Robert Cornthwaite

Active - 1950 - 2005  |   Born - Apr 28, 1917 in St. Helens, OR  |   Died - Jul 20, 2006 in Woodland Hills, CA  |   Genres - Comedy, Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Western

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Already a character player in his 30s, American actor Robert Cornwaithe was frequently called upon to play scientific and learned types in such films as War of the Worlds (1953) and The Forbin Project (1971). He was also busy on TV, portraying lawyers, officials and the like on such series as The Andy Griffith Show, Batman (in the "Archer" episode with Art Carney), Gidget, Laverne and Shirley and The Munsters. Cornwaithe earned his niche in the Science Fiction Film Hall of Fame for his performance in The Thing (1951); grayed up, bearded, and looking suspiciously Russian, the actor played the foolhardy Professor Carrington, whose insipidly idealistic efforts to communicate with the extraterrestrial "Thing" nearly gets him killed. In honor of this performance, Robert Cornwaithe was cast as a similar well-meaning scientist in "Mant," the giant-insect film within a film in Joe Dante's Matinee (1993), wherein Cornwaithe shared screen time with two equally uncredited horror-film icons, William Schallert and Kevin McCarthy.

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