Eric Linden

Active - 1931 - 2018  |   Born - Sep 15, 1909   |   Died - Jul 14, 1994   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Recruited for films right out of Columbia University, American actor Eric Linden cornered the early-'30s market in portraying sensitive, intellectual, slightly weak-willed juveniles. He made an auspicious movie debut with RKO's Are These Our Children? (1931), in which he played a callow teenager whose minor flirtation with thievery leads to his execution for killing an elderly shop owner. The scenes in which Linden struggles to come to grips with the enormity of his crime and the inevitability of his punishment still pack a wallop when seen today. He continued playing first and second leads, mostly in programmers, throughout the '30s, sometimes costarring with Cecilia Parker in an off-and-on series of rural romances. Linden's career suffered a major setback when he accepted the cameo role of an amputation victim in Gone With the Wind (1939). Due to the horrific elements of his bloody leg operation, Linden's screen time was whittled down to little more than 30 seconds. The industry perception was that Eric Linden's status had slipped to the extent that he was willing to accept a bit part; as a consequence, he appeared in only a handful of B-pictures before leaving Hollywood for the business world in 1941.

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