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Robert Young BiographyQuiet, soft-spoken Robert grew up in California and had some stage experience with the Pasadena Playhouse before entering films in 1931. His movie career consisted of characters who were charming, good-looking and bland as ever. In fact, his screen image was such that he usually never got the girl. Louis B. Mayer would say, "He has no sex appeal," but he had a work ethic that prepared him for every role that he played. And he did play in as many as eleven films per year for a decade starting with The Black Camel in 1931. He had some note as the spy in Alfred Hitchcock's Secret Agent in 1936, but it would be in the 'forties before he would have some of his best roles. Some of them were Northwest Passage; Western Union; and H.M. Pulham, Esq.. Good roles followed from the husband of Dorothy McGuirein Claudia to the detective in Crossfire, but the good roles were few. In 1949, Robert started a radio show called "Father Knows Best" where he played Jim Anderson, an average father with average situations -- which was tailor-made for him. Basically retiring from films, this program ran for five years on Radio before it went to Television in 1954. After a slight falter in the ratings and a switch from CBS to NBC, it would be a mainstay of television until it was canceled in 1960. He would continue making guest appearances on various television shows and work in television movies. In 1969, he starred as Dr. Marcus Welby in the TV movie Marcus Welby, M.D.. This show would become his new series and run from 1969 through 1976 and also feature James Brolin as his assistant, Dr. Steven Kiley -- the doc with the bike. After that, Robert, who by now was in his seventies, would finally lick the 30-year battle that he had with alcohol. He would occasionally appear in television movies through the eighties.
SalaryThe Black Camel (1931): $150/week
TriviaHad 4 daughters with Betty Henderson. He was 17 and she was 14 when they met in high school. Interred at Forest Lawn (Glendale), Glendale, California, USA, in the Graceland section, lot #5905. Originating his "Father Knows Best" (1954) role on radio, he was the only member of the radio cast to transfer his role to TV. He has four daughters: Betty Lou Gleason, Carol Proffitt, Barbara Beebe, and Kathy Young. He has six grandchildren. Sold Sanka coffee on TV for 5 years. In later years, Robert and Elizabeth lived in a house in Westlake Village, California called "The Enchanted Cottage," named after the 1945 film in which he starred with Dorothy McGuire. His patented shyness and painful insecurity turned his social drinking into a chronic alcohol problem during his MGM years that lasted nearly three decades. He recovered with the aid and encouragement of his wife Elizabeth and through spiritual metaphysics (Science of Mind), not to mention Alcoholics Anonymous. He often held AA meetings in his home. Did not renew his MGM contact after filming The Canterville Ghost (1944) and chose to free-lance instead. After a great start in post-war pictures, his film career declined rapidly and he wisely moved to radio in 1949 and eventually TV. Was employed as a bank clerk and a reporter during his fledgling actor days and even found extra work in Keystone Cops movies. Living in Los Angeles by the age of 10, he attended Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, where he met his future wife Elizabeth. It was she who prodded the shy guy into trying acting at the Pasadena Community Playhouse after graduation. Was the fourth of five children born to Thomas and Margaret (Fyfe) Young. His family moved from his native Chicago to Seattle, Washington, when he was less than a year old. Best remembered by the public for his starring roles as Jim Anderson on "Father Knows Best" (1954) and the title character on "Marcus Welby, M.D." (1969).
Source provided by imdb (Copyright) - The Internet Movie Database.