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Robert Cummings ACTOR


Robert Cummings, born Charles Clarence Cummings, was born on January 10, 1908 in Joplin Missouri. He was known as being perpetually young, due to his obsessions with health food and vitamins, and it helped him land many roles. Cummings is primarily acknowledged for acting in comedic pictures and some television shows, but his repertoire includes dramatic films, too.

Robert Cummings, familiar also as Bob Cummings, studied to become an engineer at many schools before deciding he wanted to pursue a career in acting. He then enrolled at the American School of Dramatic Arts. After a trip to England, Robert believed being British would get him into the limelight quicker. Therefore, for a short time he acquired an accent and called himself Blade Stanhope Conway. The only gig he got under this persona was an extra part in Laurel and Hardy’s “Sons of the Desert” (1933). After that idea failed, he moved to Hollywood and passed himself off as a rich Texan, Bruce Hutchens. With this name, he played a magician in the Broadway show “Ziegfeld Follies” (1934). He made his film debut, under this name, in “The Virginia Judge” (1935).

Cummings decided to start using his own name to land roles after his past characters seemed to miss the mark. His film debut under his real name was in Paramount’s “So Red the Rose” (1935), a movie in which he was killed off in the Civil War near the start. He also played a prisoner in “The Accusing Finger” (1936), but then pretty much played in only Paramount comedies after that. By 1939, he finally took hold of a leading role, playing in “Three Smart Girls Grow Up”. Another notable role he was in was “It Started with Eve” (1941), where he fakes and engagement to make his father happy. Other comedies he played in include “The Devil and Miss Jones” (1941) with Jean Arthur and “The Bride Wore Boots” (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck.

In 1942, he began to appear in more dramatic roles, like a well-built youth in “King’s Row”. He was also in one of his better known movies, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Saboteur” (1942), in which he portrayed a naïve aircraft worker. Cummings in addition starred in “You Came Along” (1945), a hopeful World War II movie. He acted in “The Lost Moment” (1947) and “Reign of Terror” (1949), other films that helped prove his talent as a serious actor.

By the 1950’s, Cummings was seasoned enough in the acting field to become the “other man” in one of his most famous movies, “Dial M for Murder” (1954) starring with Grace Kelly and Ray Milland. This was Cumming’s second Hitchcock thriller. In 1955, he had the same type of role, but instead played a sympathetic Juror Number 8 in the TV production of “Twelve Angry Men”. For his participation in this show, he won an Emmy.

Cumming’s chief reputation in that decade was in his television appearances. He earned an Emmy nomination for the show “My Hero” (1952). He is most famous, though, for his show “The Bob Cummings Show” (1955-1958), one which earned him four Emmy nominations. These programs landed him numerous spots in magazine and newspaper articles, where they described him as an eternally young-looking ladies man.

In the 1960’s, Cumming’s appeared in some films which didn’t go over so well, such as “Beach Party” (1963), “The Carpetbaggers” (1964) starring George Peppard, Ralph Taeger, Alan Ladd, and “Stagecoach” (1966). On the contrary, he also appeared in some more significant films. He was in “My Geisha” (1962) with Shirley MacLaine, “Promise Her Anything” (1965), playing a psychologist, and “Five Golden Dragons” (1967), which was a German picture. He partook in his more successful television series “My Living Doll” (1964), too. Regardless of his accomplishments or failures in this decade, critics always marveled at how well this sixtyish actor was “holding up.” His final noteworthy role was in the 1973 made-for-TV movie “Partners in Crime”

In the 1980’s, Cummings unfortunately fell victim to Parkinson’s disease. His mind and body deteriorated quite quickly, and the actor died at the age of 82, on December 2, 1990, in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. He has not been forgotten, though. Two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California bear his name: one for his work in motion pictures, and another for his involvement in television.


1973   Partners in Crime

1973   The Great American Beauty Contest

1966   Stagecoach

1966   Promise Her Anything

1964   What a Way To Go!

1964   The Carpetbaggers

1963   Beach Party

1962   My Geisha

1955   How To Be Very, Very Popular

1954   Dial M for Murder

1954   Lucky Me

1953   Marry Me Again

1952   Confidence Girl

1952   The First Time

1951   The Barefoot Mailman

1950   For Heaven's Sake

1950   The Petty Girl

1950   Paid in Full

1949   Tell It to the Judge

1949   Free for All

1949   Reign of Terror

1949   The Accused

1948   Let's Live a Little

1948   Sleep, My Love

1947   The Lost Moment

1947   Heaven Only Knows

1946   The Chase

1946   The Bride Wore Boots

1945   You Came Along

1943   Flesh and Fantasy

1943   Princess O'Rourke

1943   Forever and a Day

1942   Between Us Girls

1942   Kings Row

1942   Saboteur

1941   It Started with Eve

1941   Moon Over Miami

1941   The Devil and Miss Jones

1941   Free and Easy

1940   One Night in the Tropics

1940   Spring Parade

1940   Private Affairs

1940   And One Was Beautiful

1939   Everything Happens at Night

1939   Charlie McCarthy, Detective

1939   Oklahoma Frontier

1939   The Underpup

1939   Rio

1939   Three Smart Girls Grow Up

1938   Touchdown, Army

1938   I Stand Accused

1938   I Am the Law

1938   The Texans

1938   You and Me

1938   College Swing

1937   Wells Fargo

1937   Sophie Lang Goes West

1937   Souls at Sea

1937   The Last Train from Madrid

1936   Arizona Mahoney

1936   Hideaway Girl

1936   The Accusing Finger

1936   Lady Be Careful

1936   Hollywood Boulevard

1936   Three Cheers for Love

1936   Forgotten Faces

1936   Border Flight

1936   Desert Gold

1935   Millions in the Air

1935   So Red the Rose

1935   The Virginia Judge

1933   Sons of the Desert

1933   Seasoned Greetings 

Matinee Classics - Bob Cummings and Mamie Van Doren
Matinee Classics - Bob Cummings as Grandpa Josh Collins
Matinee Classics - Bob Cummings Show - Dwayne Hickman and Rosemary DeCamp
Matinee Classics - Bob Cummings Show
Matinee Classics - 3 Smart Girls Grow Up starring Deanna Durbin, Charles Winninger, Nan Grey, Helen Parrish, Robert Cummings, William Lundigan, Ernest Cossart, Nella Walker and Felix Bressart
Matinee Classics - Beach Party starring Robert Cummings, Dorothy Malone, Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Vincent Price
Matinee Classics - Free and Easy starring Robert Cummings, Ruth Hussey, Judith Anderson, C. Aubrey Smith, Nigel Bruce, Charles Coleman, Tom Conway, Forrester Harvey, Theresa Maxwell Conover and Frederick Worlock
Matinee Classics - One Night in the Tropics starring Allan Jones, Nancy Kelly, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Robert Cummings, Mary Boland, William Frawley, Peggy Moran, Leo Carrillo, Don Alvarado, Nina Orla and Richard Carle
Matinee Classics - The Black Book starring Robert Cummings, Richard Basehart, Richard Hart, Arlene Dahl, Arnold Moss, Norman Lloyd, Charles McGraw, Beulah Bondi and Jess Barker
Matinee Classics - The Bob Cummings Show starring Robert Cummings, Ann B. Davis, Dwayne Hickman and Rosemary DeCamp

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