Actor, Director. A handsome leading man, he will be remembered for his portrayal of John F. Kennedy in the film “PT. 109” (1963). He would go on to earn an Academy Award for his performance as the intellectually deficient “Charly” in the 1968 film of the same title. Born Clifford Parker Robertson, III, to a wealthy father, his parents divorced when Cliff was the age of two. His maternal grandmother would raise him. At an early age, Cliff worked odd jobs to earn money and during his youth, he developed an interest in aviation. He briefly studied Journalism at Antioch College and during World War II, he served with the Merchant Marines. After his return home, he fully focused on a career as an actor and enrolled at the Actors Studio. He broke into television during the early 1950s and starred in the short-live series “Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers” (1953 to 1954). He made his Broadway debut in the production “Late Love” (1953 to 1954) and following some minor film roles he played a part of substance as ‘Alan Benson’ in the picture “Picnic” (1955). He went on to a wide range of pictures including “Autumn Leaves” (1956), “The Naked and the Dead” (1958), “Sunday in New York” (1964), “The Best Man” (1964), “The Devil’s Brigade” (1968) and “Too Late the Hero” (1970). Robertson directed, produced and penned the screenplay for the film “J.W. Coop” (1972), in addition to staring as the title character. He slipped into supporting roles in such films as “Man on a Swing” (1974) and “Three Days of the Condor” (1975). In 1977, Robertson accused producer David Begelman of fraud in regards to his (Robertson’s) signature being forged on a check. The scandal briefly damaged Robertson’s career as he was labeled a “whistleblower” within the industry. He rebounded with the aid of television and had a recurring role as ‘Dr. Michael Ranson’ in the series “Falcon Crest” (1983 to 1984). He was known to a later generation of film audiences for playing ‘Ben Parker’ in the “Spiderman” series. He was formerly married to actress Dina Merrill.
Bio by: C.S.
Heather Merriweather Robertson