
Actor. He was best known for his Tony Award-winning role of 'Harold Hill' in the stage musical "The Music Man", and his reprising of the part for the motion picture adaptation in 1962 (which earned him a Golden Globe nomination). Born Robert Preston Meservey, the son of a Minor League baseball player, he was raised in Hollywood, California and dropped out of school at the age of sixteen to pursue a career in entertainment. He became a member of a small Shakespeare group and later joined the Pasadena Community Playhouse where he performed in several productions. He was signed to a contract with Paramount Studios and marked his film debut in the picture "King of Alcatraz" (1938) and played a wide range of roles in the numerous features including "Beau Geste" (1939, opposite Gary Cooper and Ray Milland) and "This Gun for Hire" (1942). It would be on the Broadway stage where Preston found his initial stardom, beginning with "The Male Animal" (1952 to 1953), and from the debut of "The Music Man" in 1957 until the play's closing in 1961, he performed the role of 'Harold Hill' more than 1,300 times. He earned a second Tony Award for the musical "I Do! I Do!" (1967) and received a Tony Award nomination with "Mack & Mabel" (1975). He became familiar to a new generation of movie audience for his parts in Blake Edwards' "S.O.B." (1981) and "Victor Victoria" (1982, which earned him both a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination). (bio by: C.S.)
Cause of death: Lung cancer
Burial: Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.
Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Jul 27, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 6003