Robert Clarke

Active - 1944 - 2005  |   Born - Jan 1, 1920   |   Died - Jun 11, 2005   |   Genres - Drama, Science Fiction, Adventure, Comedy, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Making an appearance on the 1950 TV anthology series Magnavox Theater, American actor Robert Clarke was billed as "that fast-rising leading man." What audiences didn't know was that Clarke had been on a very slow ascension for nearly six years. Signed to an RKO contract in 1944, Clarke was seen in such budget-conscious productions as The Body Snatcher, Bedlam, and Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome. Beginning with 1951's The Man From Planet X, he became a fixture of inexpensive horror and sci-fi epics. His film manifest includes such jewels as Captive Women (1952), The Incredible Petrified World (1962), and Terror of the Bloodhunters (1962). Upon completing The Astounding She-Monster (1958), Clarke, by now convinced that any film could attain a release no matter how wretched, made his directorial debut with The Hideous Sun Demon (1958). With such lofty credits to his name, Clarke was bound to achieve cult-idol status at some point or another; he became a much sought-after interview subject and movie-convention guest speaker during the 1980s and 1990s. In 1995, Robert Clarke, in collaboration with film historian Tom Weaver, penned an entertaining autobiography, To "B" or Not to "B": A Filmmaker's Odyssey.

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