Wednesday, April 4, 2012

From my collection: Robert Andersen

Gossip columnist Bob Thomas, as keen an observer of Hollywood goings-on as anyone, berated the RKO powers-at-be in an August 1946 column for failing to award several actors the breaks they deserved when returning to the studio after their stint in the last war. Thomas named four contract players who were summarily dropped from the roster: Lee Bonnell, Robert Smith, Robert Manning and Robert Anderson [sic].

The correct spelling of the last mentioned is actually Robert Andersen, a radio singer who signed a contract with RKO in 1943. His biggest chance at the studio came when he tested for a major role in the Olivia de Havilland vehicle Government Girl (1943), the role, alas, going instead to Susan Hayward's then-husband Jess Barker. Instead, Andersen played bit in comedies featuring the radio phenomenon The Great Gildersleeve.

(The above mentioned Robert Andersen is probably not the Robert Anderson who appeared in scores of later television shows, and he certainly isn't the original Robert Andersen, the Danish-born silent screen petformer. He may be, and then again, may not be, the Robert Anderson who, as Robert Conway, earned a Fox contract and wed model/starlet Florence Lundeen. Alas, according to the Imdb, Robert Conway was born in 1908, a bit too early considering the much more youthful appearance in the portrait above.)

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