Robert Walker

Robert Walker

Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Death 28 Aug 1951 (aged 32)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Ogden, Weber County, Utah, USA
Memorial ID 2102 · View Source
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Actor. Born Robert Hudson Walker in Salt Lake City. He was the son of Horace Walker, a Salt Lake City newspaper editor. He attended the San Diego Army and Navy Military Academy, the Pasadena California Playhouse Dramatic School and the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Following a school play lead at the San Diego Army and Navy Academy, he entered an acting contest at the Pasadena Playhouse which won him a top performance prize. At that time he met fellow student, Phyllis Isley, who was later renamed, Jennifer Jones. They married on January 2, 1939. They had two children, Robert Jr. (born 1940) and Michael (born 1941), both of whom became actors. The movie mogul, David O. Selznick, took an immediate interest in the pair and signed Jones to a contract. Selznick also secured a contract for Robert at MGM. His first important MGM role was in Bataan (1943). Hollywood stardom came from his title role in the comedy "See Here, Private Hargrove" (1944). He appeared with his wife in the Selznick film "Since You Went Away" (1944). Jennifer became involved with Selznick and she and Robert divorced. Although Walker continued to work steadily in Hollywood, he was distraught over the divorce and was soon prone to drinking, emotional outbursts and eventually, a nervous breakdown. He starred opposite Judy Garland in "The Clock" (1945). Some of his other film credits include, "Till the Clouds Roll By" (1946), "Song of Love" (1947), and "One Touch of Venus" (1948). He impulsively married Barbara Ford, the daughter of director John Ford. The marriage was annulled within a few weeks. By this time Jennifer had married Selznick. This news sent Robert into a tailspin. He was arrested for drunken driving, and had treatment at the Menninger clinic in Topeka, Kansas. He went back to work after his stay in the clinic and was given the most memorable film role of his career in Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller, "Strangers on a Train" (1951). During his 15 year movie career, he made 24 films. He had just finished filming "My Son John," and was doing re-shoots for the director when he suddenly died. Suffering a severe panic attack in the early evening, he was given sodium amytal, administered by a doctor. He died of heart failure.

Bio by: Jane Stacy Eubanks

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2102
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Walker (13 Oct 1918–28 Aug 1951), Find a Grave Memorial no. 2102, citing Washington Heights Memorial Park, Ogden, Weber County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .