In his late teens, Robert Walker showed acting talent in college productions, leading him to enroll at New York's Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1938. In 1939 he married fellow-student Phyllis Isley, later to become actress Jennifer Jones; they went to Hollywood, but neither of them could get more than bit roles onscreen. They returned to New York, where Walker landed a regular role on a radio series. In 1942 they returned to Hollywood, and both soon became successful screen actors. Walker landed boy-next-door leads in several films. In 1945 he and Jones divorced. In 1948 he married the daughter of director John Ford, but six weeks later the marriage ended. He later won raves for his portrayal of a charming psychopath in Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951). The father of actors Robert Walker Jr. and Michael Walker, Robert Walker died suddenly in 1951 after doctors had given him a prescription for sedatives.